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David Schladt, Plant Transformation Facility, (515) 294-8832, or (515) 292-8894
Stephen Howell, Plant Sciences Institute, (515) 294-5267
Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778


AMES, Iowa -- The Plant Sciences Institute at Iowa State University and the World Food Prize have awarded the first Borlaug Internship to David Schladt.

The internship provides an experience in international food production systems or human nutrition. It is named for Nobel laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug, who is an Iowa native.

Schladt, Plattsmouth, Neb., graduated from Iowa State University in May and will leave July 2 for an eight-week internship at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico.

"We're pleased that we can work with the World Food Prize to offer an internship with an such a valuable emphasis on international agriculture," said Plant Sciences Institute Director Stephen Howell. "The internship has been designed to introduce interns to real-world research, community or field experiences that are involved in international development and food production."

The Borlaug Internship will be offered annually for a qualified ISU junior, senior or recent graduate. The Plant Sciences Institute and World Food Prize will work with Iowa State's College of Agriculture's International Agriculture program office to select applicants.

Schladt earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural biochemistry with a minor in Spanish in May. For the past three years, he has worked as a laboratory assistant in the Plant Sciences Institute's Center for Plant Transformation and Gene Expression, performing plant genetic transformation of corn and soybeans.

CIMMYT scientists conduct research on maize and wheat that will impact people in developing countries. Schladt will work in CIMMYT's applied biotechnology center, doing genetic transformation in maize that will be grown in Africa.

In September, he will enter the Peace Corps to teach secondary chemistry and physics in Africa.

"I truly hope to learn a lot by working at CIMMYT, not just about maize transformation, but also about the role of CIMMYT and the United Nations in fighting hunger in general. I want to see firsthand what they're doing," Schladt said.

Borlaug Interns will be honored at World Food Prize activities held each year in October. They will have the opportunity to meet and interact with past and present World Food Prize laureates.

The World Food Prize recognizes the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The prize emphasizes the importance of a nutritious and sustainable food supply for all people. By honoring those who have worked successfully toward this goal, the prize calls attention to what has been done to improve the world food supply and to what can be accomplished in the future.

While working on agricultural research scientist at CIMMYT in the 1940s, Norman Borlaug developed new wheat varieties and improved crop management practices that transformed agricultural production in Mexico and later in Asia and Latin America. His work sparked what today is known as the "Green Revolution." Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for a lifetime of work to feed a hungry world.

Headquartered in Mexico, CIMMYT is a non-profit organization with offices in 17 countries. CIMMYT researchers have collaborated with faculty at Iowa State on research related to conservation of maize genetic resources, genetic resistance in maize to insect pests and other projects.


Note to editors: A downloadable print-quality photo of David Schladt is available at http://www.public.iastate.edu/~nscentral/photos.html.

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