Dairy Flat cattle breeder Courtney Davies, 23, will represent New Zealand at the Bayer Youth Ag Summit, taking place in Brasília, Brazil, November 4 – 6.
The Summit, run in partnership with Nuffield Brazil, brings together young change-makers aged 18-25 to tackle the challenges of how to feed a growing population by 2050.
An environmental educator, Davies teaches students about sustainability and the environment through virtual reality, and is set to showcase Kiwi ideas and solutions for tackling global food security on the world stage at the Summit.
Davies is one of 100 young participants from 45 countries attending the Ag Summit, which is part of Bayer's Agricultural Education Program.
Davies said it will be an incredible opportunity to represent the vision of New Zealand youth on an international stage and to work with other delegates to create real change.
"I'm especially looking forward to collaborating with some of the brightest young innovators from around the world. Given the calibre of previous Youth Ag Summits, I know there will be some incredible ideas explored for solving food security problems."
Listen to Jamie Mackay's interview with Courtney Davies below:
As part of the application process to attend the Youth Ag Summit, Davies pitched ideas on how to tackle food insecurity in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Her ideas are focused around creating accessible education opportunities in agriculture for young people by utilising technology, such as virtual reality.
"I hope to be able to create opportunities using technology to enable every young person in New Zealand to take a look into agriculture, especially if they physically can't get onto a farm. We can bring science and agriculture to young people and enable them to get more involved with our changing agricultural landscape."
About Courtney Davies
Davies' main passions in life are agriculture and science, which she successfully managed to combine while completing a Master of Natural Science in microbiology at Massey University.
Her Masters project focused on using bacteria to produce biodegradable plastics, but more specifically as a drug delivery system for antimicrobials as alternatives to antibiotics.
She is also an award-winning Ayrshire cattle breeder, which she runs from the family lifestyle block in Dairy Flat, Auckland.
In 2016 Davies won a Blake Ambassador Freshwater internship at NIWA working on understanding the link between urbanisation and dairy science.
She has won numerous academic and agricultural awards, and holds ambassador or representative roles with several organisations.
These include: New Zealand Rural Ambassador, Northern District Rural Ambassador, councillor and youth representative, Royal Agriculture Society Next-Generation portfolio holder as well as the National Stock Judging/Parading Champion (Dairy, Beef, Fleece, Poultry and Merino).
Davies currently works for the Sir Peter Blake Trust as an environmental educator giving presentations on sustainability through virtual-reality technology.
The Bayer Youth Ag Summit will take place from November 4 – 6 and delegates hail from the following countries:
Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Ethiopia, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria, Ghana, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Canada, USA, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Mexico, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Nepal and Cambodia.
This year's crop of 100 delegates attending the Youth Ag Summit includes entrepreneurs, farmers, students, plant scientists, and economists.
Their ideas focused on tackling challenges as varied as gender equality, sustainable agriculture, youth education, food waste, and climate change.
Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and head of the Crop Science Division said "about 800 million people around the world go to bed hungry each night, and these young innovators are eager to help solve this challenge. The 100 delegates headed to Brazil in November all share a commitment to driving innovation in agriculture, which is vital if we are to both feed the world and ensure healthy ecosystems."
Fabiano Paganella, president of Nuffield Brazil, added, "The next generation will need to create a better tomorrow. But to do that, they need to be given a voice today. The Youth Ag Summit gives young leaders the chance to learn and practice new skills – and we are excited to help deliver these opportunities to 100 new advocates in November."
For the chosen delegates, the Youth Ag Summit will function as an idea incubator: helping them turn their ideas into reality and equipping them with the skills needed to realise their projects.
They will also hear from expert speakers and participate in field trips to learn more about the agricultural industry in Brazil.
Visit www.youthagsummit.com to meet the delegates and to learn more about the Summit.