Sask. woman back from ag summit in Brazil with new ideas for local food security

Karly Rumpel grew up on a farm and sees her future in the industry, but plans to focus more on sustainability.

Karly Rumpel grew up on a farm and sees her future in the industry

There were five delegates chosen from Canada to attend the Youth Ag Summit, including Karly Rumpel (third from right). (Submitted by John Tabbernor)

Agriculture was a natural career path for Karly Rumpel. She grew up on a mixed beef and grain farm.

That personal history gave her a leg up, but there are some aspects of the industry she says are shifting.

"We're caring more about our soil health on a practice level," the 22-year-old said. 

"We're constantly getting more sustainable and getting higher yields while we're at it." 

Karly Rumpel was raised on a mixed cattle and grain farm in southern Saskatchewan. She was one of seven from Canada to attend the Youth Ag Summit in Brazil. (Karly Rumpel/Facebook)

Rumpel's focus on sustainability and food security gave her the chance to attend an international agriculture summit in Brazil this month. 

To attend the bi-annual Youth Ag Summit, which invites 18- to 25-year-olds, Rumpel had to submit an idea to help solve world hunger, no matter how big or small. She went small, with a pitch for a canning class that uses goods otherwise headed to the wastebin.

"So it's either ugly — or something that's coming close to perished," she said. 

Food allocation and food waste are two important issues for Rumpel. She said food is being thrown out by grocers, markets and packagers all throughout the supply chain, while people are going hungry even in her hometown of Craven, Sask. 

"With something as little as empowering them to be able to have access to produce — even if it's not fresh year round — we're getting rid of that waste as well as empowering some people to have access to food,"  she said.

The Youth Ag Summit was held Nov. 4 to 6 in Brazil. One-hundred youth, aged 18 to 25, from 45 countries attended. (Karly Rumpel/Facebook)

Rumpel said the atmosphere and comradery of agriculture has always drawn her to the sector and she found that same atmosphere at the conference in Brazil. 

"It was just that instant relationship, instant kinship," she said. 

Karly Rumpel grew up working on her parent's farm. She said she loves the people in the agricultural sector. (Submitted by Karly Rumpel)

Rumpel also learned some things about the viability of her canning proposal. She said the food wouldn't lose too much of the nutritional value from the process — only the water soluble vitamins — and that there could be benefits for grocers. 

She also learned about other cultures. Before the summit, she felt like she was "in a bubble," she said. 

"They're also proud of their countries. But I could never imagine going to what they call home," she said. 

Karly Rumpel (left) said she get to know some of the other delegates at the summit and hear a bit about what they faced in their own countries. (Karly Rumpel/Facebook)

She spoke about one delegate who grew up impoverished as an orphan in Nigeria.

"Yet here he was trying to feed the world," she said. "He was super motivating and awe-inspiring because he's so selfless."

Now Rumpel is back home in Saskatchewan, working as an agronomist and living about 20 minutes away from the farm she grew up on. She said she hopes her generation will continue working toward the larger goal of solving world hunger by focusing on small projects and being sustainable.

Karly Rumpel was raised on a mixed cattle and grain farm near Craven, Sask. (Submitted by Karly Rumpel)

She hopes to implement her canning class in nearby small towns starting around February.

The things she learned at the summit will stay with her forever, she said. 

"It was truly life changing for me," she said.  "It was really one of the most energizing humbling amazing events I've ever been to in my entire life."


Heidi Atter

Mobile Journalist

Heidi Atter is a journalist working in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. She has worked as a reporter, videojournalist, mobile journalist, web writer, associate producer, show director, Current Affairs host and radio technician. Heidi has worked in Regina, Edmonton, Wainwright, and in Adazi, Latvia. Story ideas? Email


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