Hicks and Knorr Finish in Top Sixteen in National Discussion Meet

Jakob Hicks of Redwood County and Johanna Knorr of Pelican Rapids finished in the top 16 in the National Collegiate Discussion Meet at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) FUSION Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They were among 53 participants in this year’s competition.

Hicks and Knorr advanced to the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) contest after capturing first and second place honors respectively at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet in November. Contestants are 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.

Contestants participated in two rounds of discussion on Saturday with the top 16 qualifying for the Sweet 16 on Sunday. The topics discussed by contestants in these rounds were:
  • Today’s food companies employ many tactics to gain a marketing edge. What is the purpose of food labels? How can Farm Bureau work to ensure that consumers understand the labels and have confidence in the safety and quality of their food?
  • The nation’s tax policy has become increasingly complicated and cumbersome. What should a balanced and beneficial tax policy look like for agriculture?
  • American agriculture depends on a foreign-born labor force. How would you draft a national immigration policy?
Hicks’ family farms near Tracy in Redwood County. He attends Southwest Minnesota State University where he majors in agronomy. Knorr’s family farms near Pelican Rapids in West Otter Tail County. She attends the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities majoring in animal science and agribusiness.

All AFBF YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet competitors receive a $250 scholarship from John Deere.

Twelve Farm Bureau members from Minnesota are among over 1,100 attending the AFBF FUSION (Farmers United: Skills, Inspiration, Outreach and Networking) Conference. The Conference runs February 10-13 featuring seminars and tours for volunteer leaders from three program areas: Young Farmers & Ranchers, Promotion & Education and Women’s Leadership.