So we had a great morning this morning. We kicked it off with eating an amazing breakfast followed by a keynote speech from Lazarus Lynch. Lazarus gave us an insight into his experience with GYI, 4-H, and his many travels to different countries in efforts to solve world hunger and food insecurities.
After the keynote we broke into groups and split from our mentors. The mentors went to the Marriott while we stayed at the hotel we are staying in and split into two groups of students (the alphas and the betas). The students engaged in a cultural assimilation activity where we had a given culture and had to guess what the other groups culture was. I was in the trading society group and we had cards that we had to trade and the goal was to get a run of 7 cards of the same colour. We also spoke in another language called “ba fa” and we basically used the begging letter of each word and a vowel sound for counting and describing colours. This activity was really entertaining! Especially when the alpha team was English speaking and were super confused when we traded cards with them (or just stole them).
After this activity we hopped on a bus and headed to our Symposium Soy luncheon. The foods in this luncheon all contained soybeans in them somewhere! It was really interesting and really good food! Our keynote for the luncheon was Dr. Rajiv J. Shaw, the president of the Rockefeller foundation!
After lunch we moved downstairs and listened to a panel discussion on getting technology to smallholder farms, a speech from the CEO of syngenta, and two more panel discussions; trends in agribusiness and research, and the role of agriculture and the U.S. dairy industry in fostering global economic development. These we all very informative and relatable to everyday life from back in Saskatchewan to those from Beijing. Some quotes that resonated with me are “Every plant breeder has to be an optimist”, “consumers want transparency”, and “We can be eating calories and still be malnourished”.
After this we walked over to the world food prize building. Once we got there we had a speech from Mark Green, who works for the United States Aid for International Development. He worked towards preventing more and more people from contacting Aids over seas. We then ate dinner and after that we watched the Nobel food prize 2017 laureate award ceremony! The award was given to Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina and he donated his $250 000 to preventing world hunger in Africa!
After the ceremony we headed back to the hotel and the day was done. One of my highlights of the day was meeting a man working on breeding funguses in Africa to prevent people from dying from eating maize with a viral fungus on it. The virus is undetected by the technologies in Africa, due to lack of technology. But now that the day is over I’m just so much more excited for tomorrow! Peace out GYI, for now!