Ryley Mappin of Byemoor, Alta. has made it to the top after winning the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition in Toronto in the junior division.
The 14-year-old travelled to the 6 from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 with a fire in his belly and a passion for the industry as he has grown up on a decent-sized mixed operation south of the hamlet of Byemoor.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet to be honest. I know it’s a very special award to have won but it’s exciting,” said Mappin.“They [my family] were ecstatic about it. They were amazed.”
He competed against 25 other speakers where he talked about food fraud and the effects of the Beyond Meat plant based burger.
“It was basically how the Beyond Meat burger is being promoted as the next biggest thing and it’s not and I used A&W and stuff like that.
“I just tried to say that that’s not going to solve our problems. It’s got to be beef that solves our problems,” he said.
Mappin’s start in public speaking came from the mandatory portion of 4-H.
He later found the Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture competition which was held in Calgary during the Stampede in July.
After placing first there, he was sent to Toronto for the national competition.
“I really enjoyed myself. Everyone there was really nice.”
Mappin is entrenched in the western way of life, finding it to be an important aspect.
“Considering that dad has been farming his whole life and his dad’s been farming and his dad before him. I don’t know, I feel like I should carry on the tradition I guess, and I want to carry on the tradition so that is how I am really connected.
In the future, Mappin plans on going into post-secondary for mechanics or something that will help in continuing the family legacy.