The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation worked with the Minnesota FFA to sponsor the 12th FFA/Farm Bureau Discussion Meet competition. Fourteen regional FFA finalists from across the state competed at the Minnesota State FFA Convention on Sunday, April 27 at the Continuing Education Conference Center Building on the University of Minnesota campus.
Rebekah Aanerud of the Morris Area FFA Chapter won the competition and Shelby Scheifelbein of the Kimball FFA Chapter took second place. Joe Ramstad of the Forest Lake FFA Chapter and Jackson Triplett of the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA Chapter advanced to the final round. Aanerud and Scheifelbein both receive a college scholarship sponsored by the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation.
Other regional winners participating in the Discussion Meet included: Matti Boomgaarden-Pipestone Area, Samuel Garvey-Marshall, Zack Klaers-Sibley East, Haely Leiding-Lanesboro, Nick Meixell-Lake Crystal Welcome Memorial, Kalon Meyer-Detroit Lakes, Audrey Schleper-Upsala, Jamison Schneckloth-Grand Meadow, Christina Smith-Staples-Motley and Erin Wayne-Thief River Falls.
Topics of discussion for this year’s event included:
- What can be done to encourage young farmers and ranchers to return home to the farm if it means living in a rural area that does not provide the same amenities (education, health care, technology) as a metropolitan community?
- How should Farm Bureau help prepare its members – both young and old – for transferring farms to the next generation of farmers and ranchers? What is Farm Bureau’s role in encouraging more transfers?
- How can Farm Bureau play a role to ensure the viability of quality agricultural education programs within our schools?
Students participated in two semi-final rounds, and the top four advanced to a final round. Contestants were judged on their basic knowledge of critical farm issues and their ability to exchange ideas and information in a setting aimed at cooperative problem solving.
Minnesota Farm Bureau representing Farmers • Families • Food is comprised of 78 local Farm Bureaus across Minnesota. Members make their views known to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public. Programs for young farmers and ranchers develop leadership skills and improve farm management. Promotion and Education Committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom and safety education for children. Join Farm Bureau today and support our efforts to serve as an advocate for rural Minnesota, www.fbmn.org.