--$300 cash prize and eligibility for national competition; Oct. 1 application deadline

            Wyoming college students have the opportunity to apply what they are learning at college and help develop their communication skills for agriculture through the 2013 Wyoming Farm Bureau YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet. 

           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 and an expense paid trip to the national competition.  On Oct. 8, 2013 the YF&R Committee will host the ninth annual WyFB YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet.  The competition will be at the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Laramie.

             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. How should Farm Bureau engage farmer/rancher members, representing all types and kinds of operations (i.e. conventional, organic, large, small and niche markets), to work together to better promote a more positive image of agriculture?
  2. How do we encourage young farmers and ranchers to continue to be involved in Farm Bureau? How can young producers lead even if they don't hold elected positions on boards?
  3. What are the best practices for youth working on farms and ranches to ensure their safety and provide them learning opportunities in the area of agriculture production?
  4. US agriculture is one of the major industries for the American economy. What can farmers do to stimulate more economic growth?
  5. How can Young Farmers & Ranchers work with elected and appointed officials to eliminate unnecessary or excessive regulations placed upon agriculture while ensuring that new regulations are justified based on their costs and anticipated benefits?

             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 4 p.m. on Oct. 8.   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. 7-10, 2014 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

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

          Click here for an application or call 307.532.2002 or e-mail kclark@wyfb.org.  Applications are due Oct. 1, 2013.