2017 Discussion Meet applications due Oct. 31

Farm Bureau’s strength depends on its members’ ability to analyze agricultural issues and decide on solutions that best meet their needs. The Discussion Meet competition is designed for young agricultural professionals to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each committee member. Find more detail in the AFBF Discussion Meet Manual.

The Discussion Meet tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. Applications are due Oct. 31 to Ohio Farm Bureau, with semi-finals being held Nov. 30 as part of the Ohio Farm and Food Leadership Forum in Columbus. Finals will take place Feb. 3 at the OFBF YAP Winter Conference, also in Columbus. The state winner will represent Ohio at the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention January, 2018 in Nashville.

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.

The winner receives a $1,000 cash award from Nationwide Insurance, a Polaris Most Versatile Generator, an expense paid trip to 2017 OFBF Annual Meeting including two-nights lodging and an invitation to the Kick-Off Luncheon Dec. 6-8 and an expense-paid trip to the AFBF Annual Convention in January 2018 in Nashville.
Meet last year’s winner Steven Caraway, from Adams County.
2017 Discussion Meet Topics, Competition and Awards
Semi-Finals— Nov. 30, 2016 at Ohio Farm Bureau’s Food and Leadership Forum (OFFLF) at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus. Round 1 will begin at 8:45 a.m. and Round 2 will begin at 2:30 p.m. Contestants will receive a free registration to the OFFLF.
Semi-Final Round 1 Question:  How can we ensure that farmers and ranchers, not government agencies, are driving the management of natural resources?
Semi-Final Round 2 Question: 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?
Four finalists will be chosen. The 2016 finalists appeared on Town Hall Ohio.
Finals –Feb. 3, 2017 at the YAP Winter Leadership Conference. Rounds will take place from 5:30-8 p.m. at and finalists will receive one free registration to the conference.
Final Round 1 Question: How can we as farmers and ranchers maintain “ownership” of our intellectual and proprietary information?
Final Round 2 Question: American agriculture depends on a foreign-born labor force. How would you draft a national immigration policy?
• Must be a farmer/voting member of a county Farm Bureau.
• Must be 18-35 years of age prior to Jan. 31, 2018
• Must not have received a public speaking fee or honorarium in the past 24 months.
• Previous state winners and current Young Agricultural Professionals Advisory Team are ineligible.
• Past and present members of the AFBF YF & R Committee may not apply.
• County, state and American Farm Bureau employees are not eligible, as well as affiliate companies.
Questions may be directed to OFBF Director of Leadership Programming Melinda Witten.