Alberta Youths Win Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture Competition awards

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Lois Schultz from Wetaskiwin, Alta. is the senior champion of the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture (CYSA) Competition, and Quentin Albrecht from Holden, Alta., placed first runner-up in the junior division.

Senior Champion Lois Schultz

The 2017 competition took place Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

The 33rd edition of CYSA welcomed 27 competitors, aged 11 to 24, from across Canada who offered their insights and solutions regarding the following topics:

  • Working in agriculture is more than just farming.
  • Does digital farming have a place in the future of Canadian agriculture?
  • Farm gate to dinner plate: The importance of food traceability for Canadian consumers.
  • How will we feed 9 billion people by 2050?
  • Food waste: What is the global impact and who is responsible for making a change?

Other winners included senior first runner-up Maria Clemotte from Nanaimo, B.C. and second runner-up Jennifer Betzner of Lynden, Ont. Junior champion was Rosemund Ragetli from Winnipeg, Man. while second runner-up in the junior division was William Orr from Howick, Que.

Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture is a national, bilingual competition that provides a platform for participants to share their opinions, ideas and concerns about the Canadian agri-food industry in a five- to seven-minute prepared speech.

Canada’s youth are already preparing for the 2018 competition. Topics were announced following the seniors final round, and they are:

  • My view on diversity in Canadian agriculture.
  • Canadian agriculture needs more people – and this is how we’re going to get them.
  • What is sustainability and why does it matter to Canadian agriculture?
  • The next big thing in Canadian agriculture is: _______
  • How can we educate urban populations about where our food comes from and the industry standards involved?

Each year, the renowned public speaking competition is held at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. The competition is open to youth ages 11 to 24 with a passion for agriculture, whether raised on a farm, in the country or in the city.

Since the first competition held at the Royal Winter Fair in honour of the International Year of the Youth in 1985, it has gone on to become the premier public speaking event in Canada for young people interested in agriculture, with more than 950 participants over the years.

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