Mon | Mar 25, 2019

Nutramix recognises youth in agriculture

Published:Sunday | March 3, 2019 | 12:16 AMChristopher Serju - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Director of Caribbean Broilers Group Lori-Ann Lyn (second left) with Sonique Bennett, Renardo Stone, and Christian Jones, three of the Nutramix 2019 Youth in Agriculture Ambassadors, as Caribbean Group Director Dr Keith Amiel looks on.
Director of Caribbean Broilers Group Lori-Ann Lyn (second left) with Sonique Bennett, Renardo Stone, and Christian Jones, three of the Nutramix 2019 Youth in Agriculture Ambassadors, as Caribbean Group Director Dr Keith Amiel looks on.

Nutramix is this year celebrating Youth in Agriculture by getting 12 youngsters to share their success stories with Jamaica via a calendar that makes for an informative, colourful, and visually attractive document, detailing their hard work, sacrifices, and successes in words and pictures.

For 24-year-old cattle expert Sonique Bennet, the sense of empowerment is invigorating, enriching, and definitely head-turning.

“At first, it was just like you are going to be on a calendar, but after learning more about the overall project, I am honoured to be a part of this initiative. Agriculture is a vital part of our economy, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be an advocate for such a great initiative,” she said during a recent luncheon at Chillin @ Serengeti, at Hope Gardens, St Andrew.

Business owner-operator 28-year-old Jermaine Henry was happy that his entrepreneurial expertise had been recognised.

“I am so honoured. This is a huge opportunity for young people to take advantage of because of the resources that are available from a company such as Nutramix. At first, I was a bit surprised, but I am excited to be chosen because I didn’t really think anyone would focus on youth in agriculture,” he said.

The glossy 28-page featuring professionals from various fields is a continuation of the company’s ongoing efforts in keeping with its mandate to give a voice to hard-working Jamaicans in agriculture whose contribution over the years might not have been duly recognised.

Brand manager of Nutramix Tina Hamilton said: “Last year, we focused on Women in Agriculture. Most of the small farmers in Jamaica are women, and I don’t think it is something we talk about enough. We realised that so many persons were grateful for the knowledge and acknowledgement. But most of the people who told us that they felt inspired by the stories were young people. This is one of the reasons why we decided that this year we would focus on the youth.”

Optimistic

Hamilton is optimistic that the impact of this exposure will extend well beyond the 2019 calendar year.

“For us, it is more than a calendar. It is a reason to talk about the needs of the industry all year long. When the month ends and you flip the page, there is a new story of a young person doing amazing things to grow their community, improve the industry, and help to build Jamaica. We hope to inspire a new crop of persons, young and old, to feel empowered and get involved,” Hamilton told Arts and Education.

She added that the 2019 Nutramix ambassadors would be given a number of other opportunities to inspire others.

“We have a number of activities planned this year so that the stories of these young people can be heard across Jamaica and the region. Most important is our school tour, which will happen during the fall term. We will be in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Mandeville, Portland, and Kingston. We are inviting schools from all across the country. Some of them will have agricultural backgrounds, but we also want to focus on those students who don’t know anything about farming and agriculture so that we can show them the possibilities of the different careers in the industry and the viability of building a very successful and profitable business.”

She added that the investment in youth by Nutramix is one that is likely to continue to bear fruit for quite some time to come and redound to the benefit of the entire country.

“Without the youth, there is literally no future. Without the youth, there will be no one to feed us. We must take that responsibility seriously and do what we can to get them involved,” Hamilton said.