We are delighted to welcome the incoming YPARD steering committee member: Keron Bascombe.
Keron is the creator of Tech4Agri and holds a Bachelor in Agribusiness from the University of the West Indies. Keron created Tech4Agri in 2011 as a blog which featured stories in tech, innovation and success in Caribbean agriculture & other parts of the world.
This went on to be awarded by the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development (CTA) as part of its YOBLOCO competition. Keron found that his hard work in trying to make agriculture more interesting was something shared by other youth from all over the ACP region.
He discovered the fields of agri-journalism and communication, learning complementary skills in social media from mentor Peter Casier. YPARD in partnership with the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR) as well as CTA were the facilitators the GCARD2 training that provided the exposure and skills built which truly began Keron’s journey and growing career all in support of #agriyouth.
At the account of joining YPARD as an SC member, this is what Keron had to say;
I remember my first time learning of YPARD at the GCARD2 conference via the then Chair and Vice, Courtney and Marina. At first, I was hesitant as she explained the network that we were building. I saw the benefits but I had thought I could not handle the work that was involved.
I was still very new to these fields I had discovered while focused on the comradery I had begun to build with the fellow youths, Nawsheen, Dinesh, Emmie among others involved in the social media training session. At the time I was concerned as the Masters I was pursuing at the time was completely theoretical and simply did not match up with any of the new things I was discovering through these opportunities.
CTA staff Ken, Samson, Judith, Giacomo, Marion including others were positive and genuine in their approach to my development in stark comparison to the lecturers at my University. And amongst all of this, I started to think that I needed stability to support my livelihood.
In short as with any other youth I had the world on my shoulders. However, Courtney explained the need to connect and to collaborate. Even though I felt that our local work environment was limited and often problematic, she felt that as a network we could provide back up support.
Deciding to become a member was one of the most positive, independent and progressive decisions I had made in my then growing career. YPARD continued to invest in my development through additional training opportunities as part of the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF). In turn, I reciprocated by supporting offsite social reporting & blogging work volunteering my time all the while building capacity in a number of different roles.
Even as my career shifted towards entrepreneurship YPARD was there to support local workshops hosted by YPARD Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) in collaboration with other entrepreneurs; fellow YPARD members. To this day YPARD T&T still has the support of Enricka Julien, its communication focal point as we try to find the best avenue to ensure its stability and build greater engagement with members.
Given my experiences to date, with Tech4Agri having won fourteen awards, and executing various roles in almost thirty countries, I am very excited to bring the knowledge I have gained over these 8 years since starting on my journey to the YPARD team as a means to circumvent problems which hinder its progress.
My goal would be to assist the team in ensuring we are impactful with whatever resources we have while building on our strength as a network. In my eyes, there is clearly room for the youth to become a part of our food systems through embracing our changing world as well as opening up to the creatively, drive and energy of us, youth, as a global network.
Welcome on board Keron Bascombe!
You can contact a steering committee member via firstname.lastname@example.org