Top Winners at American Farm Bureau Convention!

The final winners have been announced for the Achievement Award, Discussion Meet & Excellence in Agriculture!

Achievement Award

Award Name State  
Runner Up Ben & Amy Gittins Idaho
Runner Up Matt & Jenna Kilgus Illinois
Runner Up Mark & Cindy Klepper Tennessee
Winner Chris & Rebekah Pierce Kentucky

 

Discussion Meet

Award Name State
Finalist Megan Hansen Iowa
Finalist Doug Giles Tennessee
Finalist Jeremy Barron Indiana
Winner Sean Arians Illinois

 

Excellence in Agriculture

Award Name State
Runner Up Jessica Jones Virginia
Runner Up Michael                & Amy                Shirley Tennessee  
Runner Up Phillip & Allison Honea South Carolina  
Winner Paul & Ruth Lanoue Minnesota  

 

The Art of Discussion: Insight From a Finalist

Twenty-five minutes, four competitors, one question. In a single round of the Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet contest, competitors strive to display their agricultural knowledge and commitment to improving the industry.

In order to be successful one must perform a balancing act by presenting original and fact-based thoughts while helping to facilitate discussion in a cordial manner.

Over the past several days at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 96th Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show, dozens of finalists from around the country have aimed to do just this.

Before the final round I had the chance to catch up with Megan Hansen, a “top four” finalist and Young Farmers and Ranchers member from Iowa. For Hansen, success can be found in doing your homework ahead of time.

“Have your opening and closings down, or at least a strong idea of what you want to do with them,” she said. “Have three to five strong points that you want to come across with in the conversation and at least have a couple of solutions to go right along with those thoughts.”

As a mom, Hansen also encourages competitors to utilize more than just facts, and draw from personal experiences. “Take those questions to heart and just see how they can be applied to your farming operation or your everyday life.”

The final round took place this morning with the question, “Should farmers and ranchers be held liable for possible food-borne illnesses when the food item of concern can be traced back to their farms or ranches? Why or why not?”

The top four competitors were (in no particular order):

Megan Hansen – Iowa

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Jeremy Barron – Indiana

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Sean Arians -Illinois

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Doug Giles – Tennessee

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The results will be announced in the final general session with the top four finalists receiving a $2,500 prize, and the overall winner receiving either a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado or a 2015 GMC Sierra pickup.

Although the prizes are large and the title of Discussion Meet Champion is prestigious, Hansen reminds future competitors to simply have fun with it.

“Enjoy it!” she said. “It’s there to help us as young professionals and as a part of the young farmers and ranchers committee to be able to have the conversation.”

KennaLewis is a student at California Polytechnic Institute. She was a summer communications intern at the American Farm Bureau Federation in 2014.

#AFBF15

Young Farmers & Ranchers Committees Reunite

Sunday night there was a reception for current and past national Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee members. The reception was one of many occurring so people were filtering in and out to make all of their rounds. It was great to see familiar faces. Everyone had a great time catching up and reminiscing about their time serving on the committee.

YFR iconThe best part of the reception was seeing numerous state presidents in attendance; I counted at least six. And each of these presidents serve on the AFBF Board of Directors. The YF&R program truly is training the leaders of this organization and it was very evident at the reception. There were numerous state board members there as well as past AFBF contest winners.

Thank you to the AFBF Board of Directors for continuing to support this great program. Last night was definitely a showcase of the accomplishments of the YF&R program.

chrischinn is Chris Chinn, a Farm Bureau member in Missouri who serves on the Missouri Farm Bureau board of directors and will represent her state at the delegate session in San Diego. She is a hog producer, 5th-generation family farmer and former chair of the national AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. She was one of the first “Faces of Farming & Ranching” recognized by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. Find her on Facebook and Twitter (@ChrisChinn).

#AFBF15

Finalists for Excellence in Ag & Top 4 Discussion Meet Winners

The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively contribute and grow through their involvement in agriculture, their leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations. Below are the 10 finalists:

  • Phillip and Allison Honea – South Carolina
  • Michael and Amy Shirley – Tennessee
  • Marguerite Tan – Arizona
  • Aaron and Melissa Miller – Kentucky
  • Paul and Ruth Lanoue – Minnesota
  • Jessica Jones – Virginia
  • Elton Baldy – North Carolina
  • Grace Ellis – Alabama
  • Dustin Williams – Wisconsin
  • Kelvin Moreno – Florida

Final Four in the Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet Contest:

The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting in which active discussion and participation are expected. Participants are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic. The final four are below:

  • Jeremy Barron – Indiana
  • Sean Arians – Illinois
  • Megan Hansen – Iowa
  • Doug Giles – Tennessee

Congratulations to all the finalists!

Young Farmers and Ranchers Win Big at #AFBF14

Winners of the Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture competitions were announced today at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention. Young farmers and ranchers from around the country competed for the awards by demonstrating knowledge of and achievement in agriculture, as well as commitment to promoting the agriculture industry.

Brandon and Katherine Whitt of Tennessee won the Achievement Award. They are the winners of either a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado or 2014 GMC Sierra, courtesy of GM. The Whitts will also receive paid registration to attend the 2014 AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference in Virginia Beach, Va., in February.

