Penn State Faculty and Students Attend World Food Prize

Posted: October 23, 2016

Ciara Beasley is minoring in International Agriculture (INTAG)

Ciara Beasley is minoring in International Agriculture (INTAG)

The World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue is an annual event held in Des Moines, Iowa, in mid-October to celebrate World Food Day.  This year two Penn State students were sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences Office of International Programs, Office of Undergraduate Education and Office of Research and Graduate Education.

Noel Habashy, a Ph.D. student in Agricultural & Extension Education represented the International Agriculture and Development (INTAD) dual-title degree at the event. 

Noel commented that "the most interesting part of the World Food Prize was the opportunity to hear experts from many different arenas -- heads of state, ambassadors, university presidents, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, authors, researchers, and a small scale farmer from Nigeria -- discussing how they are working to address matters of food security.  It was a terrific opportunity to be exposed to a variety of thoughts and perspectives."

Noel also found that the event was very relevant to his INTAD coursework because it allowed him to see many of the concepts discussed in his coursework put into practice by decision makers.  He also noted that the event allowed him to consider new career options and expand his network of connections in the field of global food security.

Ciara Beasley, an undergraduate student in Community, Environment and Development represented the International Agriculture (INTAG) minor at the World Food Prize event.  One of the speakers that particularly resonated with her was a small scale female farmer from Nigeria, who brought to life many of the issues that Ciara studies in her INTAG courses.

Ciara found that attending the event also helped her clarify the pathway to her future career.  "Before the World Food Prize I didn't have a clear vision of what I should be doing or who I should be talking to to progress my career along. This was the first time I had to the courage and opportunity to network with companies and others involved with international agriculture about internships and future job positions."

Ciara also recommends the World Food Prize experience to others enrolled in the International Agriculture minor, particularly those that want to learn more about potential careers in the field of international development.

Information pertaining to scholarship opportunities for INTAD and INTAG students to attend the World Food Prize is released each August.  Please contact the INTAD coordinator, Melanie Miller Foster at, for more information.