A Grade 11 student from MacGregor is one of two Manitoba youths who are in Des Moines, Iowa this week attending the three-day Global Youth Institute hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation.

16-year-old Jordyn Ham was awarded the trip through Agriculture in the Classroom and 4-H Manitoba.

The students will be interacting with Nobel and World Food Prize laureates and will be discussing food security and agricultural issues with international experts.

"I'm really looking forward to the field experience tours that the students get to go on," said Jordyn. "I picked aquaponics. Coming from a rural community that's not something that we do here, so it's going to be really interesting to learn about that. But you also get to do things like the poverty simulator, where for dinner you might only get rice or if you are richer in the game you get steak. So it becomes very real."

Those attending were required to write a five-page research paper and will have to present it at the conference. Jordyn decided to write about Ethiopia and demographics. She said while most people think of famine and the high population in Ethiopia, there is also a rich culture that she wanted to explore.

Jordyn plans to work with human rights or policy making after high school graduation.

Alice Rooke, a 15-year-old student from the Brandon area, is also joining Jordyn on the trip.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan were the only two provinces to send students to the event. In total, about 200 students from across the United States and other countries are invited to attend.