LARAMIE--University of Wyoming (UW) student Kaitlynn Glover discussed agriculture issues at a recent Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Collegiate Discussion Meet and earned $300 cash and a trip to Phoenix, Arizona.  Glover competed Oct. 16 with other University of Wyoming students in the event held at the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

“I am humbled to have won this competition, but I am more excited that discussions of this type are occurring around the nation with young individuals,” Kaitlynn Glover said. “The current collegiate generation has the ability to shape agriculture policy for the next 50 years, and I hope that when we begin to do so we are able to work efficiently and collaboratively to the most desirable end.”

The competition is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each committee member.  The competition was open to all Wyoming college agriculture students. 

The participants competed in two rounds of competition.  In the first round they discussed how to encourage young farmers and ranchers to return home to the farm when living in a rural area does not provide the same amenities as a metropolitan community.  The second round topic focused on Farm Bureau’s role in ensuring the viability of quality agricultural education programs within our schools.

“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,” Raenell Taylor, WyFB YF&R State Vice Chair, said. 

“It was also beneficial for the YF&R Committee to receive some input about the contestant’s views of how to ensure having quality agricultural education programs within our schools,” Taylor continued.

            Contestants are given pre-determined topics.  They are judged on their knowledge, speaking ability, ability to participate in a committee meeting and listen to others and air all points of view. 

“One of the facets of agriculture education lacking in today's collegiate system is that of agriculture advocacy,” Glover continued.  “Many young agriculturalists know their issues well, but they struggle with discussing issues with those who are not familiar with the industry.  Discussions of this nature force participants to utilize their experience and attempt to troubleshoot issues while considering the perspective of policymakers and the general public.” 

Glover will represent the Wyoming Farm Bureau in the American Farm Bureau Federation Collegiate Discussion Meet Feb. 8-11, 2013 in Phoeniz, Ariz.  She also received a $50 gift certificate from the UW College of Agriculture Office of Academic and Student Programs. 

            Glover, of Casper, is a senior at the University of Wyoming pursuing a career in agriculture communications with a minor in international agriculture economics.  Upon graduation, she plans to attend graduate school in Ireland to prepare herself to be an effective advocate of agriculture in an increasingly globalized market. 

            Tyler Harran, from North Carolina, was named the runner-up and was awarded a $150 cash prize.  Harran is a junior at the University of Wyoming majoring in agroecology.  He wants to work on improving crop systems.

The other finalists were:  UW students Kailey Barlow and Kassandra Ford.  Barlow is a UW senior majoring in agricultural business.  From Big Piney, Barlow was recently elected to serve as a Southwest District representative on the WyFB YF&R Committee.  Gillette native Kassandra Ford is a senior majoring in pre-veterinary/animal science.  They each received a $25 cash award.

 “I'd like to thank the Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee for working so closely with the collegiate youth,” Glover concluded.  “When students have the opportunity to learn from someone other than professors, their education becomes cohesive, and that prepares them to think critically about issues they routinely face.”

The Wyoming Farm Bureau YF&R program provides leadership, networking, educational and competitive event opportunities to Wyoming agriculturalists between the ages of 18-35.  To learn more, visit them on Facebook and on the web at