Two young agriculture advocates from Alberta talked their way onto the national stage.
Ryley Mappin of Byemoor, Alta., 14 and Jordan Vos of Burdett, Alta., 21, won the Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture competition held during the Calgary Stampede.
The recognition comes with a trip to the Royal Agriculture Winter Fair in Toronto Nov.2 to compete in the national speaking competition.
In addition, Vos received $1,000 cash and Mappin won $500.
The national young speakers organization provides questions for the entrants, who this year defended their opinions on food fraud, climate change, impact of genetic modification and dispelling myths about agriculture.
Vos comes from a ranch in southern Alberta and has previously entered this competition. She said she enjoys public speaking, a skill she learned in 4-H.
A student of renewable resource management at Lethbridge College, she defended the role of cattle in the environment and is comfortable talking about the industry and its impacts with her urban friends. She tells other young farmers to speak up for their industry.
“The younger generation is more technological, we need to be out there and give our voice especially on social media and through events like these,” she said.
Mappin talked about food fraud and is passionate about defending an industry his family has been involved with for generations. When speaking to the urban public, he wants them to know farming is a business that feeds the world. For the critics, he had a simple message: “Try not to kill our industry.”