How I Brought Back Change From The 2015 Youth Ag Summit
Thursday, October 15, 2015
By: Beverley Flatt, 2015 Youth Ag Summit Delegate
One of my favorite things to do when after traveling is to visit my twin niece and nephew. At five-years-old, they are obsessed with foreign currency and how each country’s money looks different. After returning home from the 2015 Youth Ag Summit in Canberra, Australia, I dutifully visited the twins with Australian dollars and coins to show them how they look different from US dollars and coins. They were amazed that the money was in color. They were captivated by the royal seals and busts that were brilliantly displayed on the coins. And, of course, they immediately wanted to put the money in their piggy banks. As I was packing up to leave their house, my niece looked at me and said, “Aunt Bev, thank you for bring us back some change.”
While her little statement of gratitude was heartwarming, it made me pause. She was absolutely right. I came home from the 2015 Youth Ag Summit with a lot of change, and only a little bit of that was the money I shared.
On August 23, 100 young adults from around the world stepped off their respective airplanes and headed into a four-day event that would start a new chapter in their lives. While we didn’t all speak the same languages, come from the same backgrounds, or have the same thoughts and ideas on how to feed a hungry planet, we did all have a deep passion for the agricultural industry.
In fact, our passions for agriculture are what brought us all together. In order to be selected to attend the Youth Ag Summit, each delegate had to submit an essay with his or her solution to world hunger. Our essays were then grouped by topic and 15 themes emerged that encompassed all of our ideas and viewpoints. As a group, we voted on these 15 themes after intense discussion and debate every day of the conference. By the end, we had narrowed these down to the top five themes on which we felt we could have a direct impact.
- Education and skills building
- Communication about the value of agriculture careers and farming
- Socially acceptable and responsible consumption
- Research and development and innovation to intensify or develop new production systems
- Personal and organizational leadership
Once we reached a consensus of themes, each delegate self-selected into one of the five themes to work on an action plan. Our group declaration and action plan will be presented to the United Nations Committee on Food Security in October. Additionally, each delegate identified “3 little things” that he or she could do when they return home that will impact world hunger.
My niece and nephew did a perfect job of summarizing my experience. I will keep the memories I made and the relationships I developed close to my heart. I will enjoy the pictures I took and souvenirs I bought. But it is the change that I brought home, that will make a lasting impact.
To learn more about the 2015 Youth Ag Summit visit www.YouthAgSummit.com, and check out great photos from the event here.
Stay connect with us on Twitter and Instagram and share your thoughts to “Feed a Hungry Planet” using #youthagsummit!