BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — Honors students at SDSU now have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of food insecurity.

SDSU was one of 14 universities around the country to receive the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant for higher education. With this grant, the Justice Challenge is being introduced to campus, giving students of all majors a chance to learn more about topics related to agriculture, food and environmental sciences.

Students in the SDSU honor college are getting the chance to explore agricultural topics with students across the country.

“This cohort of students will be exploring the theme of food justice. So that can tackle topics such as food insecurity, food safety, how do we know where our next meal is coming from is that quality, what are the hardships that some people in our communities are having in finding those healthy and nutritious food options,” said Rebecca Bott-Knutson Dean of the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College

Students will take these topics and participate in different activities throughout the academic year. Last year, human biology sophomore Jacob Spreng had the opportunity to attend the food hackathon, which will be included in this new program.

“Going from this food hackathon, I really started spreading out into different fields of study and it’s just really interesting to solve on some wicked problems they are introducing,” said Spreng.

And that’s the goal of this program: to expand students’ knowledge of other fields of study.

“The types of issues that we are exploring will challenge our participants to think in a systems format,” said Bott-Knutson. “These are the 21st-century professional skills that we need most in our future graduates.”

Giving students like Spreng skills they will use throughout the rest of their lives.

“This will definitely be beneficial for me in the future because it will prepare me more for even more problems that I can go upon and solve or assist to solve. It will also give action for other students for them to actually take action instead of talk upon the problem,” said Spreng.

SDSU honors students will begin the program in the fall and will have the opportunity to travel to different schools around the country. Applications for the program open in February.