Lacombe teen David MacTaggart is among the Top 30 Under 30 for 2018 who are working towards a just and sustainable future for all.
Sponsored by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation, the Top 30 Under 30 are chosen through a competitive nomination process that’s judged by leaders in the field of international development.
MacTaggart, 19, was recognized for his leadership experience with 4-H, his summer research with Agriculture Canada, and his desire to motivate and inspire the next generation of young rural leaders to develop sustainable farming practices while contributing to global food security.
Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a major in crop science, MacTaggart wants to get his PhD to work to make the world’s staple crops like wheat, corn and rice more tolerant to changing climate conditions in Canada and elsewhere.
“In Canada we have a good buffer with the technology that we have available to us. But in areas where they’re facing more technology disparity, like developing countries where they’re using more older practises for farming, they’re definitely seeing the impact right now,” said the second-year University of Saskatchewan student on Wednesday.
As a student he’d like to work with international development agencies that help developing countries find sustainable agricultural practices.
“That’s something that I think we can make the most progress with in the future in feeding the world.”
During the last two summers the Notre Dame High School graduate worked at the Agriculture Canada’s Lacombe Research and Development Centre where he was inspired to pursue a career as a scientist.
But his interest in agriculture started on his mother’s family farm near New Norway, Alta.
“I was able to work for my family for several years on that farm which really helped me gain a perspective on what producers are needing as far as scientific innovation in agriculture. I think that was a really good foundation before I started getting into more technical work.”
On Friday night he will join his fellow outstanding youth at the Top 30 under 30 magazine launch in Edmonton at the University of Alberta.
“There’s a lot of great minds and to be considered in the same group as those people is truly a humbling experience. There’s people that have had a lot of experience working already whether that’s with various not-for-profits or in industry.”