Olds (Rural Roots Canada) – This year’s edition of the Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture was held virtually in July and turned out to be a highly competitive speaking competition.

In the end, Christopher Mills and Alyson Katerenchuk took home first place in the Junior and Senior Divisions, respectively.

Mills says agriculture has always been an essential part of his life and is proud to be a part of Canadian agriculture.

“Canada is providing food for the world and helping starving people, and it’s also building an economy for the world, and it’s providing food which is pretty good,” Mills said.

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Katerenchuk says she was pretty surprised to win.

She spoke on how the global pandemic affected agriculture.

“I felt I had experienced a massive shift in my own life from it and in agriculture.

The engineering student, who was in her second year at the University of Alberta, says it struck home for her and her two older siblings at university.

“We were all able to work from the farm, and it meant a huge connection for us to be a part of agriculture and even to be a part of the farm and see shifts within it.”

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As she has grown older, she says the demand for agriculture in the province and country has become more apparent.

“For me hearing and talking to more university students about agriculture in Alberta made me realize, wow, there are a lot of shifts that can be made and a lot of potential for it as an economy in Alberta.”

Both Mills and Katerenchuk will now go on to the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture Competition in November.

A complete list of winners: