Younger aggies sought for new Canada-wide council

Application deadline Feb. 14 for new youth council

(Screengrab from Canadian Agricultural Youth Council video via YouTube)

Twentysomethings and 18- and 19-year-olds who are working in Canadian agriculture and agri-food and “interested in shaping the future of the sector” are being sought for a new federal ag policy advisory council.

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau on Friday launched the application process for membership in a new Canadian Agricultural Youth Council, setting the deadline for the first round of applications at Feb. 14. First-round applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 as of Jan. 1, 2020.

The council, once formed, is expected to meet twice a year, with additional meetings to be held online, providing a forum for members to work with Bibeau and “experienced public servants and national organizations.”

Council members, the government said, “will also have the opportunity to participate at roundtables and discussions, as well as in important government and industry events.”

Members would advise on “new and emerging issues that matter most to the sector” and enable “ongoing dialogue on food-related challenges and opportunities.”

They would also advise on “the strengths and weaknesses of policies and programs affecting the agriculture and agri-food sectors” and “share information and best practices.”

“The young women and men in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector have a valuable perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing them,” Bibeau said in a release Friday, adding the country “need(s) to bring the voices of these young women and men to the table and ensure that they take part in the decisions that affect their future.”

The government, on its application website, emphasized council members need not be actively farming, but should have “some background or experiences in the farming and/or food industry.”

“Whether you’re a young farmer taking over the family farm, a student considering a career in agriculture, or someone working in the food and beverage sector, we’re looking for a diverse group of people from across the country who are passionate about sharing their ideas,” the government said.

“Agriculture,” for the council’s purposes, includes not just on-farm activities but “processing and value added transformation of agriculture and food products.”

For applicants, assets would include “experience in addressing food-related opportunities and challenges” and “credibility among the agriculture and food industry, youth organizations, Indigenous organizations/communities and/or academia.”

“I need to hear your perspective, I need to understand better your reality, and what is your vision for the future of agriculture,” Bibeau said in a video on the council’s website. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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