Youth Leadership and Mentorship Program

Since it was established in 2014, the APAS Youth Leadership and Mentorship Program has helped young people between the ages of 18 and 40 gain insight into agricultural policy, develop leadership skills and connect with other young producers Several YLMP participants have gone on to have leadership roles in the agriculture industry, including APAS President Ian Boxall, and several APAS Board members.

“Getting young people involved in agricultural policy is a huge benefit to all producers,” Boxall said. “They bring forward issues that affect young and new producers, and also bring a positive outlook as they start their farming careers.” Starting in 2021, the program is being sponsored by Farm Credit Canada. Four mentees make up the 2022 edition of the YLMP presented by FCC. “The first few months have been quite an eye-opener!” said Madison Englot from the RM of Montmarte #126. “Having the up-close experience with APAS and understanding the bridge they create between the producers and the government is great. Before joining, conversations about ‘what needs to be changed or improved’ with the government seemed out of reach. Knowing that an organization like APAS is available to our farmers in each RM is extremely comforting, producers do have a voice and can make changes happen. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t overwhelming at times, but in a good way!” she adds.

For Sarah Leguee – the RM representative for Wellington #97, YLMP presented by FCC is an opportunity to grow as an RM Councilor, and to learn more about being an APAS rep.

“I just started being a RM Councilor just over a year ago, plus APAS rep, plus this, so it’s been a lot,” Leguee said. “But this group has given me a bit more of an opportunity to kind of dive into the rep position a bit more and see a little bit more of what’s going on, so it’s been a lot, but it’s also been beneficial to see what’s going on so far.”

When asked why he applied for the YLMP, Glen Munholland – who is an APAS representative for the RM of McKillop #220 – said he sees it as an extremely valuable experience.

“If (you) enjoy visiting with like-minded people at similar stages in life with common goals, then apply for the program,” Munholland said. “You won’t regret it.”

APAS representative for the RM of Hazel Dell #335 Brett Spray said it’s something that has shown a real benefit already.

“Getting to know the Directors and the other mentees on a personal level, like not just the meetings, but just the normal banter and chitchat after meetings, or having breakfast at the hotel or something as simple as that,” Spray said. “It’s easy to identify with everybody, and the networking side of it, getting to know people from around the province.”

In 2021, FCC became the presenting sponsor of the Youth Leadership and Mentorship Program. Senior Vice-President of Prairie Operations Shannon Weatherall says FCC is proud to become the presenting sponsor of the mentorship program.

All four mentees agreed the trip to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s Annual General Meeting in March is going to be a rewarding and valuable experience for the group to take part in.

The four mentees will remain in the program until July 2022. At that time, applications will be accepted for the 2022-23 edition of YLMP presented by FCC.

"We share APAS's passion for making Canadian agriculture better and recognize the importance of mentoring young producers. Helping each other succeed through networking and mentoring is an integral part of our corporate culture and the way we do business, which makes supporting this program a natural fit."

- Shannon Weatherall, Senior Vice-President of Prairie Operations, FCC

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