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Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition announces 2019 winners

November 6, 2019  By Top Crop Manager

Ellie Stauffer from Alberta was the senior winner for this year's Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture Competition. Photos courtesy of CYSA.

The Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture (CYSA) Competition announced the winners of the 2019 competition which took place Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

This year’s senior champion was Ellie Stauffer from Alberta; first runner-up was Anika O’Neill from New Brunswick; second runner-up was Julie French from Ontario.

The junior champion was Ryley Mappin from Alberta; first runner-up was Caitlin Riordon from New Brunswick; second runner-up was Xinye Zhu from Ontario.


The 34th edition of CYSA welcomed 39 competitors, aged 11 to 24, from across Canada who offered their insights and solutions regarding the following topics:

  • How can aquaculture support the earth’s growing population?
  • Food fraud: Do you know what you’re eating?
  • Are GMOs the solution to food security?
  • The benefits and challenges of adopting new technologies on the farm.
  • Canada first: Can Canadian agriculture survive in an age of increased protectionism and globalization?
  • What does the next generation of agriculture bring to the table?
  • Bust a common myth in Canadian agriculture.

Ryley Mappin from Alberta was the junior champion.

“The young speakers that take the stage at our annual competition certainly have some things to say,” said CYSA president April Stewart, “and they say it all with such insight, passion, polish and articulation; all backed by incredible amounts of research, not to mention the dedicated hours that go in to practicing their speeches. They are truly inspirational and should be on Canadian agriculture’s ‘ones to watch’ list!”

“This year’s competition was one the largest we have hosted,” said CYSA chair Ted Young. “We were very pleased to see a marked growth in applications for the Junior competition, which had a total of 24 speakers from across Canada. All speakers share a high-level communications skill set complemented by a passion for agriculture.”

In the coming weeks, presentation videos will be shared online at and through the organization’s social channels.

CYSA also announced a new competition to be launched in 2020: a business presentation product. Designed to emulate the real workplace experience of presenting an idea to a group of stakeholders, contestants will be required to research, analyze and summarize an issue and “pitch” their results as a team to a panel of judges. More information will be available in the spring.

Each year the renowned public speaking competition is held at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (a Platinum sponsor of CYSA) in Toronto. The competition is open to youth ages 11 to 24 with a passion for agriculture whether raised on a farm, in the country or in the city.

Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture is a national, bilingual competition that provides a platform for participants to share their opinions, ideas and concerns about the Canadian agrifood industry in a five- to seven-minute prepared speech.


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