Business & Policy
Members announced for Canada’s first-ever Agricultural Youth Council
By Stephanie Gordon
Canada’s first Agricultural Youth Council has been formed, allowing youth across Canada to inform the federal government’s priorities on agriculture.
The 25 young people who will make up the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council (CAYC) were chosen from more than 800 applications received, representing a diverse mix of subsectors from across the agriculture and agri-food sector, as well as from every province and the North.
As a consultative body to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council will have the opportunity to offer suggestions on government priorities, as well as identify problems and propose solutions on issues that matter most to them.
Council members will provide their insights on a variety of topics, which could include: how the sector is adapting to COVID-19, business risk management programs, sustainable agriculture, market diversification, skills and labour, intergenerational farm transfers, and mental health. The Council will meet multiple times annually, with a virtual inaugural meeting planned for August 2020.
“I’m looking forward to virtually meeting the members of the first-ever Canadian Agricultural Youth Council. Each of these young leaders will bring a unique experience and perspective to the table. Together, the members will help shape the future of Canada’s sustainable agricultural industry,” said Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau in a released statement.
The 25 members are: Gordon Bell, Jerry Bos, Vicki Brisson, B Pratyusha Chennupati, Andrea De Roo, Chantele Gouliquer, Marcus Grymonpré, Paul Hrycyk, Sameeha Jhetam, Brent Kobes, Samuel Lanctôt, Jessica Leung, Carling Matejka, Ila Matheson, Césarée Morier-Gxoyiya, Sarah Ouellette, Steven Paolitto, Guillaume Pasquier, Lauren Peters, Kayoki Post-Whiteduck, Colby Robertson, Rose Seguin, Easton Sellers, Sara Kate Smith, and Kalysha Snow.
Representing the potato industry
One of the council members, Colby Robertson, is a part of the Canadian potato industry and was recently featured in a Potatoes in Canada Tuber Talk podcast episode about his research on Potato Early Dying (PED) in Alberta. Robertson is originally from Carberry, Man. where he has taken on research roles with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and McCain Foods. Robertson then moved to Alberta to complete a two-year masters at the University of Lethbridge. Throughout his research into PED, he collaborated with the Potato Growers of Alberta, local processors and other potato industry members.
“The unique perspective I bring to the CAYC is developed from agricultural work experience in government, industry, and academia. Furthermore, I am bringing a perspective as the first agriculturalist in my family for several generations,” Robertson wrote in his council description.
I am happy to share that I was selected to be part of the first Canadian Agricultural Youth Council #CAYC.
My goals are to address #youthinag access to capital and succession planning to continue #sustainablefarming.#AbAg #CdnAg #FutureOfFood #AAFC #AgPolicy #foodproduction https://t.co/mpDobnzOZy
— Colby Robertson (@TuberAwesome) July 24, 2020
You can read more about each member of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council online.