Chase Krug, a sophomore in agronomy, has learned the importance of the preservation and protection of the world's agricultural crop germplasm through the World Food Prize youth programs.
Chase became involved in the World Food Prize as a freshman in high school when he wrote an essay on plant science solutions to food insecurity issues in Peru and then participated in the Iowa Youth Institute (IYI) in 2015. After IYI, Chase received an acceptance letter to participate in the Global Youth Institute (GYI) later in 2015.
"At GYI, I had the opportunity to experience the Borlaug Dialogue, watch the Laureate Award Ceremony and meet world experts fighting food insecurity," said Chase. "This event drove my desire to remain involved with the World Food Prize and its renowned youth programs."
Chase continued to attend the IYI every year until he graduated in the spring of 2018. By continuously attending, Chase grew more eager to explore the complexities of agriculture as well as food insecurity.
In 2018, Chase applied for the Borlaug-Ruan Internship program where he was stationed at the World Vegetable Center - South Asia Office in Hyderabad, India.
"My internship in India was a phenomenal learning experience," said Chase. "I worked in the entomology lab on a project finding the mechanisms of resistance in mungbean seeds that prevent or deter egg laying and feeding from Bruchid beetles and larvae."
Chase explained that by participating in the World Food Prize youth programs he became passionate about the issue of preserving genetic diversity to ensure future generations have the tools to maintain a robust food supply.
"Genetic diversity will play a crucial role in the development of crops adapted to climate change and the production of food for the growing world population," said Chase. "To ensure these resources are available to plant breeders in the future, more funding for institutions that protect, preserve and distribute germplasm is needed. The replication of Dr. Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution in the 21st century will require the genetic diversity found in our agricultural crops."
Chase concluded by explaining how honored he was to be chosen as the recipient of the John Chrystal Award and that he plans to continue being involved in food insecurity and the World Food Prize.