Billings—Naomi Cass, a student with the Billings FFA Chapter, scored first place in the Montana Farm Bureau Foundation (MFBFo) Speech Contest held April 5 during the 2024 FFA State Convention at the First Interstate Arena in Billings.

Cass tackled the challenging topic regarding whether agriculture or tourism is really Montana’s cash crop. The student had impressive figures for both industries and went on to cover what the Montana agriculture industry needs to do to remain competitive and sustainable and what the future looks like for both tourism and agriculture.

The Speech Contest was open to students in the 7th, 8th and 9th grades and needed to be between 2.5 and 4 minutes in length.

Cass won $400 and bragging rights for winning the tough competition. The MFBFo awarded more than $1000 in prize money to first place through fifth place.

The runners up included Eli Huckeby, Missoula FFA, second place; Johnnie Schultz, Winnett Shamrocks, third place; Chelise Stone, Geraldine FFA, fourth place, and Justin Aye, Broadus FFA, fifth place.

“The number of kids wanting to go into agricultural pursuits is small, so it is important to have agriculture’s story told. What better way to hone those skills than our Foundation Speech Contest?” said MFBF Vice Gary Heibertshausen who served as one of the speech contest judges. “These students all understood that ag touches everyone and it was rewarding seeing the work that went into developing the speech they presented to us.”

For more information on the Montana Farm Bureau Foundation click here.