American Farm Bureau Federation’s Collegiate Discussion Meet, sponsored by the CHS Foundation, provides collegiate members the chance to test themselves, analyzing important agricultural issues and developing solutions to complex problems as they compete against each other in a simulated committee meeting. The meet will take place during the American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Rancher Conference Feb. 16-19, 2018 in Reno, Nev.
During the contest, discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. Competitors are evaluated on their exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic (listed below). Participants build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems.
This year’s Collegiate Discussion Meet features 59 competitors from 38 states, including Ohioans Hannah Schrader, from Hocking County who is a junior at Wilmington College and Katherine Wolfe, from Stark County who is a senior at Ohio State University.
They will be discussing some of the following topics:
- Farmers are a shrinking percentage of the population. How can Farm Bureau help first-generation farmers and ranchers get started in agriculture?
- With a growing demand for US farm products abroad, how can agriculture overcome public skepticism of foreign trade to negotiate new trade agreements and open new world markets?
- Formation of family farm corporations is common practice. How can Farm Bureau work to ensure that the public’s positive perception of the family farm is not lost?
- How can farmers and ranchers maintain their buying power with the continued trend of input supplier and provider consolidations?
- How can Farm Bureau help members with increasing legal and regulatory obstacles so they can focus on farming and ranching?
Photo caption: Kameron Reinhart and Meghan Bruns of Wilmington College represented Ohio in the AFBF Collegiate Discussion Meet in 2017.