Policy versus politics, Youth Ag Summit, and seeing more to ag than just farming — a LIVE! with Emmett Sawyer


Speak up and speak positively about not just agriculture, but also about the potential for careers in agriculture, and we’ll see more people take an interest, says young farmer and agriculture advocate Emmett Sawyer, of Acme, Alta.

In this LIVE! Q&A host Kara Oosterhuis and Sawyer unpack some of what is happening (slight pandemic interruptions aside) in terms of educational and networking opportunities in agriculture around the world.

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  • Fully online format at the University of Lethbridge, where Emmett is a third year student, professors trying to adapt classes, have to spend more time on assignments because students can’t ask questions in real-life, hard to talk to a brick wall though
  • Paying the same amount dollar wise, not learning as much, but can facilitate their schedule on their own time
  • AgThoughts with Emmett podcast. How did that start? Different goals: give thoughts on agriculture, politics, policy; bring a youth perspective; hosts other youth on his podcast to showcase
  • Speeches that last five to six minutes are so different from talking for a half hour
  • 4-H is the best for networking
  • In order to have a lively conversation, you need to have different perspectives
  • Brazil! Youth Ag Summit. Every 2 years, since 2013. Brings the brightest minds together.
  • Greenhouses on top of warehouses or malls…
  • How do we provide technology access to small-holder farms? Cell phone tech. Emmett had a lot of takeaways from Brazil. Big, big corporate farm tour.
  • The successful farms Emmett saw in Brazil efficiently integrated technology. Politics, profit margins are challenging in Brazil
  • N-fixing bacteria that could be inserted into a cotton plant or into rice, was a project that caught Emmett’s attention at this Youth Summit
  • Supply chain system dependent on the ripeness of a vegetable or fruit, was another
  • Having the conversation about Canadian agricultural practices, with people from other parts of the world
  • Most interesting international issue right now? Trade with China. Policy vs politics
  • Agriculture is deeply rooted in our policies and politics in Canada
  • Emmett has a lot of conversations with his parents about policy and politics, and markets. The Sawyers are active in boards and commissions and the environment he grew up in nurtured his interests
  • What will be the biggest blockade going forward for a young producer? Farm succession. Profit margins narrowing. Value-added products. Speaking up for agriculture. “There are blocks, but the way we’ve grown up, whenever there’s a challenge, we look at it as a positive rather than a negative”
  • Have a finance degree? Come join us in Agriculture!

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