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Winners named in Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition

November 5, 2012, Toronto, ON - Lydia Harrison of Durham, Ontario and Dasha Metropolitansky of Oakville, Ontario, have been named this year's first-place winners in the 28th annual Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition.

The competition took place Saturday, November 3, 2012, at the Royal Winter Fair.

Harrison took first place in the senior competition for her speech about farmers' biggest opportunities. Metropolitansky won the junior category for her speech about the importance of water for agriculture and globalization.

In the senior competition, the first runner-up was Elizabeth Schouten of Kanata, Ontario, followed by Victoria Blakely of Riverview, New Brunswick. The other senior finalists were Christopher MacFarlane of Peterborough, Morgan McNeil of Hantsport, Nova Scotia and Mackenna Roth of Delaware, Ontario. In total, 19 competitors from four provinces took part in the senior competition.

In the junior competition, first runner-up was Maxwell Archer of Mount Pleasant, Ontario, followed by Zackery Walker of Thomasburg, Ontario. The junior competition drew eight competitors.

Finalists in both the junior and senior division receive cash prizes, with the senior champion receiving $1,000 and the junior champion receiving $500.

Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture is a national, bilingual competition that gives participants an opportunity to share their opinions, ideas and concerns about the Canadian agri-food industry in a five- to seven-minute prepared speech.

Since the first competition was held at the Royal Winter Fair in honour of the International Year of the Youth in 1985, it has gone on to become the premier public speaking event in Canada for young people interested in agriculture.

The Canadian Young Speaker for Agriculture is jointly sponsored by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and 4-H Canada. Addition support is provided by Becker Underwood, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, City of Guelph, Farm Business Communications, Farm Credit Canada, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative, Gordon Maxwell legal counsel, Hampton Inn and Suites (Toronto Airport), John Deere Canada, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, RBC Royal Bank, Royal Winter Fair and Syngenta Crop Protection Canada.