CYSA Board of Directors


Ted YoungChair: D. E. (Ted) Young (Guelph, ON) – President and CEO of Edward Young International Inc., Ted operates the family farm at Wiarton, Ontario, with Hereford beef cattle, and an aggregate stone quarry. He also owns and operates a language training studio in Guelph. Ted enjoyed a long career in public service, working for several government departments and corporations. Current volunteering includes many years with the University of Guelph Alumni Association (UGAA), where he is now serving as a board member to the University Centre representing the UGAA. Ted was recently elected to the national board of directors for the Federal Superannuates Association. Ted has played a major leadership role with the competition, having held many offices since its inception in 1985.

Gerry SullivanPast President: Gerry Sullivan (St. John’s, NL) – Gerry is the Business Optimization and Research Specialist with Eastern Composite Services and Owner/Operator of Pro Fit TFW. A graduate of Memorial University, Gerry spends much of his time helping to promote healthy living throughout Newfoundland as well as providing a voice for local business by his involvement in various Chamber of Commerce groups and business committees. Gerry is an international speaker / corporate strategist and a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and Global Speakers Bureau.

April StewartPresident: April M. Stewart (Elgin, QC) – An agricultural communications and public relations consultant at Alba PR, April is also a sixth generation, Quebec dairy farmer. A graduate of McGill University, she’s an eager industry agvocate who is determined to ensure the sustainability of rural regions and family farms. She is the Social Media, Communications and Marketing Agent for Quebec’s Community Economic Development & Employability Corporation (CEDEC), a seed sales rep for Speare Seeds, an award-winning freelance writer, and creator of ‘The Farmer’s Survival Guide: Communicating with 21st Century Consumers.’

Anne McGeeTreasurer/Registrar: Anne McGee (Guelph, ON) – Served as Secretary of the competition since 1989, and has been heavily involved with the competition over that 20 year period. Completed a 25 year career with Farm Credit Canada.

Lydia HarrisonYouth Representative: Lydia Harrison (Rockwood, ON) – Lydia Harrison is the proud winner of the 2012 Senior Speaking Competition and has sat on the board as Youth Representative since that time. Her passion for agriculture led her to study at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College from which she graduated in 2013 with a degree in Honours Agriculture. Since graduating, Lydia has obtained her Certified Crop Science Consultant designation. Because of her love for Canadian agriculture, public speaking and agricultural advocacy, Lydia is delighted to sit on a board that provides young people with a platform to share their insights and optimism for our industry. She currently resides on her fiancé’s family farm near Rockwood, Ontario where they raise sheep and cattle.

John MacDonaldHonourary President: John J. MacDonald (St. Nicholas, PEI) – Retired to his farm with wife Cynthia, and continues to represent the Canadian Federation of Agriculture at 4-H Canada. John was president of the national 4-H program in 2000, and is currently a trustee with Canadian 4-H Foundation. He is a director of Summerside Port Inc., represents PEI Cattle Producers on Canada Beef Inc., is a trustee for PEI 4-H Trust Fund, sits on East Prince Environment Board, and is a member of his church finance committee. John was inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2013.

Anna Marie O'ConnellDirector: Anna Marie O’Connell (Guelph, ON) – Now a Supervisor with the City of Guelph, formerly with Farm Credit Canada, and has been involved with the competition for a number of years.