A woman from La Broquerie is one of only 25 people selected to be on the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council.

Chantele Gouliquer grew up in Northwestern Ontario, however, she has been living in La Broquerie for a few years now, working for HyLife.

Gouliquer says the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council is for people ages 18 to 30 and was initiated by Marie-Claude Bibeau the Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. She says being a part of the council is a huge honour.

"I am super happy to represent Manitoba. It has been amazing living here in the Southeast and it feels just like family. I am absolutely honoured. When I applied, I didn't know that there were going to be 800 applicants, let alone that I would be chosen as one of 25."

A few of the members of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council. Photo credit: The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Food.She explains why she applied to be a part of the council in the first place.

"I have experience in both commercial and academic research across a variety of species. I have worked with dairy poultry and now swine. As a female scientist, I love seeing research innovations take hold in the industry and then use my skills to be able to look deeper into production systems and new areas of innovation. I wanted to apply those skills that I use in my day-to-day life and be able to apply those to the issues that agriculture is facing in Canada."

The Canadian Agricultural Youth Council was first appointed in July 2020. Gouliquer says over the past few months, they have been meeting with a strategic planning company to outline what they will try to tackle in this first term. She notes they have now settled on three major objectives for the youth council.

"Number one is agro-awareness. We want to be able to debunk popular myths and misconceptions that are out there about the Canadian agriculture system and be able to educate the public about where their food comes from and be able to close the gap between production and the fork. We want to do that through improving public trust."

Gouliquer says the second objective is to create awareness of the overall importance of environmentally friendly farm practices. She notes many farmers are already looking at how they can be more environmentally friendly and efficient and they want to support them in that.

"Ag is heavily affected by climate change and climate change is affected by ag so we are both affecting each other directly and indirectly and agriculture is one of the largest industries in Canada so we are kind of at the keystone to be able to try and change our practices to be able to help move everything forward."

The third and final objective is to promote agricultural careers so that the industry will be in good hands moving forward. Gouliquer notes the average age of a Canadian farmer is 55 and we need to make sure there is a good succession plan.

The Canadian Agricultural has also officially launched social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They will be sharing profiles on each member, what they are up to and different fun facts about agriculture and agri-food in Canada.

Gouliquer notes every term of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council is 18 months long. She says at the end of every term half of the group stays on to make sure the team doesn’t lose momentum and half of the team is replaced by new applicants who can bring fresh ideas to the table.

With the first term start this past July, Gouliquer says people who are interested should keep their eye open for applications later this year.