Are you a young person who is interested in public speaking and agriculture? This July, youth like you will have a brand new opportunity to practice their public speaking skills, right here in Calgary! On July 12, the Calgary Stampede is co-hosting the preliminary competitions for the 2024 Youth Agriculture Speaking Championships, presented by Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture (AYSA), along with Olds College on July 8. The final championship competition will take place at Stampede Park on July 13.

Registration for the competition is now open, offering young Albertan residents and students an opportunity to demonstrate their public speaking skills and the chance to compete for $15,000 in prizes and awards. Plus, winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Toronto to compete in the 2024 Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture Finals in November.

The Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture program has hosted youth speaking competitions for nearly the last decade, but this is the first year contestants will have the chance to participate in a preliminary qualifier and the championship at The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

“Hosting this year’s Youth Agriculture Speaking Championship represents a new opportunity for the Calgary Stampede to invest in youth and support their development as future industry leaders,” says Kristina Barnes, Director, Agriculture & Western Events at the Calgary Stampede. "We are proud to engage both rural and urban youth in this competition, and provide another forum for Calgary’s urban population to learn about the industry.”

While most participants in AYSA have prior knowledge or personal experience in agriculture, the competition is open to youth from all backgrounds, as long as they have a desire to learn and speak knowledgeably about one of the topics related to agriculture, agri-tech or agri-food.
“Enabling youth from diverse backgrounds to engage in the speaking competition offers those with limited prior knowledge of agriculture an opportunity to broaden their understanding,” says Mark Fournier, President of Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture, adding, “We look forward to the great ideas the agricultural advocates of tomorrow will bring forward at the competition.”
Contestants will speak for five to seven minutes, on one of five topics related to agriculture:

1. If you are the federal Minister of Agriculture, what are your top five priorities?
2. How can lessons learned on the farm translate into life lessons?
3. Farming the future: How will technology, robotics and AI change the face of agriculture?
4. The gap between the urban and rural continues to grow. How can the agriculture sector bridge the knowledge gap to better inform their urban neighbours about conventional agricultural practices?
5. Taking over the family farm: How can today's young farmers talk to their parents and grandparents about becoming more involved in the family farm?

Youth have the opportunity to participate in the preliminary competition at either Olds College, on July 8, or at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park, on July 12, with the top five qualifiers advancing to the championship competition being held at the BMO Centre on July 13.
Registration for the 2024 Youth Agriculture Speaking Championships is now open until June 30, 2024. To sign up for the event and find more information, including the competition rules, visit ag.calgarystampede.com/events/youth-speaking

About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together, we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.


For more information, please contact:

Lauryn MacDonald
Communications Advisor
Calgary Stampede
T 403.261.0520
C 403.463.5986
E lauryn.macdonald@calgarystampede.com

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