As University of Guelph student (and blogger) Amanda Brodhagen says, there aren’t many opportunities like the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture program where young people from across the country can come together and share their views.  The competition is in its 25th year now, and on Saturday judges named Cindy Schickedanz, a University of Guelph animal science student, this year’s winner.

A video of Cindy’s enthusiastic delivery of her topic, The Unsung Heroes of Agriculture,  will soon be posted — along with the other 14 competitors in the senior division — on, thanks to the company’s electronic media guru, Andrew Campbell. In her speech, Cindy notes parallels between farm men, women and children, and some of agriculture and food’s famous names, including John Deere, Louis Pasteur and Norman Borlaug.

Cindy and Amanda, as well as Kim Callaghan, Jeremy Parkinson, Elizabeth Schouten and competition finalist Erin Harris, were winners of the speak-off in my third-year agricultural communications class, meaning their participation in the  competition is sponsored by the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development.  The students all gave excellent performances, displaying an array of styles and messages. The University of Guelph is fortunate to have them as members of its student population.

Amanda took the photo here of Cindy on Saturday at the competition’s venue, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair,  shortly after the event. Thanks to the Royal’s CEO Bill Duron for taking time out of his hectic schedule to stop by the finals and bring greetings and congratulations.