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World Food Prize To Mark 25th Anniversary

World Food Prize To Mark 25th Anniversary

Former presidents, CEOs and global experts will gather to present solutions to the challenges of hunger at the 25th anniversary World Food Prize Symposium October 12-14 in Des Moines.

Global leaders, including several former presidents, CEOs of the world's largest Fortune 500 food and agriculture companies, World Food Prize laureates and international policy experts, will come together October 12-14, 2011, for the 25th Anniversary World Food Prize Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium. They will gather in Des Moines, Iowa to address the world's current food crises and future needs in feeding people around the globe.

The theme of this year's symposium, known as the "Borlaug Dialogue," challenges all stakeholders and decision-makers to think forward to The Next Generation: Confronting the Hunger Challenges of Tomorrow. This event, which has been called "the premier conference in the world on global agriculture," will draw more than 1,000 international leaders to discuss solutions for providing food in the midst of challenges posed by political volatility, extreme weather, population growth and other factors.

"To mark the significant milestone of our 25th anniversary this year, we have gathered a hugely impressive array of speakers. We hope to fulfill Dr. Borlaug's legacy through lively conversations that spark new ideas to address this most urgent matter of ending hunger in the world," said Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize.

Featured speakers at the symposium this year will include:

2011 World Food Prize Laureates John Agyekum Kufuor, the former president of Ghana, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil

Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme, which is currently leading hunger-fighting efforts in the Horn of Africa

Former African presidents, including Joachim Chissano of Mozambique, Sir Dawda Jawara of The Gambia and Olesegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, speaking in an African leadership roundtable

The CEOs of many of the world's major agribusiness companies: ADM, Deere & Co., Dupont, Monsanto, Novozymes and Syngenta

Several international agricultural ministers, speaking in a policy and government panel with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General Elect of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization

Howard G. Buffett, President of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, which is unveiling its first major advocacy report on hunger in Africa

Researchers and non-profit leaders from around the globe

Specific topics to be discussed in conversation sessions include the greening of agriculture, the role of the private sector in sustainable agriculture development, empowering youth leaders and entrepreneurs, the potential of women and girls in agriculture, improving efficiencies, the phosphate challenge, and enhancing communication and collaboration across all stakeholders. The event will take place at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa.

This year's winners of World Food Prize are two former presidents

"The Borlaug Dialogue international symposium will take place in conjunction with the 2011 World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony, where we will pay tribute to two former presidents who are the recipients of this year's World Food Prize Award," says Quinn. "They are President John Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil."

In addition, the World Food Prize Foundation will unveil its new headquarters, the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, a magnificent historically restored building designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification for energy efficiency and resource conservation. The World Food Prize will also host the Iowa Hunger Summit, a free concert by the Tokyo String Quartet, a dozen lectures across the state, and will welcome the most promising students from across the country at the Global Youth Institute to engage them learning about hunger, food security and agriculture issues.

The symposium agenda and details are available here:

Members of the press are invited to register to attend at this link – you must enter the registration code "Press":

Updates and additional information for press will be posted here:

The symposium which takes place October 12-14 is only part of the agenda of activities. There are a number of World Food Prize related events that will take place during that week. They are as follows:

The 25th Anniversary Laureate Award Ceremony is Thursday Oct. 13: The World Food Prize will be awarded to presidential leaders for the first time. They are John Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil. These two former presidents who led the drastic reduction of hunger and poverty in their countries will be awarded the 2011 World Food Prize in a ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 13, 2011.

The World Food Prize Foundation will honor John Agyekum Kufuor, former president of Ghana, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil, for creating and implementing government policies that alleviated hunger and poverty in their countries for millions of people.

President Kufuor and President Lula da Silva have set a powerful example for other political leaders in the world. Thanks to their personal commitment and visionary leadership, both Ghana and Brazil are on track to exceed the UN Millennium Development Goal 1, to cut in half extreme hunger before 2015.

