Emmett Sawyer of Acme, Alta. is one of three Canadian recipients to be chosen for the upcoming Youth Ag Summit in Brazil.
One hundred of the brightest minds in agriculture from 45 different countries will gather in the South American capital of Brazil to share their opinions, ideas and solutions to modern day problems facing both urban and rural centres.
Sawyer has been keen on attending ever since its establishment in 2013 in Calgary.
For this year’s entry, each participant was required to make a video with the focus on how to feed a growing population by connecting the conversation to three or more sustainable development goals that the United Nations re-adopted in 2015.
Sawyer’s idea was to build rooftop gardening kits that are essentially fully functional on their own by using a solar-powered pump that pumps water into these gardens on top of all of houses and warehouses.
“I thought that would be a neat way to feed a growing population in a cheap but sustainable way and then to also provide that connection from urban to rural.”
Five individuals, including Sawyer, were chosen to represent Canada on the international scale.
“Once we get there we will be listening to individual agricultural leaders and speakers and then we will be going on farm tours and then we will also be working on the project that we submitted to the Youth Ag Summit,” he said.
They will have mentors at the summit helping guide them and working with them on their ideas as well as other delegates to flesh out even more ideas.
“The whole point is that after the summit is over, all of these different people will have all of these really good fleshed-out projects that they will then be able to put into action as soon as the summit is over and actually make real change. That is the whole goal,” he explained.
Finding out he would be attending has been a highlight and future feather in his agricultural cap.
“I was absolutely over the moon that the first time that I applied that I would be able to secure a spot to go to Brazil and it’s not even like it’s in the US or someplace I’ve been to before, this is South America in Brazil like I never thought I would even be able to go to Brazil or South America for that matter.
“So I can hardly even describe the excitement that I can really share my passion for agriculture on a stage that I really never thought I would be able to get to.
“It’s really neat to see everyone else’s passion and to really get a perspective as to what it is like in developing countries and what are the struggles that they have to go through to get access to food and how we can compare those to the issues we are having here in Canada or in North America in general,” he said.
On top of all of this wealth of agricultural experience, he operates his own podcast, was an Ag More Than Ever Ambassador and has won a $20,000 Leadership Excellence Award of Distinction scholarship from 4-H Canada last year.
Sawyer is currently pursuing a new degree in Agricultural Enterprise Management from the University of Lethbridge.