October 24th, 2020

Verhaeghe receives UN award


By Sulz, Dave on October 25, 2019.

Honour given for sustainable agriculture role

LETHBRIDGE HERALD

A former Foremost-area resident has been recognized by the United Nations for her efforts to teach young people about sustainable agriculture.

Lindsey (Metheral) Verhaeghe, a Calgary-based employee with international agriculture firm Nutrien, was selected as a United Nations Global Compact SDG Pioneer. In 2015, the United Nations put forth 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the world to achieve, and Verhaeghe’s work with Nutrien uses the SDGs to educate youth about sustainable agriculture. The educational programs are called Journey 2050 and Farmers 2050 which include virtual farm simulations with more than 400,000 players learning about agriculture.

Journey 2050 is a free school program for Grades 7-12. Teachers lead students through inquiry-based lesson plans and interactive games to engage students in answering the question, “how will we sustainably feed nearly 10 billion people by the year 2050?”

Farmers 2050 is a free farm game based on real agriculture. It’s available in the App Store and Google Play Store.

Verhaeghe has been involved with the programs since their inception, but she notes the programs “were built with like-minded partners around the world. Community non-profit partners, educators and agricultural experts helped develop and implement the programs.”

The programs are delivered by agriculture non-profit organizations such as the Calgary Stampede, Ag for Life and Agriculture in the Classroom.

Verhaeghe agrees it’s important to educate young people about agriculture and its important role.

“Agriculture is the foundation for life yet the disconnect between urban and rural continues to grow,” she said by email. “Using educational video games is a powerful way to teach. Youth have a lot of questions about where their food comes from and when they dive into the Journey 2050 program they come up creative and innovative solutions to feeding the world. They also leave with a greater understanding and appreciation for growers.”

The award was presented at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Verhaeghe, who obtained her business degree from the University of Lethbridge, was thrilled to receive the award.

“It’s an honour to be recognized by UN Global Compact,” she said.

Readers can find out more about the sustainable ag educational programs at http://www.journey2050.com and http://www.farmers2050.com.

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