--$300 cash prize and eligibility for national competition, Nov. 9 application deadline

            The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Committee invites all undergraduate students (attending the University of Wyoming or a Wyoming Junior College) majoring (or with a minor) in agriculture to talk their way towards $300 cash.  On Nov. 15, 2011 the YF&R Committee will host the eighth annual WyFB YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet.  The competition will be at the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture in Laramie.

            “This competition affords an opportunity for college students to apply what they are learning to current agriculture issues,” Chalsey Kortes, Wyoming Farm Bureau YF&R State Chair, stated.  “It is great preparation for anyone majoring in agriculture.  Whether you are going into an agriculture business or back to the ranch, becoming involved with issues that affect the agriculture industry and developing as a spokesperson for the industry is an essential tool for your resume.”

            This competition is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each committee member.  Contestants are given pre-determined topics which will be discussed.  The five topics this year are:

  1. Are the current and proposed Renewable Energy Policies beneficial to all segments of American agriculture?  Why or why not?

     2.   How can we convince the public that the animal agriculture industry balances production efficiencies  with the public’s expectations of animal care?

     3.   Have farmers and ranchers effectively utilized social media to educate and influence the public?  What strategies can be implemented to expand the interaction between producers and consumers?

    4.  How do we capitalize on the growing world demand for agricultural products?

    5.  What role, if any, should agriculture play in addressing health and obesity issues?

             Contestants will also give opening and closing statements and are judged on their knowledge, ability to participate in a committee meeting and listen to others and air all points of view.

            All contestants will participate in a preliminary round of competition with the top four advancing to the final round.  Contestant orientation begins at 3:45 p.m. on Nov. 15.   The winner of the Collegiate Discussion Meet will receive a $300 cash prize.  The winner will also receive travel reimbursement to compete for college scholarships in the American Farm Bureau Federation YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet Feb. 18-20, 2012 in Grand Rapids, Mich. 

The runner-up will receive a $150 cash prize.  The third and fourth place finalists will receive a $25 cash prize.

Visit www.wyfb.org for an application or call 866.272.2197, 307.532.2002 or e-mail kclark@wyfb.orgApplications are due Nov. 9, 2011.

“The competition is a great opportunity for college students to put their knowledge into a competition and also show them the opportunities available through Wyoming Farm Bureau’s YF&R program,” Kortes concluded.