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Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture Competition announces 2016 winners

By Canadian Poultry   

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The Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture (CYSA) Competition has announced the winners of the 2016 competition.

Nov. 8, 2016 – The Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture (CYSA) Competition has announced the winners of the 2016 competition which took place Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.
Senior Champion: Spencer Graling from St. Paul, Alta.; First Runner-up: Daniel Vander Hout from Waterdown, Ont.; Second Runner-up: Katelyn Ayers from Severn, Ont.
Junior Champion: Douglas Archer from Mount Pleasant, Ont.; First Runner-up: Maxwell Archer from Mount Pleasant, Ont.; Second Runner-up: Aleri Swalwell from Strathmore, Alta.
This 32nd edition of CYSA welcomed 30 competitors aged 11 to 24 from across Canada who offered their insight and solutions regarding the following topics:

  • What is the impact of public opinion on Canadian farmers?
  • How would you explain a GMO to a non-farmer?
  • What does the next generation of agriculture bring to the table?
  • How can we improve the media’s perception of Canadian agriculture?
  • Old MacDonald had a farm – but what about Mrs. MacDonald?

“Once again it was wonderful to see the continuing interest of the very talented young people across Canada that want to speak out about agriculture. From a board perspective, we all take great pleasure in ensuring this exciting competition prevails annually to capture the thoughts of each and every participant,” says Ted Young, CYSA chair.
CYSA also took the opportunity to present long-time board member and past president John J. MacDonald with a plaque recognizing his more than 10 years with CYSA and naming him honourary president. CYSA also presented a recognition plaque to honour board member and past president Richard Kutnz who is concluding his term on the CYSA board.
As announced after the Seniors final round the topics for 2017 will be:

  • Working in agriculture is more than just farming
  • Does digital farming have a place in the future of Canadian agriculture?
  • Farm gate to dinner plate: The importance of food traceability for Canadian consumers
  • How will we feed 9 billion people by 2050?
  • Food waste: What is the global impact and who is responsible for making a change?

This year also saw a change in board members with Gerry Sullivan (Nfld.) becoming past-president; April Stewart (Que.) stepping into the role of president; Christina Crowley-Arklie (Ont.) becoming vice-president; and Ted Young remains board chair.
Each year the renowned public speaking competition is held at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. The competition is open to youth ages 11 to 24 with a passion for agriculture whether raised on a farm, in the country or in the city.
Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture is a national, bilingual competition that gives participants an opportunity to share their opinions, ideas and concerns about the Canadian agri-food industry in a five- to seven-minute prepared speech.
Since the first competition held at the Royal Winter Fair in honour of the International Year of the Youth in 1985, it has gone on to become the premier public speaking event in Canada for young people interested in agriculture, with more than 900 participants in total over the years. For more information about CYSA visit


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