Kevin Blair. Photo by Canadian Angus Association.
Canadian Angus Association president Kevin Blair says
young people need to be encouraged to see agriculture as a
Mr Blair is known as a strong supporter of youth within his
He spoke to Courier Country while on tour in the South Island
last week as part of the lead up to the World Angus Forum in
Rotorua this week. The Canadian association, which has about
3000 members, brought three teams to compete in the youth
programme which has run alongside the Forum which winds up
The youth programme featured 10 teams from around the world
competing in challenges including heifer preparation, general
knowledge and agri-challenges.
Mr Blair said, in his experience, schools seemed to be doing
poorly at encouraging young people into careers in
agriculture but it was a ''big job to change the academic
These days, agriculture offered good prospects economically
and improved technology had changed its ''mode of business''.
Agriculture offered desirable careers options where young
people could enjoy flexible schedules and business and
scientific challenges, he said.
And the industry needed ''clear'' and ''creative thinkers''
for the future, Mr Blair said.
He and his wife Noreen own and operate Blairs.Ag in Lanigan,
His family has been involved in the purebred beef industry
for the past 35 years, more recently focusing on red and
Blairs.Ag offers scholarships to young people entering the
industry and has been instrumental in raising more than
$110,000 for Canadian Angus youth programmes over the past