Cody Boyce, a senior studying animal science at Montana State University, was named winner of the 2018 Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet Dec 8 in Big Timber. The five other contestants were Kaitlin Farver and Kate Rehm, Miles Community College; Taylor Lindeman and Laci Wiggins, UM-Western and Michael Walsh, Montana State University. Boyce wins a trip to compete in the national Discussion Meet during the FUSION/Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference in March in Milwaukee.  

The Collegiate Discussion Meet, which is open to students belonging to a Collegiate Farm Bureau, is meant to simulate a committee meeting with ideas discussed and solutions developed. The question this year: In our modern world, the rapid dissemination of information and opinion about agriculture and food technologies can make it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. Given these challenges, how can Farm Bureau best protect farmers’ and ranchers’ access to production technology options? 

Boyce said although this was her first time to compete, she had watched the national YF&R Discussion Meet and viewed both rounds of the YF&R Discussion Meet at the MFBF Convention this year. “That definitely helped when preparing to compete at the collegiate level. I wrote down a lot of the good ideas and strategies I heard, making notes on how I could have been beneficial to those discussions if I had been competing. Before the event in Big Timber, I spent time discussing each topic with my friends and family.”  

Boyce, who grew up on a cattle ranch east of Lewistown, highly recommends other students give the Discussion Meet a try. “It is a great opportunity to learn about issues farmers and ranchers face today. It forces you out of your comfort zone, which can be really beneficial when working on public speaking and your ability to advocate for what you believe in.” 

During her time at MSU Boyce works for the Montana FFA Foundation and has been involved in many clubs within the College of Agriculture and she currently serves as president of Collegiate Young Farmers & Ranchers at MSU.  

“I have loved the time I have spent with this club and getting to know the workings of Farm Bureau better,” Boyce said. “I was recently accepted into veterinary school at Washington State University and will start that program next fall. I hope to specialize in large animal veterinary medicine and would love to use my veterinary degree to assist with policy work in the animal industry. I plan to stay involved with advocating for farmers and ranchers. I hope that my education will allow me to do just that.”