Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – An agricultural public speaking event is going digital this summer.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture competition, which is usually held at the Calgary Stampede, is being held online this year.

Chair Eric Dalke says they wanted to hold an event of some kind.

“We’re really excited it’s a new format for us of-course going to a video competition is something that we haven’t done before, but our board discussed the ongoing situation, and the opportunity also that we could have in the agricultural community,”

READ MORE: Youth from Burdett and Byemoor take top spots in 2019 Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture competition

He adds by pushing forward with the online event, students and youth, aged 11 to 24, would be able to contribute some of their ideas and passion for the industry.

The competition comes during a time when more and more people want to know where their food comes from.

Dalke says this makes it all the more important to hold the event.

“Food and agriculture have really found itself at the top of the agenda in respect of what people are talking about and just recognizing how important it is, how farmers and ranchers and the agriculture business puts food on the table.  So, with that in mind, we’re very excited to have our youth contribute to that dialogue in this context.”

There will be seven topics in all the youth and students can pick from.

“Which range from ‘how do we fill the talent pipeline in Canadian agriculture,’ ‘to lessons learned over the last 25 years in agriculture and many other topics.”

RELATED: Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture

The full list of topics:

1. How can we fill the talent pipeline in Canadian agriculture?

2. What impact will the emerging micro-food processing industry have on agriculture?

3. Aquaculture: The challenges and solutions of developing, funding and marketing an emerging food source

4. Climate change: Can the family farm manage and capitalize on this shift?

5. Lessons learned over the last 25 years of agriculture – and how we can apply it to the next 25.

6. Should the agriculture industry fund and support opportunities for youth development?

7. How to create ecosystem markets that reward Canada’s farmers for environmental stewardship.

“We’re really just excited that youth are going to be able to share their passion on these issues in a way that really showcases agriculture in a time when people are really focussed on the industry and paying attention to its importance.”

Video submissions have to be submitted by August 15th.

For more on the competition and to register, click here.