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The Murray Agriculture Education students have recently been exploring opportunities outside the classroom. The sophomore Plant Science class went to Graceland on Feb. 13, to participate in the Heartland Youth Institute. This Institute serves to encourage students to write a paper focused on Sustainable Solutions to World Hunger to be submitted to the Iowa Youth Institute.

The students also participated in community service at the Lamoni Food Pantry or Service Center. Once back together on campus, students heard from Nora Tobin from Self-Help International. This organization works to guide developing countries in implementing sustainable practices that leads to work and financial support for their locals. Self-Help International works mainly in Nicaragua and Ghana. Kelsey Tyrrell with the Iowa Youth Institute led the students in an interactive activity where they had to propose solutions to two nutrition programs in Bangladesh. The scenarios presented were real-life and gave the students a glance into what it will take future generations in order to feed the expected nine billion people on our planet by 2050.

If the students so choose, they may write a five-page paper discussing their chosen country and what strategies they would implement to help prevent poverty and malnutrition in that country. The deadline to submit the paper is March 26th. 

Further, students who attended the Heartland Youth Institute, complete a paper, and attend the Iowa Youth Institute in April in Ames are eligible for scholarships up to $2,000 to Graceland University or $500 to Iowa State University. More information can be found at www.worldfoodprize.org

Another recent trip the Murray Agriculture students have embarked on was a tour of Altec in Osceola. The Agricultural Mechanics class was led through a tour of the manufacturing floor by Jeff Blettner, manufacturing engineer, on Feb. 15. Jeff led the students through a tour of the plant, demonstrating the process the company uses to fabricate and manufacture bodies and beds of service vehicles. They provide products for companies such as AT&T, Alliant Energy and more.

Jeff explained how the metal components are cut-out, welded, and formed. He then led the students through the fiberglass formation of bed components. Students were able to see the entire process from cutting of the steel, molding and painting of the fiberglass, installation of hardware, to final assembly. Students were also able to see the designers utilize the software that designs each custom product.

To wrap up the tour, Susan Miller with Human Resources of Altec, discussed career and job shadowing opportunities with the students.

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