Young Alum of the Month: Jacob Hunter

Jacob Hunter
Title and Company: 
Director of Iowa Education at the World Food Prize Foundation
DeWitt, IA
Major and Graduation Date: 
B.S. Agricultural and Life Sciences Education – Teacher Certification, 2011
Major Job/Position Responsibilities: 

My job requires me to multifaceted and focused. As a director, I manage the Iowa youth programs of the World Food Prize. The major event I plan is the Iowa Youth Institute held annually at Iowa State University. Over 175 Iowa different high schools have attended with students and teachers. While at the conference the high school students engage and network with leaders in science, industry and policy while presenting their original research papers. The students also network with other student leaders from across the state and visit different laboratories and classrooms on Iowa State’s campus. This event requires planning and coordination among several partners throughout the year. I also devote my time to recruiting teachers and students to participate in our youth programs. This includes classrooms visits across the state, presenting to teacher organizations, and implementing a communications outreach plan.

I also assist with planning the annual Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium in fall. This includes coordination and communication between the symposium and the youth programs at the events.

What you like most about your job/position: 

What I really enjoy about my job is that I help all classrooms in Iowa engage in the greatest challenge in human history, feeding 9 billion people by 2050. This is such a monumental challenge and I am feel privileged that I get to enable the youth of Iowa to take on this challenge. It is so inspiring to see students aspire for and accomplish great feats on a daily basis.

What advice would you give to current students: 

Ask the questions: “What do you want out of life? What are you willing to do to get it?”  My agriculture teacher asked these two questions on my first day of high school. Pretty big questions for a freshman, but they helped guide me through my life. Challenge yourself by setting big goals and do what it takes to reach your dreams. Having a personal mission encourages you to stay focused when you hit roadblocks.

Study abroad: Studying abroad through CALS changed my life. As a service learner through the Uganda program, I was able to experience firsthand the global world we live in. Working in the Kamuli district taught me that there are so many opportunities to help others in the world. It really inspired me to follow my career path and drives me to do better each day.

Favorite ISU class?
Hort 282: Educating Youth through Horticulture

I really enjoyed this class because it taught me how to engage different audiences through practical, real life education programs. I learned how to differentiate my message depending on what audience I am communicating with or teaching. Additionally, the class combined my love of education with plants. Hort 282 is only offered on even years in the spring semester, so you have to plan ahead to be a part of this exceptional course.