Brandon and Katherine Whitt (left) of Tennessee won the Achievement Award.

Brandon and Katherine Whitt (left) of Tennessee won the Achievement Award.

Runners-up in the Achievement Award contest are Shane and Mary Courtney of Kentucky,  Jacob and Danielle Larson of Florida and Dwight and Jamie Little of Idaho. The runners-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 65A, courtesy of Case IH, and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise, courtesy of STIHL.

The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Participants are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operation’s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of Farm Bureau.

Nathan Prill of Michigan (left) won the Discussion Meet.

Nathan Prill of Michigan (left) won the Discussion Meet.

Nathan Prill of Michigan won the Discussion Meet. He will have his choice of either a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado or a 2014 GMC Sierra, courtesy of GM, plus free registration to the 2014 AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference.

The three runners-up in the Discussion Meet are Caleb May of Illinois, Shelby Watson of Maryland and Chris Pollack of Wisconsin.

Each runner-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 55A, courtesy of Case IH, and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise, courtesy of STIHL.

The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting in which active discussion and participation are expected. Participants are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic.

Linda McClanahan of Kentucky won the Excellence in Agriculture Award. She will receive her choice of either a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado or 2014 GMC Sierra, courtesy of GM, plus free registration to the 2014 AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference.

Linda McClanahan of Kentucky (left) won the Excellence in Agriculture Award.

Linda McClanahan of Kentucky (left) won the Excellence in Agriculture Award.

The three runners-up in the Excellence in Agriculture competition are Dr. Emily Buck of Ohio, Jennifer Hatcher and Chuck Yoest of Tennessee and W.P. and Amy Johnson of Virginia. Each runner-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 45A, courtesy of Case IH, and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise, courtesy of STIHL.

The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively contribute and grow through their involvement in agriculture, their leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.

Young Farmers and Ranchers Win Big

Winners of the Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture competitions were announced today at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th Annual Meeting. Young farmers and ranchers from around the country competed for the awards by demonstrating knowledge of and achievement in agriculture, as well as commitment to promoting the agriculture industry.

 Ryan and Misty Bivens of Kentucky won the Achievement Award. They are the winners of either a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado or 2013 GMC Sierra, courtesy of GM. The Bivens will also receive paid registration to attend the 2013 AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., in February.

Runners-up in the Achievement Award contest are Michael Springer of Kansas, Dan and Mikki Hosman of Arkansas, and John and Alicia Boelts of Arizona. The runners-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 65A, courtesy of Case IH, and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise, courtesy of STIHL.

The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Participants are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operation’s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of Farm Bureau.

Dillon Kjerstad of Arizona won the Discussion Meet. He will have his choice of either a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado or a 2013 GMC Sierra, courtesy of GM, plus free registration to the 2013 AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference.

The three runners-up in the Discussion Meet are Ann Larson of Illinois, Stacy Vincent of Kentucky and Allison Honea of South Carolina.

Each runner-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 55A, courtesy of Case IH, and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise, courtesy of STIHL.

The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting in which active discussion and participation are expected. Participants are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic.

Dana Allen Fisher of Virginia won the Excellence in Agriculture Award. He will receive his choice of either a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado or 2013 GMC Sierra, courtesy of GM, plus free registration to the 2013 AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference.

The three runners-up in the Excellence in Agriculture competition are Kelby and Kathie Iverson of Utah, David and Meghan Corvin of Tennessee, and Jarrod and Sarah Bowser of Kansas. Each runner-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 45A, courtesy of Case IH, and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise, courtesy of STIHL. 

The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively contribute and grow through their involvement in agriculture, their leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.

Congratulations!

All Good Things Must End

All good things must end and the closing session of AFBF’s 94th Annual Meeting is upon us. The meeting kicked off with a presentation to the retiring board members of the AFBF Board of Directors. Next up was Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack who emphasized the importance of a five year farm bill being passed. Vilsack commented that rural America was losing relevance and we needed to look for ways to expand our reach in less conventional ways.

Another highlight of closing session was retired astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly from NASA who has made four trips into space. He talked about how practice, persistence and the drive to never give up are what contributes to success. He also says there is no excuse for not properly communicating with those you work with.

He shared his account of his wife, Gabby Giffords, being shot in Arizona while she was visiting constituents. He said he never dreamed his wife would be the one to almost lose her life by serving our country, he was the pilot, not Gabby. He said every day as Gabby leaves the house and goes to rehab her last words to him are “fight, fight, fight.” Kelly said one of the highlights of his life was seeing his wife return to the U.S. House floor to cast one of her final votes. Hearing her voice on the House floor was inspiring to so many.
Following Kelly’s speech, the Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee was introduced. The winners of the Y&R contests were announced next. Chairman Glen Cope announced the new chairman for the coming year which will be Zach Hunnicutt from Nebraska. President Stallman then handed Zach his diamond pin which is tradition. Stallman thanked everyone in attendance and invited everyone to come back next year to San Antonio, Texas.

Chris Chinn is a Farm Bureau member in Missouri, serves  on the Missouri Farm Bureau board of directors and will represent her state at the delegate session in Nashville. She is a hog producer, 5th-generation family farmer and former chair of the national AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. Find her on Facebook and Twitter (@ChrisChinn).