Young Aussie farm­ers set to take their place at third Youth Ag-Sum­mit

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - NEWS -

YOUNG Aus­tralian lead­ers in agri­cul­ture are in­vited to join other thought lead­ers from around the world to at­tend the third Global Youth Agri­cul­ture Sum­mit ( YAS) that will take place in Bel­gium next year.

Against a back­drop of in­creas­ing dis­con­nec­tion be­tween young peo­ple and farm­ing, and a world pop­u­la­tion that is fore­cast to soar to 10 bil­lion by 2050, vi­sion­ary think­ing, a long- term ap­proach, and cre­ativ­ity are ur­gently needed to de­velop so­lu­tions to en­able the next gen­er­a­tion of food pro­duc­ers to face global farm­ing chal­lenges.

Bayer to­gether with two Bel­gian young farm­ers as­so­ci­a­tions, Groene Kring and Fédéra­tion des Je­unes Agricul­teurs, are invit­ing young peo­ple to ap­ply to at­tend the YAS in Brus­sels, Bel­gium which will take place on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 9 to Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 13, 2017.

About 100 young del­e­gates from around the world will share ideas, de­velop so­lu­tions and en­gage in an open dis­cus­sion on one of the world’s most chal­leng­ing ques­tions - How do we feed a hun­gry planet sus­tain­ably?

To ap­ply, young peo­ple aged 18 to 25 are asked to sub­mit an es­say on the un­der­ly­ing causes of food in­se­cu­rity and the ef­fect it can have on a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion.

The es­say ques­tion is based on the UN Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals.

Abil­ity to demon­strate orig­i­nal ideas and pas­sion to help shape the fu­ture will be the key se­lec­tion cri­te­ria for the YAS.

Es­say ap­pli­ca­tions will be ac­cepted on­line and close on Jan­uary 13, 2017.

In 2015, del­e­gates from 33 coun­tries de­liv­ered the Can­berra Youth Ag- Dec­la­ra­tion, an ac­tion- ori­ented plan with rec­om­men­da­tions on how youth can have the max­i­mum im­pact on global food security, which was tabled at the United Na­tions Com­mit­tee on World Food Security in Rome af­ter­wards.

Past alumni Aus­tralian del­e­gate Laura Grubb said the 2015 sum­mit was packed with ac­tion­able out­comes for all at­ten­dees which re­sulted in a sup­port­ive group who con­tinue to col­lab­o­rate and sup­port each other.

“Af­ter en­ter­ing the work­force ear­lier this year, I found that YAS was well re­ceived by peo­ple in the in­dus­try and the pres­tige of this event will only con­tinue to grow,” she said.

“YAS has al­lowed me to take home many new ideas and ini­tia­tives on food security and sus­tain­abil­ity and I would en­cour­age all young Aussies who are pas­sion­ate about feed­ing a hun­gry planet to ap­ply,” Ms Grubb added.

The YAS’ long-term goal is to in­spire del­e­gates to not just think, but to act, and ac­tion is clearly needed to im­prove young peo­ple’s knowl­edge about agri­cul­ture, since many young peo­ple are dis­con- nected from farm­ing and give lit­tle thought to where their food comes from.

Bayer ini­ti­ated a ma­jor study to as­sess young peo­ple’s agri­cul­tural lit­er­acy in 11 coun­tries in 2015.

The Youth Agri­cul­ture Lit­er­acy Study re­vealed that the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of young peo­ple had no idea when crops were ripe or were har­vested.

Less than a quar­ter of young peo­ple around the world were aware that wax is an an­i­mal prod­uct.

In Great Bri­tain only al­most a quar­ter cor­rectly an­swered that wine grapes are ripe in au­tumn and ev­ery other US young­ster didn’t know that spices are dried plants.

Fur­ther­more, the study demon­strated that a higher level of ed­u­ca­tion does not mean a higher level of agri­cul­tural lit­er­acy.

Bayer head of busi­ness af­fairs & com­mu­ni­ca­tions and la­bor direc­tor Bernd Naaf said the com­pany is com­mit­ted to en­cour­ag­ing young peo­ple to learn about agri­cul­ture and to in­spire the next gen­er­a­tion of ag vi­sion­ar­ies.

“With ini­tia­tives like the 2017 Youth Ag- Sum­mit, agri­cul­tural schol­ar­ships and ex­per­i­men­tal learn­ing at our stu­dent labs and on­line, we want to en­cour­age young peo­ple to learn more about sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture and food sup­ply whereby the vi­tal role of science and in­no­va­tion is high­lighted,” he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www. youthag­sum­mit. com.

YOUNG DEL­E­GATES: Laura Grubb and her fel­low del­e­gates de­liv­ered the Can­berra Youth Ag-Dec­la­ra­tion at last year’s sum­mit.

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