SIX young Australians have returned from the Global Youth Ag Summit in Calgary, Canada where they discussed potential agricultural solutions for feeding a hungry planet.
The summit, which ran from August 19 to 25, involved 118 youth from 22 countries and was co-hosted by 4-H Canada and Bayer CropScience Canada as an opportunity for youth around the world to develop a strategy in response to predicted population growth and food shortage issues in developing nations.
The Australian representatives at the summit were selected and supported by Future Farmers Network (FFN) and Bayer CropScience.
Georgie Aley, chair of FFN, said the event allowed delegates to establish a targeted outcome for common problems.
“This is a good opportunity for Australia to become further involved in global collaboration where we can identify a targeted solution for the common problems we share with other developed countries,” Ms Aley said.
Ms Aley was elected to the Global Youth Ag Summit board of directors along with South Australian delegate Corbin Schuster where they will both be responsible for driving the vision, implementing the strategy and delivering the next Summit in 2015.
“It was a privilege to attend the summit and a great experience to network with different people from around the world who share a similar passion,” Mr Schuster said.
Despite their different backgrounds, Mr Schuster said all participants at the event agreed on one vision; to alleviate global hunger by increasing sustainable access to nutrientdense food for women and children world-wide.
“We found that sometimes the solution doesn’t have to be particularly sophisticated to be successful so now we’ll focus on laying the framework down that can help us achieve that solution,” he added.
Bayer CropScience and 4-H Canada continued their support for a solution by donating $20,000 each to the Global Youth Ag Summit to support the elected board of directors to roll out their strategy and establish the next Summit.
Steve Bitter, market development manager for SeedGrowthTM at Bayer CropScience and a 2013 summit mentor said Bayer was proud to support the ongoing work of the Global Youth Ag Summit.
"We look forward to the strategy being implemented by the promising agricultural graduates and professionals that attended the event,” he said.
The delegates will now prepare a travel report based on their learning experience that will help Bayer and FFN work with the board of directors to identify a plan of action for Australia. For more information on the Youth Ag Summit and the delegates that attended visit www.youthagsummit.com.