Seed World

2 Canadian Change-Makers Headed to Bayer Youth Ag Summit

100 delegates from more than 44 different countries will make up Bayer’s 2021 Youth Ag Summit cohort this November, the company announced — and two are Canadian.

The global forum and biennially organized conference selected young leaders between the ages of 18 and 25 with a passion for sustainable global agriculture for the opportunity to learn and collaborate with others on solutions to issues challenging food security. This year’s delegates come from more than 2,000 applicants representing nearly 100 countries.

Among this year’s delegation are Emily Robb from Brandon, Man., and Amanda Hardman from Stony Plain, Alta., who are bringing their scientific-driven solutions to the table. Both have achieved accolades at the Canada-Wide Science Fair for their research and are active members of 4-H Canada — a foremost youth leadership development organization.

“Attending the Youth Ag Summit will allow me to gain scientific insight that looks further into regenerative agriculture practices and sustainability,” said Emily.

Her current research is based around her interest in managed ecosystems and ecological practice application for sustainable agricultural production—primarily economic nutrient optimization in hydroponic arugula production.

Emily Robb

“I want to be an agricultural change-maker and will be applying my passion, throughout my first year of studies and beyond, at the University of Manitoba, while pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Agroecology degree.”

To be selected for the Summit, this year’s delegates presented project ideas and examples of previous advocacy work based on the event’s overall theme Feeding a Hungry Planet.

Amanda’s project idea for the Youth Ag Summit is focused on biodegradable food packaging to replace plastic clamshell packaging — her prototypes are created using nano-crystals derived from wood and wheat byproduct (pulp).

“I understand the gap between urban consumers and our agricultural producers and am passionate about using my experiences and platforms to help tie these communities together,” said Amanda.

“Apart from my packaging initiative, I’m passionate about sharing the great stories coming out of Canadian agriculture.” Amanda is entering her second year at the University of Alberta in Sustainable Agriculture.

 width=“The Youth Ag Summit is a unique initiative where young leaders take their breakthrough concepts to the next level,” said Al Driver, Country Division Head of Bayer’s Crop Science Division in Canada. “We need their ideas, passion and voices to develop sustainable agriculture solutions around the world.”

This year’s 5th biennial Youth Ag Summit will be the company’s first virtual YAS event and its first with a virtual idea incubator called YAS University. Within the YAS University program, delegates will continue to develop their business and communications skills, receive coaching from mentors, and complete weekly assignments that help them hone their own project concepts for 10 weeks following the Summit, beginning in January 2022.

At the end of YAS University, the delegates will have the opportunity to pitch their project ideas to a panel of experts to compete for prizes. Bayer’s partnerships for this year’s forum with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the tech company Babele make the unique experience of YAS University possible.

For more on the Youth Ag Summit 2021 and see a full list of selected delegates, please visit and follow #AgvocatesWithoutBorders on Twitter and Youth Ag Summit (@youthagsummit) on the YAS Instagram channel.