The World Food Prize Foundation recently announced that Lydia Rigge, a 2019 Redwood Valley High School graduate, is one of 24 students from across the U.S. who will travel abroad for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship program at renowned international research centers and NGOs this summer.

These exceptional students will delve into issues related to global hunger and poverty during all expenses paid, eight-week internships in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Rigge has been placed at the Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company Limited (Mahyco) in Jalna, India.

This is the 21st year of this unique program, which was created by Dr. Norman Borlaug and John Ruan, Sr. in 1998, allowing high-school-aged student interns to participate in projects with distinguished researchers at leading agricultural research centers around the globe.

While getting a firsthand view of real and pressing food security issues and nutrition problems in poverty-stricken areas, the students become an integral part of a project, spending time in the lab as well as days or weeks at a time in the field conducting research and interviews and gathering data.

Rigge first wrote a five-page research paper to compete at the Minnesota Youth Institute which was hosted at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities last May. Then she was selected to move on to the Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa this past October.

Because she participated at that level she was able to apply for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship this last winter. She went through several rounds of interviews and received word she had been placed in India back in late March. Rigge officially accepted the opportunity May 4 by attending the orientation.

– Photo courtesy of The World Food Prize Foundation