Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture Inc. (CYSA) delivers an annual, bilingual youth competition at the Royal Agriculture Winter Fair as part of Youth Weekend. This national competition provides youth an opportunity to develop public speaking and communication skills by expressing their opinions and ideas on current topics related to agriculture and agri-food. The competition originated in 1985 in honour of International Youth Year and was originally sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
The competition includes both junior (11-15) and senior (16-24) categories and is judged by bilingual communications and industry professionals from across the agriculture and agri-food sectors. Cash prizes are awarded to finalists and there is significant opportunity for competitors to enjoy the media spotlight, potential employer exposure, and subsequent speaking engagements.
CYSA connects directly with Canadian youth and serves as an independent incorporated body. CYSA also connects with youth via government and NGOs, educational institutions, the agricultural and agri-food industries, families of youth, alumni, the Canadian public, and youth programs across the country.
Objectives of the Competition
To strengthen the agriculture industry by developing future spokespersons and leaders; to inform the urban population about agricultural issues; and to provide articulate young people with:
- an opportunity to develop public speaking skills
- incentives to become involved with agriculture
- a forum to express their concerns
- recognition for their skills.