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Agricultural Youth Council chosen, including U of G grad student


July 27, 2020
By Top Crop Manager

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A University of Guelph graduate student has been named a member of Canada’s first Agricultural Youth Council (AYC) to advise the federal government on agri-food issues that matter most to young people.

Gordon Bell was among 25 youths chosen for the council from more than 800 applicants. A graduate student in the Ontario Agricultural College, he studies soil health, including crop rotation, soil texture, climate change and water budgets in field crop production.

Each member of the new youth council was chosen to represent a subsector of the agriculture and agri-food sector, as well as each province and the North.

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The Canadian Agricultural Youth Council will advise Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), including making suggestions on federal government priorities, as well as identifying problems and proposing solutions on key issues.

In a news release, AAFC said the council is designed to give a voice to young Canadians who are engaged and passionate about the future of the agri-food sector.

“I’m looking forward to virtually meeting the members of the first-ever Canadian Agricultural Youth Council,” says Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food. “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.”

Bell is a scholar in the Climate Smart Soils program, which seeks to train students to address the challenges climate change will bring to agriculture.

He hopes to find ways to ensure that farmers receive support and incentives to adopt affordable and sustainable practices. He also wants to ensure that the agriculture industry is accessible to people of all backgrounds.

AAFC says youth council members will provide insights on a range of topics, including 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 the inaugural meeting to held virtually in August 2020.

For the complete list of the 25 youths chosen to be part of the council, visit the AYC website.