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Importance of Youth Engagement in Extension & Rural Advisory Services

Organized by: YPARD-YEUFRAS

November 30th      3:00-4:00 pm CET        Online

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As part of the 12th GFRAS Annual Meeting, along with YEUFRAS, we are happy to invite you to our online side-event "Importance of Youth Engagement in Extension & Rural Advisory Services", which aims to discuss the importance of youth in having a career in extension services and more specifically, to understand the value of being in RAS and their contribution to food security, as well as current challenges faced by youth. 

This event was thought knowing that youth employment and livelihoods in agriculture is crucial in order to support the food producers of today and tomorrow, as well as that there are many challenges to employing youth in agriculture, including rural to urban migration, negative associations working in agriculture, and lack of empowerment experienced by food producers.

Extension and Advisory services are crucial in keeping current and future farmers interested in producing food and contributing to food security. However, extension and advisory agents face similar challenges to young farmers in entering and staying in the sector, including access to opportunities, credibility, and support.

Invited Speakers:

 Etienne Niyigaba is an agronomist and agriculture extensionist with eight years in agriculture extension and technology transfer to farmers and a wide experience in private and digital agriculture extension. With more than 10 years in global youth in agriculture advocacy, Etienne funded the Youth Engagement in Agriculture Network (YEAN) which is a leading youth-led social enterprise for agriculture extension serving more than 30,000 farmers with private extension and advisory services in Rwanda.
Etienne holds a master’s degree in Crop Cultivation and Farming Systems from Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University (NWAFU) in China with a background in soil science and research interests in effective farming systems.

Ulrich Ryser Director of AGRIDEA - La centrale de vulgarisation agricole in Switzerland since 2010, professional farmer and Agricultural Economist. He’s been an agricultural adviser and lobbyist for the Swiss Farmers Union (1993-2009), President of the Exchange platform in Swiss AKIS, IALB and currently is an EUFRAS Board member.
His professional interests relay on agricultural development, sustainability, methodological work/development, strategy development, innovation, digitalisation, human approaches and change management.

Sandra Eimane Chairman of the board of the Latvian Young Farmers' Club and a young farmer who wants young people in the countryside not to forget about themselves and constantly learn something new.

Marcelita Ponce de León is an agronomist and Master student in International Cooperation Project Management. She currently works as a specialist for the Youth Leadership Plan for the Latin America and the Caribbean Unit of the International Land Coalition. Also, she is YPARD Peru Country Representative for the period 2020 - 2022.

Lorcan Dooley Teagasc Business & Technology Dairy Advisor Over 7 years working in the Agri-environmental sector including 2 years as Education Officer inKildaton Agricultural Colleges, 4 years as Teagasc Agricultural Advisor in Tipperary and just under 2 years as Teagasc Business & Technology Dairy Advisor in Portlaoise focusing on areas such as improving on farm efficiencies, sustainability, business planning and government scheme work.


Genna Tesdall YPARD Director, 

She is a graduate of the global oriented Iowa State (2015) and Penn State Universities (2018) with an M.Sc. in Plant Pathology and International Agriculture and Development. Before joining YPARD, she was the federal agricultural policy officer at the German Rural Youth Association (Bund der Deutschen Landjugend) (2020). As a Fulbright Researcher at the Humboldt University of Berlin (2018-19), she focused on youth involvement in agricultural policy and was the former president (2013-14) of the International Association of Agriculture and Related Sciences Students (IAAS). She currently resides in Berlin.