2015 Young Leader Competition

This year the topic of the competition was:

Feeding a growing population is a concern that is forefront in not only the beef industry but the general agriculture sector.  What idea would you propose to the Five Nation Beef Alliance that would contribute to sustainable global beef production?

Breeanna Kelln of Canada was selected by the international panel of judges as the winning entry and will be joining the delegation in Mexico from October 18 to 23. An excerpt from her short essay addressing the topic is included below:

What is sustainability? Is it simply just a definition? Sus·tain·a·ble. Adjective.  1. able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.  2. able to be upheld or defended.  Does it depend on the application within its use? In ecology, sustainability is defined as how biological systems remain diverse and productive or it can be generally defined as the endurance of systems and processes.  Does sustainability have social and economic values?

I believe that sustainability is not an end destination, but an ever evolving process.  We, as a members of the beef industry and more so, the agricultural community need to cultivate that process in order to maintain sustainable growth, within economic, social and environmental means.  Agriculture is a progressive business with increasing demand and a growing business is difficult to manage. Many of our customers are living in urban centers and their views on sustainability encompass environmental and social facets.  As producers, our goals include these two segments, plus economic sustainability.  Therefore our goals are the same and thus, this is a great starting point for sustainable growth.  We are feeding a growing population, which is a noble cause; however I feel that this romantic view of agriculture has overshadowed the general consumer.  Our customers want to know they are choosing a safe, high quality and reliable food choice and care about what on their plate and their family’s plate.  Therefore, it’s time we start sharing the story they want to hear….the one about what’s on their plate.

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” James Cash Penney


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