Two forward-thinking and passionate young women have been selected to represent New Zealand at a summit focused on solving one of the world’s most important issues – how to feed a growing population.
Beth Hampton (21) from Matamata and Jemima Snook (24) from Christchurch will join 100 other delegates from around the world in Brussels, Belgium, October 9 – 13.
Bayer, together with partners Groene Kring (GK) and Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs (FJA), is hosting the summit, which has the theme of “Feeding a Hungry Planet.” It aims to address the UN Sustainability Goals of ending hunger, achieving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture.
Hailing from 49 countries and aged between 18 and 25, the chosen delegates share a passion for agriculture and a vision of a world without hunger. During the summit, they will share their diverse experiences and work together to generate innovative, sustainable and actionable solutions to global food security challenges. Across five days, delegates will undertake group projects and participate in industry tours, as well as learning from expert guest speakers. Their mission is to come up with concrete new ideas which can drive agricultural progress across the globe and be put into practice back home.
Beth Hampton says it’s an amazing opportunity to represent New Zealand at the Youth Ag Summit and one she is hugely appreciative and excited about.
“Food security is a global challenge and New Zealand has a role to play in addressing the issue. The Summit will act as a chance to collaborate with an international cohort and I’m really looking forward to how it might challenge and develop my thinking about sustainable agriculture and issues of food security.
“I’m also very keen to hear different international perspectives regarding environmental and agriculture policy, and how they and subsequent experiences may relate to the New Zealand context.”
Christchurch’s Jemima Snook says she is honoured to be representing New Zealand at the Summit.
“Coming from Lincoln University I have many friends who are great advocates for the agricultural industry. The opportunity to attend the Summit is an amazing chance to share ideas with other young leaders, grow my leadership skills and understand more about how New Zealand can contribute to solving issues of food insecurity.
“I hope that my experiences of working in the New Zealand agricultural industry will bring practical, real-life knowledge to discussion topics at the conference.”
Bayer New Zealand Crop Science head Scott Hanson says it’s important that young kiwis get the opportunity to attend international summits.
“I believe there is a need for young leaders to be engaged in finding sustainable solutions to the growing global need for safe and nutritious food. The Youth Ag Summit is an opportunity to broaden the perspectives with others from around the world. It will also enable young leaders to further grow personally and develop their knowledge.
“The agricultural industry can contribute strongly to achieving some of the key UN Sustainable Development Goals, but this also requires the active involvement of the next generation. The Youth Ag-Summit will give young leaders the opportunity to foster their ideas, share best practices and explore the role of modern agriculture in feeding a hungry planet.”
Participants selected through an essay contest
To be considered for participation, prospective delegates were required to submit an essay of 1500 words on the topic of food insecurity. A total of 1187 essays from 95 different countries were submitted; all of which were reviewed by a panel of industry experts.
“The applicants put a lot of effort into their essays. We reviewed them based on their views on sustainable food security and agriculture. Reading them was a valuable experience. Their contributions will form the basis for discussion at the Youth Ag-Summit in October,” said Giel Boey, national chairman of Groene Kring.
Young people can help tackle global food security challenges
This year’s winning applicants focused their essay submissions on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the role of youth in helping to feed a growing world population. Ideas put forward related to improving education and awareness of best practices, increasing gender equality within the sector, changing consumption patterns, and mitigating the impact of climate change on crop yield, to name a few.
“As a Belgian youth agricultural organization, we look forward to welcoming and introducing young leaders to local farming challenges and hearing their global and local perspectives. It will be a true pleasure to share ideas and thoughts with so many passionate minds,” said Guillaume Van Binst, secretary general of the Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs.
The delegates hail from the following 49 countries: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.
New Zealand delegates
While not off a farm herself, Beth grew up in the rural town of Matamata (better known as Hobbiton) in the Waikato. She has always enjoyed science and analysis, and is currently in her final semester of a Bachelor of Science double majoring in Environmental Science and Agribusiness at the University of Waikato. During this time, Beth has become increasingly interested in environmental and agricultural policy, and how these relate and develop in changing public, political and physical environments.
Jemima was first exposed to the agricultural industry through spending her early childhood on a dairy farm. Her passion for agriculture developed during her time at Lincoln University where she completed a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) majoring in Farm Management and Accounting. As a recipient of a Prime Minister’s scholarship for Asia, she participated in a Lincoln University summer school trip to Indonesia in 2016 where she gained an understanding of food security issues in a developing country. Jemma is currently working as a graduate accountant for BDO, Christchurch, in its agribusiness division.
About the Youth Ag-Summit
The Youth Ag-Summit is a global bi-annual conference designed to inspire and connect the next generation of young leaders in agriculture and related disciplines. In 2017, 100 young leaders aged 18 to 25 will meet in Brussels, Belgium, to create an open dialogue on one of the world’s most challenging questions: how to feed a hungry planet? Following previous editions hosted in Canada and Australia, this year’s Summit is the first to be held in a European city. The Youth Ag-Summit is part of Bayer’s Agricultural Education Program which aims to raise global awareness about farming and food supplies. Find out more about the Program at www.ag-education.bayer.com, https://www.facebook.com/BayerAgEdu/, or on Twitter @BayerAgEdu.
About Groene Kring
Groene Kring (GK) is an association for young farmers in Flanders, Belgium, which counts around 3,500 members. GK brings young farmers together via regular activities and events, organizes entrepreneurship education, and protects the interests of young farmers on a regional, national and international level. For more information, visit: www.groenekring.be
About the Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs
La Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs (FJA) represents young farmers living and working in Wallonia, Belgium. FJA represents the views of 2,800 members, advocating on their behalf at a regional, national and European level. As an official education provider within the agriculatural sector, they also organize training courses. For more information, visit www.fja.be
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In New Zealand, it supports numerous community and environmental causes, including United Way New Zealand, the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre and the New Zealand Innovation Awards.