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Carlson Wins State FFA Discussion Meet

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation worked with the Minnesota FFA to sponsor the 13th FFA/Farm Bureau Discussion Meet competition. Fourteen regional FFA finalists from across the state competed at the Minnesota State FFA Convention on Sunday, April 26 at the Continuing Education Conference Center Building on the University of Minnesota campus.

Haley Carlson of the Staples-Motley FFA Chapter won the competition and Liam Fury of the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA Chapter took second place. Olivia Oehlke of the Stewartville FFA Chapter and Brian Remington of the United South Central FFA Chapter also advanced to the final round. Carlson and Fury both receive a college scholarship sponsored by the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation.

Other regional winners participating in the Discussion Meet included: Emily Annexstad, South Central Ag Science Academy; Kirsten Barott, Glencoe-Silver Lake; Tanner Johnson, West Central Area; Kaiser Kukowski, Detroit Lakes; Haely Leiding, Lanesboro; Justin Petersen, Jackson County Central; Jackson Triplett, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted; Ethan Walz, Detroit Lakes; Libby Wilts, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg; and Blake Wolters, Pipestone Area.

Topics of discussion for this year’s event included:
  1. How would the condition of government-managed public lands change if they were managed privately? What are the pros and cons of government ownership of land versus private ownership?
  2. 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?
  3. How should our nation’s policies balance concerns about food insecurity against concerns about the safety or environmental impact of modern agricultural technologies? What role should farmers have in discussing and debating these issues in our society and with our lawmakers?

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.