Claire Mossing’s speech calls for improved agriculture communication

ECA Review/J.Campbell
Written by ECA Review

15-year-old Claire Mossing from Okotoks with roots in the Halkirk area speaking at Olds College on July 10, 2023. Mossing won first place in the junior Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture completion. ECA Review/ Handout

A young speaker with roots in the Halkirk area has emerged victorious as the 2023 junior winner in the Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture competition. The competition took place on July 10 at Olds College.

Claire Mossing, a 15-year-old girl from Okotoks who showcased her profound understanding of agriculture and food production practices, learned from her grandparents’ farming endeavours outside of Halkirk.

Mossing’s speech was titled “Telling our story: how do we better communicate agriculture and food production practices to consumers?”

Mossing conveyed her passion for agriculture and commitment to bridging the information gap between urban populations and the agricultural industry.

Mossing’s journey into public speaking began through her involvement in 4-H, where she initially felt nervous about speaking in front of an audience. However, the experience quickly became something she enjoyed, prompting her to pursue public speaking opportunities.

“I just really enjoyed that whole experience through 4-H the first year I did it. So again, the next year, I wrote a second speech, and I went to provincials this time,” said Mossing.

“I didn’t place there, but through that program, they kind of introduced me to the Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture competition. ”

Speaking about her motivation for choosing the topic of communication in agriculture, Mossing explained, “I wrote it, mostly because the area that I’m in, while it’s still rural, there isn’t actually that much agriculture, and a lot of the kids going to my school are very misinformed about practices that farmers and agriculture workers use.”

In her winning speech, Mossing shed light on the disconnect between rural and urban communities regarding understanding agricultural practices. She emphasized that a significant portion of Alberta’s population remains uninformed about the crucial work of farmers and the agriculture industry, partly due to the lack of emphasis on agriculture-related education in urban and semi-urban schools.

“I talked about how different ways we can incorporate agriculture into the curriculum,” Mossing said. Her speech addressed the need for educational programs that promote a better understanding and appreciation of agriculture, even among those living in non-agricultural regions.

The competition offered Mossing an exceptional platform to magnify her message, and she conveyed a mix of enthusiasm and apprehension about addressing a larger audience during her upcoming performance in Toronto this November.

“I’m definitely nervous because I think it’ll be on a much bigger scale, but I’m also super excited because it’s a really unique opportunity that I don’t think a lot of people get to experience,” she shared.

Mossing remains humble and determined to improve her public speaking skills despite her victory. Reflecting on her performance and those of her fellow competitors, she expressed her willingness to adjust and incorporate new ideas into her future speeches.

Jessica Campbell
ECA Review

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