About the Minnesota Youth Institute

 What is the Minnesota Youth Institute?

The Minnesota Youth Institute (MNYI) is an interactive half-day program where high school students from across the state come to the St. Paul campus of the U of M for an immersive experience where they have the opportunity to connect with research and industry leaders, share their findings on solving global food insecurity, and gain hands-on exposure to a variety of agricultural/food/natural resource fields. Participating students are also eligible for scholarships, domestic/international internships, as well as potentially being selected to represent Minnesota at the Global Youth Institute and World Food Prize Borlaug-Dialogue International Symposium in Iowa.

Hosted by the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) at the University of Minnesota since 2008, the MNYI is supported by the World Food Prize Foundation (WFPF). The WFPF was started by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug. Dr. Borlaug, a U of M alumnus, is credited with saving over a million lives, and encouraged youth to be in discussions of complex issues via programs like MNYI.

The deadline for registration April 1 and paper submissions is April 8. The MNYI 2024 event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15.

Student FAQs

Teacher/Mentor FAQs

What is the World Food Prize?

Dr. Norman Borlaug

The World Food Prize is equivalent to the Nobel Prize in Agriculture, presented by the World Food Prize Foundation (WFPF). It is awarded to those who have “advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.”

The Prize was started in 1986 by Dr. Norman Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on food security in India and Pakistan. The Prize is awarded at the Iowa State Capital each October as the culminating event of the annual Borlaug International Symposium. To learn more about Dr. Borlaug's legacy and impact, click the videos below.

Borlaug Videos

Play it Hard 

Memorial Video

What is the Global Youth Institute (GYI)?

The Global Youth Institute brings together +200 high school students across the world and international leaders in the field of agriculture to discuss current issues in food security. Discussions take place during the International Borlaug Dialogue panels and in small group activities at the Hall of Laureates in Des Moines, Iowa. Students will also have an opportunity to present their papers in groups of about 10 students and 3 experts. On the last day, student cohorts are tasked with a global challenge, then come to a consensus on the key issues of the day and offer their recommendations to the large group.

A group of multicultural students posing in front of international flags