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AMES, Iowa– The Iowa Youth Institute held its eighth annual meeting at Iowa State University. The students spent part of the day in round table discussion with mentors from the community helping them to think about hunger issues from a global perspective.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds spoke to the 300 students and 150 teachers at a noontime luncheon.

“What would Norman Borlaug do? He would question the status quo, seek methods to achieve more with less,” said Reynolds. “The power of science is in your hands. You have the potential to make a difference in your community, your county and in your world.”

The students went out on various field trips to learn things which could be used to help make more food for the world. One trip was to a nearby field and woods to help students learn how to identify soils and things which could harm the productivity of the soil.

“What we’re going to do today is we’re going to show you how to evaluate an environment or landscape,” said Richard Schultz, of the forestry department at Iowa State. “So we’re going to show you some basic tools. We’re going to have you do some basic things that don’t take a lot of equipment,” he told the students.

Schultz said he wanted to provide students with basic skills they could use in the field here in the United States or in a foreign country.

“We’ll look at differences in soil and we’re going to talk about why those differences exist,” said Schultz. “We’re going to measure trees, measure tree heights, we’re going to talk about how far the difference in root systems of a tree and progresses and things like that.”

“I think it’s interesting looking how there are different types and how we as humans affect it in his nature on its own,” said Sabrina Leistikow, a student at Cedar Falls High School. “Having a demonstration in a real-life setting really applies what we’ve been learning.”