Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn came together to formalize a partnership enhancing the Wallace-Carver Internship Program for students involved in cutting-edge agriculture, science and research. The ceremony was held at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Des Moines, Iowa.

The partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the World Food Prize Foundation will expand opportunities for high school and college students and prepare the next generation of agricultural and scientific leaders. John Ruan III, chairman of the World Food Prize Foundation, also participated in the ceremony.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to be inspired to commit their lives to agriculture and the fight against global hunger,” said Vilsack. “These students truly are the best and brightest, and they will discover—much like I did—that USDA is a dynamic agency that positively impacts people’s lives every day.”

“Dr. Norman Borlaug, the founder of the World Food Prize, started his career as a USDA employee and would have been very proud to see this special connection being established between our two organizations to inspire young students,” said Quinn, who is president of the World Food Prize Foundation. “The World Food Prize is growing education programs across the country to cultivate the most promising students in science and agriculture, and we are excited to now offer those students remarkable opportunities to explore careers in the USDA.”

Every year, over 1,000 students across the country participate in the World Food Prize youth programs. The top 150 students and their teachers travel to Des Moines to participate in an exchange of ideas with the world’s foremost leaders at the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute. From there, they also can apply for the World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan International Internships at research centers around the globe.

The Wallace-Carver Internship honors the legacies of George Washington Carver and Henry A. Wallace, two great American agricultural leaders of the 20th century. The internship offers students the opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned scientists and policymakers through paid internships at USDA research centers and offices.