A panel of judges selected Marlena Long, of Paris, Mo., and Wyatt Wilson, of Ava, as 2019 Missouri Farm Bureau (MOFB) Ambassadors during the organization’s 104th annual meeting Dec. 2 at the Lake of the Ozarks.
The MOFB Ambassador Program selects a male and female student 17-to-22 years of age to represent agriculture and Farm Bureau for one year. Each Ambassador receives a $1,250 educational scholarship and travels to Washington, D.C., in March on a Farm Bureau legislative trip. As ambassadors, Long and Wilson will make selected appearances throughout 2019 promoting agriculture on behalf of MOFB. They will assist with Farm Bureau events at the Missouri State Fair and elsewhere.
Long represented the Monroe County Farm Bureau. Her parents are Greg and Laura Long. Long is a senior at Paris RII High School and has already completed more than 50 dual credit college hours. She will use those at the University of Missouri-Columbia to work toward a degree in biotechnology. Long is a cheerleader who is very active in 4-H and FFA. She is chapter FFA president, Area 4 FFA president and plans to run for state FFA president.
Long’s parents are deeply rooted in Farm Bureau. Her dad has served as Monroe County Farm Bureau president and her mom won the MOFB Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet to compete nationally in Reno, Nevada, several years ago.
Wilson represented the Douglas County Farm Bureau. His parents are Jon and April. He is a freshman at Missouri State University (MSU) in Springfield pursuing a degree in agricultural education. Extracurricular activities include Collegiate Farm Bureau, Collegiate FFA and the MSU Cattlemen’s Association. When not in school, he is a ranch hand for both Wilson and Warrick Farms. The family farm raises Black Angus cattle. Work on the farm has helped him earn a State FFA Proficiency award in Beef Production, as well as a State FFA degree award.
His family is also active in Farm Bureau with his father a member of the county board, legislative chair, and promotion and education chair. Jon and April are regulars to a number of state Farm Bureau meetings.
The contest began Sunday morning as judges interviewed the 19 students competing. During the Sunday evening program, six finalists presented five-minute speeches and extemporaneously responded to a question before judges selected the winners. The Ambassador program is sponsored by the Missouri Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Committee. Scholarship funds come from the Missouri Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.