NS Government: New Youth Council to Advise Minister

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NS Government: New Youth Council to Advise Minister

by ahnationtalk on May 23, 202222 Views

A new Nova Scotia Youth Council for Agriculture will advise the Minister on advancing agriculture and agri-food production as viable career and business opportunities for young people. Council members were announced in Truro today, May 19, and held their first council meeting.

“I look forward to the conversations I will be having with these representatives about the government’s programs, policies and initiatives that will serve a new generation of agricultural producers and business owners,” said Greg Morrow, Minister of Agriculture. “We want to build a future for more young Nova Scotians actively contributing to, and benefiting from, the agriculture industry.”

The Nova Scotia Youth Council for Agriculture includes representatives from farms, agricultural businesses, and other groups and communities:

  • Rebecca Archibald, Colchester County – Nova Scotia Young Farmers
  • James Gerrits, Kings County – producer representative
  • Wyatt Oulton, Hants County – producer representative
  • Nichole van Dyk, Queens County – agri-business representative
  • Courtney Schmidt, Inverness County – agri-business representative
  • Michael Ewert, Kings County – agri-business representative
  • Lauren Peters, Colchester County – Nova Scotia’s representative on the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council
  • Madiya Patriquin, Cumberland County – Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture
  • Sara Henderson, Pictou, County – 4-H Youth Ambassador representative
  • Jonathan Millen, Colchester County – Outstanding Youth Leader in Agriculture
  • Brandon Millen, Colchester County – Outstanding Youth Leader in Agriculture
  • Teighlor Wilmot, Colchester County – Mi’kmaw community representative
  • Elisabet Astakie – African Nova Scotian representative
  • Brieanne Downey – African Nova Scotian representative

The council will mirror the work of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council, formed in 2020 by the federal Department of Agriculture to create a nationwide dialogue on food-related challenges and opportunities for young people.


I look forward to sharing with the Minister the specific barriers women in agriculture face. I will draw upon my experience as a business advisor with the Centre for Women in Business at Mount Saint Vincent University, as well as my involvement in a long-standing, value-added family business in Cape Breton that is owned by women. I’m hopeful my current MBA studies in food and farm management can also help contribute to the conversation. Courtney Schmidt, Nova Scotia Youth Council for Agriculture

Quick Facts:

  • according to Statistics Canada, 6.3 per cent of Nova Scotia farmers are under 35 years of age
  • the average age of farm operators in Nova Scotia increased from 56.5 in 2016 to 58.2 in 2021; nationally, the average age of farm operators is 56, up from 55 in 2016
  • the organization Nova Scotia Young Farmers currently has 70 members
  • there are 1,261 registered 4-H members across the province’s 18 counties, participating in more than 60 projects that help develop youth leadership skills; 4-H has 515 leaders and volunteers



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