And the 2017 Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture winners are...


The 33rd Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition took place this past weekend at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

27 competitors, ranging in age from 11 to 24, shared speeches in the senior and junior categories.

“This is another exciting year for the competition for two reasons: this is the first we’ve had so many juniors participating and it marks another year where participants from all ten of Canada’s
provinces are competing,” noted Ted Young, CYSA board chair.

The winner in the senior category was Lois Schultz of Wetaskiwin, Alberta. First runner-up was Maria Clemotte of Nanaimo, BC, with Jennifer Betzner of Lynden, Ontario named second runner-up.

Rosemund Ragetly of Winnipeg, Manitoba was named junior champion. The runner-up prizes were awarded to Quentin Albrecht of Holden, Alberta and William Orr of Howick, Quebec.

Each competitor addressed one of five topics in a five-to-seven minute speech:

  • 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?

For anyone considering entering in 2018, the topics for next year were announced after the event:

  • 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?

Find out more about the CYSA program here.

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