College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Iowa State students part of global challenge to reduce food insecurity

Olivia Reicks and Trey Forsyth want to be part of the solution to end world hunger. It’s a daunting task considering that it will take a 70 percent increase in food production by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing global population, but that only serves as motivation for the two Iowa State University undergraduates.

Reicks, a junior majoring in supply chain management and business economics, and Forsyth, a sophomore majoring in ag business and agriculture and society, have different ideas on how to achieve food security. They will spend the next semester developing their concepts into a workable solution for the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security fellowship.

Reicks and Forsyth are learning there’s no single solution to end world hunger, and they’re reminded by their mentors that it doesn’t take a massive initiative to have an impact.

“If the problems were easy, they would be solved by now,” said Kurt Rosentrater, Reicks’ mentor and an assistant professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State. “There are so many ways to make small changes that could result in big differences. There’s a lot of grain wasted, and if you can do some small things to make big changes, it can potentially make a big difference in a lot of people’s lives.”

Having worked on other international development projects in Africa, Rosentrater knows that failure is part of the equation. He and Cummings are there to help guide the students so that when they hit a road bump it doesn’t derail the project. That shouldn’t be a problem. Both Forsyth and Reicks know that given the circumstances, giving up is not an option.

For the original ISU News Service story, click here.