The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation worked with the Minnesota FFA to sponsor the ninth FFA/Farm Bureau Discussion Meet competition.
Fourteen regional FFA finalists from across the state competed at the Minnesota State FFA Convention on Sunday, May 1 at the Continuing Education Conference Center Building on the University of Minnesota campus.
Andrew Miron of the Forest Lake FFA Chapter won the competition and Sarah Marketon of the Howard Lake – Waverly - Winsted FFA Chapter took second place. Jacob Chishom of the Sparsley Populated FFA Chapter, Ethan Bruer of the Morris FFA Chapter and Casey Krieger of the KMS FFA Chapter also advanced to the final round.
Miron and Marketon both receive a college scholarship sponsored by the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation.
Other regional winners participating in the Discussion Meet included: Daina Brown – Staples/Motley FFA, Tahni Gaytan – West Central FFA, Emma Hoversten – Marshall FFA, Lauren Servick – Leroy/Ostrander FFA, Stafford Thompson – Brainerd FFA, Emily Tyler – Thief River Falls FFA, Dustin Demuth – Tracy FFA, Blaine Hougen – BEA FFA, and Justin Antoff – Winona FFA.
Topics of discussion for this year’s event included: How will food movements such as “foodie” and “locavore,” which are focused primarily in urban centers, influence national agricultural production and federal programs?
Given recent challenges, such as volatile food prices and limited world food supplies, do American consumers adequately appreciate the importance of US-produced food?
Will American consumers consider American agriculture important to our security in the future?
Final round questions were as follows: Government has always been involved in agriculture. Is the current level of government involvement a net hindrance or a net benefit to agriculture?
Students participated in two semi-final rounds, and the top five advanced to a final round. Contestants were judged on their basic knowledge of critical farm issues and their ability to exchange ideas and information in a setting aimed at cooperative problem solving.