I had the incredible opportunity this spring to travel to five different countries as a Nuffield Canada Scholar. My feet were getting itchy again this week as I was paying attention to the other side of the world. This past week in Canberra, Australia 100 young people gathered together at the Youth Ag Summit. They were there to "discuss ideas, develop a vision and deliver action" on the challenge of feeding the world's growing population.
I felt connected to those 100 delegates. We have a lot in common. We are eager to network on an international level. We want to share our stories. And we are passionate about the future of agriculture and food.
I followed the tweets and updates from #YouthAgSummit with great attention. It was wonderful to see the excitement from the various delegates and to get glimpses about what the group was discussing. In particular, I felt an even greater commonality with the delegates when I saw their selections for the top 5 themes they were to focus on:
Are there any two better ways to secure the future of the agri-food sector than Education and Careers?
I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for what these young people do in the agri-food sector in the future. I can't wait to get some more information on how they think we should communicate to others about agriculture careers. Who knows? Maybe we have some of the same ideas. Or maybe they have some innovative methods which can help to inform my Nuffield research.
One of the most exciting things about these themes is that the visions and plans developed by the delegates will be taken forward to the UN in the form of a declaration. Talk about carrying the plan forward!
Hopefully everyone at the Youth Ag Summit had a tremendous time. You will all be true ambassadors for agri-food in the future!
I was raised as the seventh generation on a mixed livestock farm near Guelph, Ontario. Currently I am living in the beautiful Okanagan region of BC, where my husband works for Blue Mountain Winery. I maintain my close ties to Ontario agriculture through my job with AgScape (Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc.) and hope to bring a national, and global perspective to agricultural issues.