Discussion Meet Contest
The Discussion Meet is a group discussion designed to offer young farmers and ranchers the opportunity to discuss issues affecting agriculture today. It is not a debate or a speech contest – it simulates a committee meeting where discussion and active participation is expected from each participant.
Discussion Meet Procedure
- The topic chosen will be announced to the participants 30 minutes before the contest begins.
- When the contest begins, the moderator will introduce the contestants and restate the topic to be discussed. The contestants will make a 30 second opening statement in voluntary order.
- The moderator will then indicate the opportunity for open discussion, which will run for a total of 25 minutes.
- The timekeeper will indicate to the moderator when a total of 20 minutes have elapsed, and then again at 25 minutes.
- The moderator will call for one minute of quiet time to allow the contestants to consider a closing statement.
- The moderator will call upon the contestants in voluntary order to make a one-minute closing statement.
Rules of Eligibility
- Contestants must be a Farm Bureau member and actively engaged in agriculture.
- Contestants must be at least 18 and no more than 35 years of age as of January 31, 2025.
- Contestants may not be currently enrolled in any undergraduate courses at the time of the state or national contests.
- Entries are due by January 26, 2024.
- If entries are sufficient, a preliminary contest will be held. The top four entrants would then advance to the final state contest. The contests will be held at the 2024 YF&R Leadership Conference on February 9-11, 2024.
- The state winner will be recognized at the 2024 MOFB Annual Meeting and will receive a cash award and a trip to the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in January 2025, where they will represent Missouri in the national contest.
- Contestants are not eligible to compete in the Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet once they have competed at the YF&R level.
2024 Discussion Meet Questions
- Production agriculture requires a lot of capital. Young farmers and ranchers face challenges gaining access to the capital they need to start or grow their operations. What tools are currently available, and what new programs could be introduced, to help young people access financial resources – and make sound financial decisions – to run their farms and ranches?
- Working with elected officials, in all levels of government, is critical to advancing public policy that supports farmers and ranchers. How can Farm Bureau help elected leaders better understand the challenges of the agriculture sector and the importance of supporting the financial viability of America’s family farms and ranches?
- What is sustainable agriculture and how can Farm Bureau help farmers and ranchers access market-based solutions that advance sustainability goals without restricting their ability to stock America’s pantries, help feed a growing population and maintain farm profitability?
- Farmers and ranchers across the country are diverse in not only the goods they produce, but also in the ways they raise and market them. Farm Bureau’s role is to broadly represent all producers. How can our organization further welcome and engage diverse agricultural communities and cultivate dynamic future Farm Bureau leaders?
- Agriculture uses water for everything from growing crops, raising livestock and moving products to and from farms and ranches. Water issues are often hotly debated, are unique to each region and can pose significant challenges to growers. How can Farm Bureau help address water management challenges and seek long term solutions for farmers and ranchers?