26th October 2017
From 9-13 October 2017, three FFN members – Sam Coggins; Chris Young; and, Yang-Ming Goh – headed over to Brussels, Belgium to participate in the Youth Ag Summit, which is hosted by our long standing partner, Bayer. Sam, Chris and Yang-Ming were the successful entrants to the essay competition that many of you will remember entering or hearing about at the end of 2016. They had their work cut out for them when they got to Brussels I can assure you! Accompanied by Lachlan Bird from Bayer, Bridgette Byrne who is a YAS Alumni and myself as mentors, they had a full on week brainstorming and planning for achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The Summit was full of inspiring and realistic speakers talking on a whole range of topics related to agriculture across the globe, from succession to bee fertility, business planning to pasture productivity, world hunger to gender equality – and everything in between. In between the speakers, delegates were broken into working groups to tackle dedicated challenges…seeing cultures and backgrounds from across the world come together to discuss these things from their own perspectives is something to behold.
The biggest take away message for me personally is that we, here in Australia, are but one player in a global game, and it highlighted to me how insular we can become by not thinking broadly – both outside the box for our own businesses, but also by thinking outside the borders for what is impacting our markets, supplies, global farming colleagues and everything else that contributes to making our industry successful, and that will be ever as important to build it going forward.
This is a very short snapshot to give you all an update, we will hear from the other guys soon on some of their experiences through the social media channels and perhaps a ‘G’day you got a minute?’ or two! I feel extremely honoured and lucky to have gone on this trip with our delegates and must thank Bayer once again for being the fantastic partner they are with Future Farmers Network, and congratulate them on another fantastic YAS.
Get your thinking caps on because the essay competition will be here before we know it for the next Youth Ag Summit in Brazil!