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Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture 2012 Competition First-Place Winners from Ontario

CYSA Announces Winners of 28th Annual Competition at 90th Anniversary of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

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The 28th annual Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition (CYSA) held this past weekend at the 90th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair was a platform for youth from across Canada to share their passion about various topics pertaining to Canadian agriculture. The competition was held on Nov. 3, 2012.

This year both junior and senior category first-place winners just so happen to be from Ontario. Lydia Harrison of Durham, Ontario was the senior winner and Dasha Metropolitansky of Oakville, Ontario was named the junior winner of CYSA. Harrison spoke about farmer’s biggest opportunities and Metropolitansky won her category with her speech about the importance of water for agriculture and globalization.

Every year, the CYSA chooses five topics that contestants in both the junior and senior divisions can choose to write a five-to-seven minute speech about. The following were this year’s topics:

• Does supply management belong in Canadian agriculture?
• A national food policy: challenges and opportunities for Canada
• The main things people need to know about farming today are …
• Here are farmers’ biggest opportunities
• The importance of water for agriculture and globalization

The top three senior finalists in the competition were Elizabeth Schouten of Kanata, Ontario who was declared runner-up and spoke on the topic “does supply management belong in Canadian agriculture?” The third place winner Victoria Blakely of Riverview, New Brunswick spoke about the main things people need to know about farming today are…

Both category winners receive cash prices, with the senior winner receiving $1,000 and the junior winner receiving $500. The  winners also received a framed print which was donated by John Deere Canada.

The CYSA competition wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of many sponsors. This year, sponsors included: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and 4-H Canada. Additional 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.

The CYSA competition was first held in 1985 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in the International Year of the Youth at which time it became a premier public speaking event for Canadian youth who were interested in agriculture. The competition is truly a national competition and the event allows contestants to speak in both official languages if they so choose.