The World Food Prize, a $250,000 award, is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

The Laureate Award Ceremony is by invitation only this year, but is open to press covering the event. All press must register at The ceremony will also be broadcast on Iowa Public Television and will be webcast at

Grand Opening of the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates: The soon-to-be new home of the World Food Prize Foundation will be a landmark in fighting hunger. The World Food Prize Foundation will unveil the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates to more than 1,000 international visitors from around the globe during the week of events. This project has been underway for a decade, and the century-old historic building has been entirely restored to become the new home of the World Food Prize, for all to visit and learn about the global challenges humans face, and the heroes who have paved the way in alleviating hunger.

Over 100 pieces of specially commissioned artwork tell the stories of heroes such as Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, founder of the World Food Prize, as well as the 35 World Food Prize laureates, and features within the building also showcase the history of agriculture. In Summer 2012, a wing of interactive, multimedia educational exhibits will open to the public.

The Grand Opening, open to all symposium attendees, will be Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 5:30 p.m., at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, 100 Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa. In addition, members of the press are also invited to a preview of the building at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, before an event for Iowa officials. A public open house will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 16 from noon to 4 p.m. More information, photographs and details at

The Global Youth Institute: Over 140 high school students from 22 states, and 4 countries will tackle future hunger issues. The World Food Prize Global Youth Institute will gather the best and brightest high school students from across the country, as well as from Bulgaria, Mexico, Russia and Serbia, to present research papers on food security and interact with global leaders in science, industry and policy.

These students will spend three days at the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, and aside from their academic experience, will also join in a food packaging service project, take part in a "hunger banquet" and tour cutting-edge research facilities. More information at

The Iowa Hunger Summit: Iowans united in fighting hunger. More than 500 people will unite in efforts to fight hunger at the Iowa Hunger Summit, which celebrates its 5th anniversary this year. The Iowa Hunger Summit is a grassroots event, free and open to the public, an event that gathers Iowa citizens fighting hunger for a day of workshops, keynote speakers and a Hunger Luncheon.

At the Hunger Luncheon, guests sample meals used by Iowa organizations in hunger-fighting efforts at home and abroad. Iowa Hunger Summit organizers also announce the annual data collected regarding the amount of food collected, money raised and volunteer hours donated to hunger relief by Iowans. 

This year's Iowa Hunger Summit will focus on efforts to provide healthy, local meals to people. Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide, will deliver the keynote address. Concern Worldwide is one of the few aid organizations that has been allowed access to the most affected areas in the Horn of Africa, and Arnold will discuss the work there, as well as the root causes of famine and how people can help. The event is held at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown Hotel. A full agenda and more information at

Other Public Events: There are a number of other events the public can attend that will be held during the World Food Prize week, some of them in Des Moines and some also in other areas of the state. They are as follows:

Tokyo String Quartet: The World Food Prize Foundation is delighted to present the Tokyo String Quartet, widely regarded as the premier string quartet in the world. As a gift to the community, there will be a special performance, free and open to the public, on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Temple for Performing Arts. Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP to

10th Annual Laureate Lecture Series: The World Food Prize will present a dozen lectures by World Food Prize laureates and other experts at college campuses across Iowa. All lectures are free and open to the public, with the goal of increasing the dialogue about food and agriculture issues. Please find a full schedule of lectures at


General Information: Information, updates, media contacts and news releases will be posted regularly from now until the end of the events at

Registration: Accredited members of the media are asked to register ahead of time at Registration is free, but members of the media are asked to pay the $35 for meals if they intend to eat at events.

On Site: A new press room has been set up on site this year, located on the first floor of the Des Moines Marriott Downtown. The room will be open to the media for use throughout the symposium; organizations may also hold press availability events or announcements there as well, and a press room schedule will be distributed and will also be posted in the press room.

Work tables for the press will also be available in the symposium ballrooms. Free wireless internet will be available on the first three levels of the hotel.

Social Media: @worldfoodprize will be posting on Twitter. We will use the hashtag #foodprize. We are also on Facebook at Also, 

@iahungersummit will also post throughout the Iowa Hunger Summit. We invite you to join the conversation.

Media Contact: Megan Forgrave, director of communications, can be reached at or 515-245-3794 (work) or 515-229-1705 (cell).

ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE:  The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the World Food Prize has honored outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions throughout the world. Thirty-five laureates have been recognized from Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the United States.


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