Clockwise from top left: Haley, Palsgrove, Spiker and Staley

Ohio Farm Bureau names Discussion Meet finalists

COLUMBUS, Ohio (OFBF) – Four state finalists have been named in Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s (OFBF) 2009 Discussion Meet. They are Pam Haley of West Salem, Cassandra Palsgrove of Pickerington, Andrew Spiker of Adamsville and Kelly Staley of Fredericktown.

The annual contest tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. The young ag professionals will participate in the finals of the competition during OFBF’s annual meeting held Dec. 2 to 4 in Cincinnati.

The finalists were named Aug. 10 after preliminary competition at OFBF’s annual Leadership Conference in Columbus. They discussed the following topics:

• “How can agricultural producers reach out to the public to gain their support on important issues impacting agriculture?”

• “The U.S. has the safest food supply in the world. How do farmers continue to improve the public’s perception of their products?”

Haley is an 11-year member of the Wayne County Farm Bureau, where she is active in membership recruitment. She lives on a grain and Simmental cattle farm with her husband Mike. Haley holds a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness and applied economics from Ohio State University, works as a crop insurance adjuster, and is secretary/treasurer of the Ohio Simmental Association.

Palsgrove is a member of the Fairfield County Farm Bureau, where she participates in a Farm Bureau advisory council. She is an agricultural education instructor at Bloom-Carroll High School, and resides with her husband Brent. Palsgrove holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in agricultural education from Ohio State University.

Spilker, his father, uncle and brother operate a grain and cattle farm in Muskingum County, where he is a seven-year member and current vice president of the county Farm Bureau. A current agriculture education instructor and graduate of Ohio State University, Spilker has also been active as the president of the Adamsville Community Progressive Council and the Muskingum County Livestock Committee.

An eight-year member of Richland County Farm Bureau, Staley is a sixth-grade teacher at Clear Fork Middle School in Bellville. Staley holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and animal science, and a master’s in education from Ohio State University. She and her husband Adam live on a hay and cattle farm with their children Ethan, 5 and Dawson, 2.

The Discussion Meet is hosted by Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals – singles and married couples ages 18 to 35 who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills.

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