Jonathan Sweat, Vice-President, Business Management
Today’s youth are passionate, engaged and motivated to make positive change. It is important that their voices are heard – and just as importantly, they are supported to turn those voices into action.
teams’ commitment to fostering young leaders in agriculture runs deep
and now, we’re taking it one step further, expanding our investment by
partnering with 4-H – the leading positive youth development non-profit
organization – to contribute to its ongoing programming.
I’m proud of our commitment to fund national and provincial programming for 4-H Canada. Through this partnership we will lead programming within the organization’s Community Engagement & Communications Leadership Development Pillar, including sending Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) members to conferences and funding educational exchanges – a critical piece to ensure that Canadian youth are heard and empowered.
BASF shares the passion and dedication that drives 4-H’s members to take action to improve their communities. In fact, several of our colleagues across the country are proud 4-H alumni and I’ve enjoyed hearing how their positive experience shaped their personal and professional growth. By partnering with 4-H and investing in its programming, we are helping to build the skills and capacity needed to strengthen modern agriculture, both today and long into the future.
For a century, 4-H has been a strong force within the agriculture sector helping youth “learn to do by doing” and, today, its reach continues to expand in the industry. Young people are taking an active interest in issues affecting the planet, and 4-H’s Communications & Community Engagement pillar helps 4-H youth find and express their ideas about new, innovative and sustainable farming practices, how to improve nutrition and food security, and fosters an environment where they can exchange ideas at home and abroad.
The reality is the agricultural industry is under increasing pressure to support our growing population. By 2050, it’s estimated our population will reach 9 billion people – meaning farmers will need to grow 70% more food. To meet the growing demand, support for and engagement with modern agricultural practices will become more important than ever. 4-H’s mission to empower youth to be responsible, caring and contributing leaders that effect positive change in the world will help the industry do just that.
Many of our 4-H alumni working at BASF continue to volunteer and lead programming there today, which to me reinforces the life-long impact 4-H has on everyone it touches.
I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with several participants in 4-H’s current programming and I’m so impressed with their confidence, their passion for agriculture and their eagerness to learn more. With this group at the helm, the future of farming is looking very bright.