Young speakers event draws a crowd

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They weren’t able to attend in person, but there was a record number of entrants in this year’s edition of the Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture competition.

It was the second virtual edition of the event for youth aged 11 to 24 who are passionate about agriculture and want to share that passion.

“Youth from around the province delivered a clear message about resiliency in agriculture during the sixth annual Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture,” the organization said in a release.

Participants had a choice of five topics:

  • How a global pandemic changed Canadian agriculture — or has it?
  • What it means to be a woman in agriculture in 2021
  • Food waste, food security and food policy: What is agriculture’s/aquaculture’s role?
  • Canadian aquaculture: Opportunities in a growing industry
  • Does a changing climate mean opportunities or headaches for Canadian agriculture?

The winner of the senior competition won $1,000 and the junior winner won $500, with prizes ranging from $150 to $500 for runners-up and honourable mentions.

Christopher Mills of Taber was the junior event winner with Jason Price of Acme and Austin Noirot of Caroline the runners-up. Alyson Katerenchuk from Smoky Lake County was senior event winner with Sarah Strick of Blackie and Riley Sharp of Lacombe finishing as runners-up.

Both Katerenchuk and Mills will be invited to participate in the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture event. Their winning entries will be printed in upcoming editions of Alberta Farmer.

The competitors showed there are a lot of great orators in our future, said junior event judge Cathy MacKenzie.

“The youth in this competition took the gumption to step forward, prepare and share their speeches with us and for this they need to be applauded for their courage,” added senior event judge Rob Smith.

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