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A youth perspective on global livestock sustainability

Submitted by 2022 Canadian Cattle Young Leaders participant, Gleise Medeiros da Silva

(L-R) Mackenzie Argent, Mitchell Zoratti and Gleise Medeiros da Silva at GASL 2022.

From October 3-7, 2022, I participated in the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) in Dublin, Ireland through my involvement as a 2022 participant of the Canadian Cattle Young Leaders (CYL) program.

The Canadian Cattle Young Leaders program is a national initiative of the Canadian Cattle Association which provides young people ages 18-35 with industry specific training and mentorship opportunities. Through networking, travel and mentorship, participants are equipped with the skills they need to further the success of the Canadian beef industry in the future.

At GASL, there were 148 in-person participants from 42 countries attending the conference in Dublin, while the streaming videos of the week's sessions have already had more than 1,500 views. The week was marked for valuable knowledge exchange and discussions on livestock sector actions towards more sustainable food systems.

I participated as a Canadian youth delegate, along with CCA staff, Mitchell Zoratti, and 2020 CYL graduate, Mackenzie Argent. There were also youth brought to GASL representing all the continents, where we were all involved in leading an interactive plenary session and presenting a synopsis following the field trips that included giving a final presentation from the youth perspective.

The conference discussed the importance of the livestock sector, challenges to secure sustainable food systems, food security and nutrition, and the participation of the next generation to increase youth engagement on sustainable food production.

One of the points that captured my attention the most was around how sustainability may be perceived differently across different regions of the world.

We should not expect every country to have the same targets and actions towards livestock sustainability when each country faces unique challenges, even food security issues. Sustainability in the livestock sector should not be seen as “one rule applies to all” but instead, adapted to understand each condition faced around the world.

Read more: Young Leaders represent Canadian beef industry at GASL

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