The Youth Leadership and Mentorship Program connects young farmers with industry mentors
By Diego Flammini
Five Saskatchewan farmers are participating in Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan’s (APAS) Youth Leadership and Mentorship Program.
Sarah Leguee of Weyburn and Madison Englot of Indian Head are two of the participants in this year’s program.
APAS started the mentorship program in 2014 for producers between the ages of 18 and 40.
Participants are paired up with a farm leader over the age of 40, attend APAS meetings, the organization’s annual general meeting and at times, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s annual general meeting in Ottawa.
Ian Boxall, vice president of APAS, is a former mentee and is the mentor for this year’s participants.
Englot, 24, works as a territory sales rep and helps out on her family’s grain farm.
The opportunity to gain knowledge from others in the industry is part of what drew her to the program.
“Any experience I can get off-farm is a huge asset to what we do (in the fields) and in my day-to-day job,” she told Farms.com. “The experience I’ll get from this program is second to none so I’m thankful to be involved with it.”
One area Englot wants to learn more about is ag policy.
Agricultural policy needs to reflect farmers’ needs at the farm level, she said.
“There’s so much at the farm level to worry about and I think there’s a disconnect between the farm and policymakers,” she said. “We need better representation to make sure ag policies are a good fit for farmers at the farm level.”
Sarah Leguee is looking forward to working with members of the non-partisan organization.
Different sectors of the ag industry may be looking for different things. But supporting farmers as a whole is important, she said.
“I think between crops and livestock there’s lots of different groups,” she said. “I’m hoping to be involved with APAS in the capacity of having one voice for all of Saskatchewan agriculture.”
Leguee is also hoping to gain more policy experience.
Understanding ag policy and the decisions behind it will help her make decisions on the farm, she said.
“Going forward, ag policy can really affect what we do as farmers,” she said. “I think it’s good to have some involvement with it because if we don’t, people who don’t farm are going to be making the decisions for us.”
The other mentees are Glen Mulholland of Strasbourg, Cody Tataryn of Ituna and Brett Spray from Preeceville.