Ritz challenges 4-H youth help feed hungry planet

Canada’s next generation of farmers and producers will benefit from continued support from the federal government.

Canada’s next generation of farmers and producers will benefit from continued support from the federal government.

At the Global 4-H Youth Agriculture Summit, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz re-affirmed the commitment to developing Canada’s future agriculture and food leaders by announcing an investment of up to $5.17 million in 4-H Canada initiatives over the next five years.

“With their new ideas, fresh perspectives and optimism, youth leaders and young farmers are key to achieving global food security,” said Ritz. “Our government is proud to support 4-H Canada as it continues to inspire Canadian youth to achieve their potential and to become tomorrow’s community and business leaders.”

Ritz officially opened the Feeding a Hungry Planet summit, co-sponsored by 4-H Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Bayer CropScience, which brings together youth from up to twenty countries to share solutions to strengthen food security.

4-H Canada, in its 100th anniversary celebrations this year, will use the federal funding to further its Embrace the Future initiative, aimed at growing membership in rural areas, introducing 4-H programs in urban and suburban areas, and strengthening the 4-H experience nation-wide.

Ritz told the summit participants that they were gathering at a time of tremendous optimism about the future of agriculture, with growing global demand for safe, high-quality, environmentally-friendly food.

“As never before, the world is looking to young agricultural producers to strengthen food security both in your countries and around the world,” Ritz added, noting that innovation and science-based trade are critical to supporting young farmers, driving global economies and strengthening food security.

Support for 4-H Canada comes from the Growing Forward 2 AgriCompetitiveness program, a five-year, $114.5-million program that invests in key areas that strengthen the agriculture and agri-food industry’s capacity to adapt and be profitable in domestic and global markets. Innovation and market development, along with competitiveness, are the three strategic objectives of Growing Forward 2, the five-year, $3-billion federal-provincial-territorial framework for Canadian agriculture.

 

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