Canadian Agricultural Youth Council Meets for the First Time
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, participated in the inaugural meeting of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council, where she invited the 25 members who were selected from over 800 applicants from across the country to share their perspectives on the future of the sector. As the whole government is working to develop a green economic recovery plan, Minister Bibeau wants young people to be able to share their aspirations. Over the course of the meetings, their perspectives will help to articulate Canada's vision and the programs that will result from it, leading to a sustainable and prosperous agriculture and agri-food sector.
Canada's agricultural sector is an important driver of economic growth, responsible for one in eight jobs in Canada. The sector contributes over $143 billion to our gross domestic product and over $66 billion in agri-food exports.
Earlier this year, Minister Bibeau announced the creation of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council to help bolster Canada's strong agenda for agriculture and agri-food and continue to build diversity across the agricultural sector.
Discussions at the inaugural meeting focused on various issues, including the future of the sector, sustainable agriculture, rural vitality, skills and labour, and mental health. Over the coming months, the Council will also meet with policy leaders, as well as senior departmental officials.
Members will have the opportunity to offer suggestions on Government priorities, as well as to identify problems and propose solutions on a wide range of important issues, all while developing leadership skills and building professional relationships. They will help advise the Minister and the Department on agriculture-related policies and programs that are important to them.
See the full list of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council members.
"Young Canadians in the agriculture and agri-food sector are engaged and passionate. The Youth Council is a significant opportunity for them to be heard and to influence the future of the sector. As the first woman federal Minister of Agriculture, I am increasing the opportunities to give a voice to young people and women, whose contributions are essential to our economic growth and to the vitality of our regions," said Bibeau.
Council members were announced in July and represent a diverse mix of representatives from across the agriculture and agri-food sector, as well as from every province and the North.
Youth who applied and were not selected may be contacted to participate in other forums with the Minister and the Department in the future.
The application process included a series of questions on each candidate's experience in the agriculture and agri-food sector, a short essay on a significant issue facing youth in the sector and how they proposed to address it. Stay tuned for updates on the Council and other ag industry news.