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Clear Lake student, FFA member participates in Global Youth Institute

Schuchard presentation

Clear Lake High School senior Riley Schuchard, who is involved in the district's agriculture and FFA programs, spoke about her participation in the Global Youth Institute on Tuesday at the Clear Lake Board of Education meeting. She researched and presented on water and sanitation in Ghana. 

A Clear Lake High School senior participated in the Global Youth Institute last week.

Riley Schuchard, a high school senior, participated in the virtual week-long event hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation.

Schuchard, one of more than 2,000 high school students invited to participate in the Global Youth Institute, shared her experience with the Clear Lake Board of Education Tuesday.

“I really want to thank the school for giving me this opportunity and Ms. Russ for helping me along the way,” she said. “It’s been a great experience.”

The Global Youth Institute was held in conjunction with the foundation’s virtual 2020 Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium Oct. 12-16.

Students of the Global Youth Institute participated in presentations and discussions on the topics of climate change, equity and access, nutrition and finance and investment.

Each year, the World Food Prize Youth Institutes convene high school students, teachers and experts to explore and solve local, national and global hunger and food security issues. In order to be a part of the Iowa Youth Institute, students research and write a paper on a global challenge related to hunger and food insecurity.

Schuchard’s researched, wrote and presented on water and sanitation in Ghana.

She is involved in Clear Lake’s agriculture education and FFA, formerly Future Farmers of America, programs.

Elisa Russ-Clear Lake FFA-Q&A

Elisa Russ, leader of the Clear Lake Schools' new agriculture leadership program, talks with Charlie and Louise Norris at the Cerro Gordo County Farm Bureau's Dinner at the Farm event last fall.

Clear Lake Superintendent Doug Gee said Clear Lake’s FFA program under Elisa Russ-Poggemiller has more than 90 students.

“Ninety-one kids at any school our size is a phenomenal number and she’s done it in her second year,” he said.

The district launched its new agriculture and FFA programs last fall, and since then, both have grown.

The programs had 50 members in their first semester and 78 in their second.

Gee said skills, like speaking in front of a group, that Schuchard demonstrated in her presentation to the school board is also why the district wanted to establish the programs within the district.

"Thank you for what you’re doing,” he said to Russ-Poggemiller. “It’s been a really neat thing.”

Ashley Stewart covers Clear Lake and arts and entertainment in North Iowa for the Globe Gazette. You can reach her at or by phone at 641-421-0533. Follow Ashley on Twitter at GGastewart.


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