2013 Youth Ag Summit: Solutions to Feeding a Hungry Planet
by Qwamel Hanks (Food Science and Human Nutrition undergraduate)
By 2050, the world’s population is predicted to reach 9 billion. That’s two billion more people to sustain on a planet that already has over 850 million undernourished individuals. How will we be able to provide food for a growing population with a decreasing amount of resources?
I was fortunate to be selected to attend the first ever 4-H Youth Ag-Summit (YAS), along with UF undergraduate Nathaniel Carson from Food and Resource Economics. The week-long conference was held in Calgary, Canada in August 2013, with a focus on developing solutions to feed a hungry planet. Visit http://youthagsummit.com/en/learn for more information.
Young agricultural delegates, mentors, and volunteers from around the world participated. For seven days, we listened to advocates in agriculture, toured food production sites, and formed into groups to create a vision and goal. At the end of the week, all delegates voted on which of the groups’ vision to adopt. I can proudly say that I was part of the winning group that established the first ever vision for the Youth Ag-Summit. Our vision statement stated: “To increase sustainable access to nutrient-dense food for women and children in order to alleviate hunger.”
The conference overall was a very informative and inspiring experience, and I am extremely grateful for having had this opportunity. Now, I am even more dedicated to hunger relief in my community and globally and will be even more dedicated to studying and working on solutions to feeding this planet. This conference was just the beginning of my dream career in food security!