July 2019 Member Monday - UFA Co-operative Ltd.

July 2019 Member Monday

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Emmett Sawyer

Emmett Sawyer

Unstoppable Agvocate


July 22, 2019

There aren’t too many 19-year-olds that would list public speaking as a passion, but Emmett Sawyer is not your typical 19-year-old. And that’s not all he’s passionate about. Sit down with this dynamo and you’ll soon learn that he is also passionate about 4-H, UFA Co-operative, agriculture, and family.

Sawyer first caught the public’s attention when he was just 13-years-old and published a 4-H speech on YouTube. The speech was about building consumer trust by being open and transparent about how farmers, like his family, grow and raise the food we buy. Public speaking has been his favourite 4-H activity and it shows. Sawyer has been consistently winning 4-H public speaking competitions for the past six years, all over the province. At 16-years-old, he was also named the Canadian Seed Trade Association Future Influencer at the 2016 Grow Canada Conference.

Last week, at the Calgary Stampede’s International Agriculture and Agri-food Reception, Sawyer was given the chance to speak about his recent 4-H Canada L.E.A.D. Scholarship award. L.E.A.D. stands for “Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction” and is comprised of four pillars each with their own scholarship: Community Engagement & Communications, Science & Technology, Environment & Healthy Living, and Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security—Sawyer won for the last pillar. The scholarship consists of $20,000, awarded $5,000 per University year for up to four years, and the opportunity to receive guidance from a mentor in the recipient’s field through their education journey.

Sawyer was also recently sponsored by Bayer to attend the Global Youth Ag Summit in Brazil this coming November. “I was so happy to receive this honour and never thought it could happen to me. I feel privileged that they chose me and am excited to be a part of the Summit.”

Sawyer’s passion for agriculture began at a young age, having grown up on the family farm west of Acme. His involvement in 4-H began ten years ago as a member of the Swalwell 4-H Club. Up until April when his term ended, Sawyer was the 4-H Alberta Ambassador for the Calgary Region, acting as a resource for clubs. He is thankful for the 4-H program because there are lots of opportunities and benefits. “Other than team building and learning new communication skills, there are also educational scholarships to be won as well, so it’s a program with endless opportunities and I wouldn’t trade my experience with 4-H for the world,” said Sawyer.

Sawyer is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in Agriculture Enterprise Management at the University of Lethbridge. “I’m very passionate about food security and making sure we produce the safest and most environmentally-friendly food that we possibly can,” he said. He is also very interested in the policy behind agriculture, “how the government makes decisions to make sure that agriculture is on track and protecting the environment while moving the industry forward in a safe way, whether with chemicals used or seed varieties.”

Sawyer is also very passionate about co-operatives. In fact, not only is he a member at UFA but he’s also working for the summer at the Strathmore UFA Farm & Ranch Supply store. He says his future goals include working for an agriculture co-operative or a corporate agriculture company, and possibly farming. For now, he appreciates the support that UFA has given him, not only through their sponsorship of 4-H but also for being given the opportunity to broaden his skill set by working in an ag co-operative setting. “I have always appreciated the support from UFA, not only for sponsoring my 4-H club and projects and now for employing me, but also for being trusted advisors and suppliers at our family farm. It’s because of organizations like UFA that I’m able to pursue my dreams.”

In his short 19 years, Sawyer has become a powerful representative for 4-H, for UFA and for all young leaders in agriculture. We look forward to hearing about his adventures in Brazil and to continue to support the next generation of agvocates through our community investment initiatives. Congratulations!