In 2009, the Minister of Agriculture formed the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) in response to a growing need to attract and retain youth in the agriculture industry. The committee is composed of producers between the ages of 18 and 35 who represent several regions across Saskatchewan and are involved in different sector of the industry. The committee meets regularly to develop and provide recommendations regarding youth attraction and retention.
The initial Youth Advisory Committee developed its final report with 12 recommendations in December 2010.
The YAC will:
- Provide perspectives on Ministry of Agriculture programs, policies and initiatives.
- Make recommendations based on industry issues and opportunities.
- Increased positive perception of agriculture as a career choice.
- Ministry policies, programs and services that are youth friendly and future oriented.
Youth Advisory Committee - 2011-2013
Derek Tallon, Chair
Derek resides on a farm in southern Saskatchewan near the town of Lafleche. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness from the University of Saskatchewan in 2009. Along with his father, he grows cereals, pulses and oilseeds. In addition Derek operates a custom spraying business.
Kelcy, along with his wife Katherin and two young children live south west of Moose Jaw in the Missouri Coutea hills and operate a cow/calf operation. Kelcy grew up on a ranch south of McCord, SK and has always had a love for agriculture. In 1999, Kelcy and his brother purchased their first "piece of grass", with financial help from their dad and a herd of cows. As the years went by and their lives changed, Kelcy and Katherin decided to ranch on their own and bought the ranch they are on now. They are proud to have come through some of the worst economic times in Canadian cattle history. Kelcy states, "it was an incredible storm to weather, lots of young producers left the industry, I fear, not to return. I believe there is a future in this industry. I believe this lifestyle is a great place to raise a family. I am proud to raise a quality product to feed the world, going forward in this great province I hope that we can all see many good years ahead. I have been humbled and honoured to sit on the Youth Advisory Committee. We are the future of agriculture and the future is bright."
Jeff grew up on his parents' farm in north east Saskatchewan near the small town of Rose Valley. Farming has always been in Jeff's blood. As soon as he could see over the steering wheel, he was operating a tractor or a combine and was able to start renting land at the age of 15 with his father's help. He attended the University of Saskatchewan graduating in 2005 with a diploma in Agriculture after which he returned to farm full time. He currently resides in the town of Rose Valley with his fiancé Ebony. The farming operation has continued to grow and evolve over the years and currently they crop about 11,000 acres of grains and oilseeds. Jeff is active in agricultural groups such as the Sask Young Ag Entrepreneurs where he is vice chair on the board of directors and is happy to be returning for a second term on the Ministry's Youth Advisory Committee. He looks forward to continuing to work with the other members of the team to improve agriculture in the province for all producers.
Daryl operates a 4800 acre grain farm seven miles south of Southey overlooking the Qu'Appelle Valley. After completing the Ag Mechanics program at SIAST, he worked at Southey Farm Supply from 1997 to 2002. During this same time Daryl was able to work on the family farm and in 2003 took over the third generation operation. Daryl is always looking for more efficient and cost effective ways to run a successful operation. Their farm size has increased from just over 2000 acres in 2003 when Daryl took over the operation to the current size today. He is currently the treasurer of the Saskatchewan Young Ag-Entrepreneurs and has served on their board since 2007. Daryl enjoys snowmobiling, hockey, golf, camping and travelling with his wife Hayley in his free time. This will be Daryl's second term with the Youth Advisory Committee and he is exited to share ideas on how to encourage and promote agriculture in Saskatchewan
Brett is the fourth generation to be on his ranch and runs close to 800 Black Angus cows with his wife and father. They background all of the calves in their own feedlot. They usually grass all the heifers that don't make it into the breeding herd as well. They do as much of the cattle work off horseback as possible. Brett is also the Fire Chief for Cut Knife and area and is also the president of the patron board for the Battle River/Cut Knife PFRA pasture.
Max and his wife Janelle live west of Melville on the family's homestead along with their children (Jaylee and Kayden). Their farm consists of 7000 acres, 5000 of which consists of grain and oil seed production as well as 300 cow/calf pairs. This is Max's second term on the Youth Advisory Committee and he hopes to continue to bring positive changes to Agriculture in Saskatchewan.
Megan sees agriculture as big business and like any business, starting up is usually one of the most challenging parts. In 2004, Megan and her husband Roley moved back home from Saskatoon and started farming with one quarter of land and a field sprayer. Unlike most young farmers, they didn't start with a land or machinery base from a family farm; this is something they have worked diligently at and have grown into a 4700 acre grain farm. Megan is also an independent sales representative with Pioneer Hi-Bred, specializing in canola and corn seed. In her area of the province, she has seen young farmers moving back home. She believes the once older face of farming is turning into a younger one, and is excited to serve on the Youth Advisory Committee to be actively involved in making recommendations to help guide new and existing policies focusing on what can be done to bring more young people into the farming sector.
Coy was born and raised on a cow-calf operation near Beechy, Saskatchewan. Coy and his wife Laura-Lie are the 4th generation with Perrin Ranching and are grateful to be raising their family there. Coy has a vast interest in beef cattle production, rangeland management, and the ranching lifestyle. His father and grandfather have passed down the importance of using beef cows to preserve and maintain healthy rangelands with proper grazing practices. Coy obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan in 2008, with a major in Animal Science and a minor in Rangeland Resources. Since then, he has been gaining experience within the agriculture industry, specifically with forages, crops, livestock, range management, and invasive plant species. Coy is passionate about the relationship between ranching and environmental sustainability, and getting this positive message out to consumers. His desire is to maintain the land on their family ranch so that it can be productive and viable for future generations.