2019 Discussion Meet contestants

2021 Discussion Meet seeking contestants

The Discussion Meet is a competitive event, fashioned as a media interview, where participants are judged on their exchange of ideas and information on a predetermined topic. 

Contestants will find they:

  • Enhance their skills in effective communication.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of important agricultural issues.

New format for 2020

The Discussion Meet traditionally focuses on the competitor’s ability to collaboratively address issues facing agriculture, in an effort to develop a creative solution. According to Kelsey Turner, leadership development program specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau, the organization is taking this traditional format and giving it a small twist to make the competition ever more relevant in 2020.

This year, Ohio Farm Bureau is hosting a virtual Discussion Meet. The format of the contest is being adjusted to allow for a one-on-one interview: Each contestant will participate in a 15-minute interview with OFBF Director of Media Relations Ty Higgins via Zoom. Contestants will be asked the same questions regarding two predetermined topics (listed below). The interview will be recorded and shared with a panel of judges for scoring.

“Media interviews are commonplace for Young Ag Professionals, and given the current climate we find ourselves in, it is important to elevate our voice and share the story of agriculture. These 15-minute media interviews will not only challenge the competitors to dig deep on current ag issues but also balance the professional presentation of their research,” Turner said. “This new format maintains the integrity and purpose of the Discussion Meet while potentially broadening the audience.

2021 Competition Topics

Topic 1: The increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters creates additional risk for farmers and ranchers. What tools and production practices can be engaged to reduce climate and weather risks?

Topic 2:  International trade is important to agriculture. We must continue working to build strong relations with existing customers while seeking out new trade partners to strengthen market stability. How can we enhance existing and establish new and diverse foreign trading partners?


  • Applications due Oct. 19.
  • Interviews take place Nov. 9-13.


  • $1,000 cash award from Nationwide Insurance.
  • Expense-paid trip to OFBF Annual Meeting December 2021 in Columbus and American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Atlanta Jan. 7-12, 2022.


  • Must be an active/voting member of a county Farm Bureau.
  • Must be 18-35 years of age prior to Jan. 31, 2022.
  • Must not have received a public speaking fee or honorarium in the past 24 months.
  • Previous state winners and current Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee are ineligible.
  • Past and present members of the AFBF YF&R Committee may not apply.

Apply online by Oct. 19. Contact Kelsey Turner, [email protected] or 614-246-8218 for more information.