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Hello Agvocate,
2019 got off to a busy start for our agvocate community. Most importantly perhaps, we closed the application period for the 2019 Youth Ag Summit! We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed at the record level of interest: in total, we received 2,830 completed applications. Thanks so much to everyone who applied. We’ve now started the process of reviewing every application, so please bear with us for the moment and stay tuned for the announcement of the 100 chosen delegates in May! 

In the meantime, if you just can’t wait to get going on your agvocacy journey, why not commit to doing Three Little Things to shape a better world? What steps could you take right now to foster food security and help work towards Zero Hunger? Big or small, pick your pledges, share them on social media with the hashtag #3LittleThings, and spread the word. Don’t forget to let us know how you get on – and remember…
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
Tweet your #3LittleThings
Shout out to 2017 alumnus Łukasz Czech who recently shared how he’s been getting on with his #3LittleThings – from trying out new methods at his pig farm, to starting to work for a specialized agricultural bank. He’s also doubled the membership of his online group for Polish farmers, which allows for the sharing of best practices and experiences. Well done Łukasz – keep up the good work!
Congratulations to YAS 2017 alumna Ebba Engstrom, who spoke about the SDGs at the 2018 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Youth Forum and then wrote an article on gender equality in the age of robots for the UNCTAD Youth report on Technology. Check it out here
YAS 2015 alumna Sarah Crofoot started the year in style, speaking at the 11th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture where she shared her experience as a rural farmer from New Zealand. 
Meanwhile in England, digital magazine People in Ag UK celebrated its first birthday! YAS mentor Alice Turnbull was there to interview magazine founder Emily Hickman on why ag is more exciting than ever – hear more.  
Climate change can sometimes feel like too big of a challenge for any one person to tackle. But together YAS 2017 alumni Pramisha Thapaliya and Anna Gomes are agvocating on the world stage for climate change action to foster food security. Read their takeaways from the most recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24). 
Do you think soil is a dirty word? YAS 2017 alumnus Sam Coggins is here to change your mind. In the latest episode of The AgVocate podcast, he explains why a passion for soil is the foundation for feeding a hungry planet. 
YAS 2017 alumni and Agrikua co-founders Cassie Hayward and Sophie Healy-Thow were back at the FAO in Rome this month, calling for greater engagement with women and young people in agriculture – catch up with their adventures here
Meanwhile it was also a busy month for another 2017 alumnus, Henning Windheim, who made it back to Brussels to participate in the first ever Young Leaders of Industry Forum organized by the European Commission.
  • Integrating agriculture into cities isn’t easy. But in Singapore, rooftop farming is helping the city secure its food supplies and make the best use of what little space is available. Read more from the World Economic Forum.
  • There’s a new fine-dining trend emerging in New York’s foodie scene – and it’s focused on making meals waste free. The New Yorker has the full story.
  • Phosphorous is a chemical most of us are familiar with from chemistry class. But, as BBC News reports, it is also a natural fertiliser that is essential for Malawai’s smallholder farmers but increasingly in short supply.
  • The FAO has taken a look at how Kenya’s young people are being drawn back to farming, a profession they see as full of potential – learn more about their stories here. Thomson Reuters also reports on the group of Kenyan kids starting their agvocacy journeys by growing climate-adapted, nutritious fruit, vegetable and pulses in their school garden.
  • A new report from the World Resources Institute proposes a five-course menu of solutions aimed at ending hunger without increasing carbon emissions, fueling deforestation, or exacerbating poverty.
  • Technology is reshaping agriculture as we know it. Check out this article from Stanford Business about the new wave of digital solutions making farms smarter.
Do you have an innovative idea for how to make crop protection more sustainable? The IUPAC Next Generation Programme is offering fifty sponsored places for young leaders to attend the 2019 IUPAC International Congress and the Next Generation Agri Summit taking place in Ghent, Belgium, in May 2019. They will also provide five of the attendees with seed funding, mentorship and support to facilitate the startup of their innovation or project idea in crop protection. The deadline for applications is 1 April. Learn more here.
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