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Inaugural meeting of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council takes place

September 9, 2020  By Fruit and Vegetable

The 25 young people were chosen from more than 800 applications received, representing a diverse mix of subsectors from across the agriculture and agri-food sector, as well as from every province and the North.

On September 3, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau participated in the inaugural meeting of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council. The Canadian Agricultural Youth Council include 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.

“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 Minister Bibeau in a released statement following the meeting.

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.

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