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Looking for tomorrow’s ag leaders

Looking for tomorrow’s ag leaders

Bayer is looking for participants for the Youth Ag Summit

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

An industry organization is looking for young people across the globe to participate in a virtual ag event.

Bayer and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network are searching for 100 people between the ages of 18 and 25 to take part in the 5th biennial Youth Ag Summit (YAS).

New for the 2021 event is admission to YAS University.

Normally delegates would travel to the YAS destination to take in the experience, but the pandemic has put travel plans on hold.

This year, chosen delegates will receive 10 weeks of mentorship from industry leaders and YAS alumni.

“From January to March next year they’ll have a new weekly course designed to help incubate projects, make real world pitches and find investors,” Katie Hayes, head of advocacy communications with Bayer, told

Chosen delegates will also have the opportunity to pitch their ideas at the end of the YAS University experience.

This first event took place in Calgary, Alta. in 2013 as a way to have young people from across the world with a passion for agriculture connect and collaborate about the issues facing their communities.

But the summit has changed since then, Hayes said.

“It’s evolved to be more project specific,” she told “The earlier summits would be focused on group projects at the summit itself, but now (delegates) come up with their own project ideas they want to work on in their communities.”

During the 2019 summit in Brazil, for example, Richard Hay from South Africa presented ideas on researching how social media can empower smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

The YAS is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

These include ending poverty, protecting the planet and achieving zero hunger.

The population is in this together, Hayes said.

“We are all facing the same challenges of climate change, needing more sustainable ways of farming and needing to produce enough food to feed the growing population,” she said. “For delegates to come together and see young people like them from all over the world and they can collaborate, I think it’s going to be huge for our future.”

Interested youth must apply by June 30.

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