If you have ever met Emmett Sawyer, it probably took you no more than 30 seconds to figure out he is passionate about agriculture.
It would also not surprise you to find out that he recently placed first in the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture Competition, which was held during the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.
That’s how clear and concise he is about his passion for everything Ag.
Sawyer, who Is from a farm near Acme, Alberta, says taking home the top prize caused a whirlwind of emotions, which is fitting given it was a whirlwind trip, taking him from his studies at the University of Lethbridge to the top of the podium in Toronto in a little over 24 hours.
Sawyer says the whole competition left him humbled and even more confident to speak out about his passion.
“I was in absolute in total shock, I just couldn’t believe them announcing that I had won the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture national competition, just a whirlwind of emotion and being able to receive such a fantastic prize,” says Sawyer.
Sawyer, who began public speaking in 4-H when he was 9 years old, says this event is a great way for consumers to hear about the importance of agriculture.
“Having all of these great youth speakers coming together in one place is a great way to speak about their passions and how much they love the agriculture industry. I think it is fantastic start and a great way to do that and there are many more opportunities to get the passion from our youth in agriculture that are connected to agriculture and even people who want to be connected to agriculture.”
At this point of the interview, his creativity and forward thinking mentality really emerged and showed why agriculture is in good hands moving forward.
“I think there are many more things we can do we can do, whether it is having a youth conference of some sort to really generate the passion and ideas for growth, because a place where a large part of our innovation comes from is our youth because it is fresh, we have new ideas, we are still very creative and we’re ready to learn and we have that burning passion and it was so fantastic to see people from across Canada coming to one place to share their passion for an industry they absolutely love.”
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The Swalwell 4-H Beef Club alumni hasn’t forgotten where he is from and is thank-ful for those who helped him get there.
“Thankful to 4-H for helping to finance this trip and giving me the opportunity to attend the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition in Toronto and I’m just so thank-ful being able to win this competition and truly honoured and I had a great time in Toronto and I’m looking forward to the new adventures I am going to embark on in the future.
He says his family and friends have been supportive of everything he has done in his life, including his public speaking.
Sawyer Is no stranger to leadership roles, whether it is helping a fellow 4-H member with public speaking or their project, being a leader in the community or just doing the small things to help someone out.
Sawyer is currently taking a Bachelor of Arts in Agricultural Studies at the U of L, with the idea that it will give him a better idea where he wants to specialize in agriculture.
He hopes this entire experience allows him to be an even better Agvocate.
He says there is still a lot of hard work ahead to really move the conversation forward with consumers, a task he is more than eager to tackle.