Thursday, January 20, 2022

MT Farm Bureau Gearing up for Discussion Meet

The Discussion Meet contest is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each competitor.

by Andy Schwab
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The Montana Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee encourages members ages 18-35 to compete in the Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet, which takes place November 9 during the MFBF Convention in Billings. The winner of the Discussion Meet will receive the keys to a Polaris Ranger 500 and an all-expense-paid trip to participate in the National Discussion Meet January 2022 in Atlanta, GA.

The Discussion Meet contest is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each competitor. It is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic and is an excellent way for young people to learn more about agricultural issues.

Last November, Karli Johnson, a young rancher from Choteau, was the excited winner of a Polaris Ranger donated by selected Polaris dealers in Montana. Due to the pandemic, the revised event still allowed competitors to participate.

Johnson added that aside from the opportunity to win a Polaris Ranger, the Discussion Meet plays a valuable role for young farmers and ranchers. “Having quality conversations around opportunities for growth in the agricultural industry is fascinating and gratifying regardless of whether you win or not. The years I participated but didn’t win were still gratifying. Life can be isolating for young people in agriculture; this competition brings them together to talk about big ideas.”

Discussion Meet Questions

  1. How can Farm Bureau improve its effectiveness at recruiting YF&R members and increasing participation in YF&R programs?
  2. COVID revealed several cracks involving the processing of livestock. How can Farm Bureau policy support easing government regulations to ensure long-term economic viability for local animal processing facilities, while ensuring the health of workers and that a healthy product is still delivered to consumers?
  3. Studies show more farmers and farm families are experiencing stress and mental health issues. What can farmers, ranchers and Farm Bureau do to proactively promote good mental health in both themselves and their communities?
  4. Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries. What can we, as young farmers and ranchers, do to create a more preventative, rather than a reactive, approach to farm safety in our communities?
  5. As the world population increases, so will the need for renewable resources. On a local level and across the globe, how can Farm Bureau help farmers and ranchers continue to increase their efficiency in the use of valuable resources and transition to “Green Energy” practices on their farm or ranch?

For more information on the Discussion Meet, visit www.mfbf.org/Programs/Young-Farmers-Ranchers. For questions and information about the Young Farmers & Ranchers program, contact Sue Ann Streufert, 406-587-3153, sueanns@mfbf.org.  The 102nd Montana Farm Bureau Annual Convention will be held November 8-11 at the DoubleTree and Northern Hotels in Billings. Be sure to follow Montana Farm Bureau on Facebook and Instagram.

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MFBF – 2021

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