Four U.S. Delegates Selected Among 100 Young Leaders to Meet at International Agriculture Summit in Australia

April 15, 2015

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (April 16, 2015)Bayer CropScience, in partnership with Future Famers Network Australia, is excited to announce that 100 delegates, aged 18 to 25 and from 33 countries, have been selected for the second global Youth Ag-Summit. The Summit, which is themed “Feeding a Hungry Planet,” will take place in Canberra, Australia August 24-28, 2015.

Four of these delegates were selected to represent the United States, including:
Edward Silva, age 25 from Davis, California, is passionate about developing technology that will help create a more food secure world. He is co-founder of Henlight, a solar powered and fully automatic lighting solution that helps small-scale poultry farmers increase egg production from their laying hens during the shorter days of the year. This technology won the international Thought for Food Challenge in 2013. Silva now works as a program manager at the Sustainable AgTech Innovation Center at the University of California, Davis. He studied International Agricultural Development and Technology Management at the University of California, Davis.

Isha Jog, age 20 from Schaumburg, Illinois, is committed to raising awareness and understanding how developed nations can create innovative solutions to distribute food to other countries without resources readily available. Currently a sophomore at Loyola University, studying advertising and public relations, she actively volunteers with Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit organization that provides hand-packed meals specially formulated for malnourished children in 70 countries worldwide. In addition, as a former National American Miss Teen Illinois, Jog has presented to thousands of middle school students about making healthy lifestyle choices.

Katelyn Mann, age 18 from Alexandria, Virginia, has a passion for environmental science and activism and has discovered the connection between the two within the sustainable agriculture movement. Long-term, she wants to start her own farm that doubles as an education facility for those battling eating disorders. She has taken a hands-on approach to learning the ag industry through internships all across the globe and within all areas of modern agriculture – diary, biologics and farming. Now living in Washington, D.C., Mann is a garden education intern at the Washington Youth Garden at the National Arboretum. This fall, she will begin studying sustainable agriculture at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont.

Beverly Flatt, age 25 from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, is a young farmer who seeks to share her passion and knowledge of farming with other young people. She currently owns and operates a 170-acre family farm near Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, James and in-laws. She has been highly involved in the National FFA Organization since high school, and she currently serves as a member of the organization’s National Agricultural Communications Career Development Event Committee. In addition to her passion for agriculture, Beverley is the program manager for the Academies of Nashville in Metro Nashville Public Schools, the high school redesign program that has raised graduation rates by more than 20 percent since 2006. Flatt holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Agricultural Journalism from the University of Missouri and is expected to complete her Master’s Degree in Agricultural and Extension Education from Tennessee State University in 2015.

“We received nearly 2,000 essays from around the world, which signals a strong interest in the issue of feeding a hungry planet. The quality of the essays was outstanding, and the challenges and solutions identified highlight that opportunities like the Youth Ag-Summit provide a great platform to continue the discussions,” said Georgie Aley, Chair of Future Farmers Network Australia. “We look forward to welcoming the delegates to Australia in August along with our partner Bayer CropScience in the delivery of the event.”

Candidates were invited to apply between October 2014 and January 2015 by submitting a 1,500-word essay outlining their position and ideas on the underlying causes of food insecurity and its effect on a growing population. A total of 1,932 essays from 87 countries were submitted – an outstanding result which shows the passion and spirit of young people for food and farming.

“We believe there is a need for young leaders to be engaged in finding sustainable agricultural solutions to the growing global need for safe and nutritious food,” said Liam Condon, CEO of Bayer CropScience. “The Youth Ag-Summit is an opportunity to broaden the perspectives from others around the world. It will also enable young leaders to further grow personally and develop their knowledge.”

Eighty-eight essays were received in the U.S., evaluated by a diverse range of qualified and experienced industry professionals and scored according to specific criteria, including uniqueness of ideas. Showcasing a range of insightful perspectives on food insecurity around the world, candidates tackled topics including food waste, local produce, education and awareness of agricultural practices – all of which will contribute to the conference agenda.

Delegates and 33 accompanying mentors will meet in Canberra to network, hear from guest speakers and participate in debates, discussions, group work and industry tours. The purpose of the Summit is to generate innovative, sustainable and actionable solutions, which will be driven by their leadership.

During the Summit, the delegates will identify, connect and create ideas to progress agriculture around the world. This collaborative approach aims to leave them with actionable ideas they take back to their home countries to embed into their personal operations and careers.

The delegates are from the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA and Vietnam.

Visit the website to meet all of the delegates and for more information on the Youth Ag-Summit.

About the Youth Ag-Summit

The Youth Ag-Summit is a global youth conference to inspire and connect the next generation of young leaders in agriculture. At the Summit, 100 young leaders aged 18 to 25 from all around the world meet to share perspectives and create an open dialogue on one of the world’s most challenging questions: how to feed a hungry planet? The Youth Ag-Summit forms part of the Agricultural Education Program and aims at raising awareness for food and farming all over the globe. Find more information about the summit on the website

About Future Farmers Network

Future Farmers Network (FFN) is Australia’s only national youth agricultural network that connects and supports young Australians involved in rural industries. Operating since 2002, FFN connects youth involved in all facets of agriculture and provides members with access to the latest news, events, scholarships, awards and information from across all aspects of the Australian agricultural sector. To learn more about FFN visit:

About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 9.494 million (2014) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 23,100 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:

Bayer CropScience Media Hotline, 1-862-404-5118, or

Ashley Holland
Bayer CropScience
Tel: (919) 549-2595

Erin Smith
MMI Public Relations
Tel: (919) 233-6600

Find more information at

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