Olivia Reicks and Trey Forsyth.

Olivia Reicks and Trey Forsyth.

A couple of Iowa State University students are taking part in an initiative to alleviate world hunger that will take them to Africa this summer.

Olivia Reicks and Trey Forsyth are spending this semester developing their ideas after joining just eight other students in the country selected for the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security fellowship.

Forsyth, a sophomore from Charles City, says increasing food production to meet the demands of a growing global population is a complex problem and there’s not just one right answer. “But, finding a solution here and seeing where it can be implemented and how it can be changed to fit the different needs of different places around the world is the biggest challenge and the thing I’m most excited about tackling,” Forsyth says.

Reicks, a junior from Lawler majoring in supply chain management and business economics, says there’s a tremendous amount of food waste in developing countries due to transportation problems, poor infrastructure or insect infestation. “The United States has the technology to stop this food from being wasted,” Reicks says. “That’s what I’m trying to bring over into Africa — better storage, so we can keep the pests out, and better distribution to get the food where it needs to go before it spoils.” Forsyth and Reicks will spend the summer interning at Land O’Lakes Inc., which includes a two-week trip to Africa to see the problems first-hand. That will be followed by a week in Washington, D.C., to learn about policy.

Photo by Christopher Gannon, ISU News Service