The Discussion Meet is a great opportunity to flex your communication muscles and hone your collaborative skills. We'll be hosting a Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet on November 8th during the MFBF Annual Convention in Billings. Besides being a fantastic networking opportunity there are some serious prizes on the line. Not sure if it's for you? Read on to hear past winner, Jennie Anderson, explain why you should give it a try.
Montana Farm Bureau’s YF&R discussion meet is a great opportunity for young farmers and ranchers across the state to come together and discuss pressing topics facing agriculture today. Here are 5 reasons why every YF&R member should participate in the state discussion meet in the future.
1.) It’s just friendly conversation. Have you ever sat down with friends or neighbors and discussed what the current market is like for cattle? Or grain? Perhaps you’ve pondered such issues as global warming or GMOs? Or vented about the FWP and its bison plan? If so, then you already have experience with what a discussion meet entails and you are more than ready to take on the challenge. A discussion meet is about sitting down with your peers, fleshing out an issue through conversation and coming up with possible solutions.
2.) It’s important. Farm Bureau knows it is essential to have advocates within agriculture standing up for our interests. And that is exactly what the discussion meet was developed to do. Create advocacy. By discussing issues important to agriculture in an open forum we can empower those in the audience along with the contestants to know the issues facing our industry and what we can do about them. The discussion meet is a stepping-stone to becoming a leader
3.) It’s kind of fun actually. The discussion meet is a great way to come together and get to know the other people in your state who are passionate about Ag. It is not all about talking around a table; you also get to hang out with your peers. Every year at the Montana Farm Bureau convention, YF&R hosts a social out at a local restaurant for everyone to get together with dinner and drinks. It is always a good time. And don’t worry about the discussion meet itself being a cutthroat competition. Yes everybody would like to win, but it is a supportive atmosphere. And keep in mind when you look around at the other competitors, that for many of them it is their first time as well.
4.) You might actually win! And winning not only feels great, but it comes with great rewards too! The winner of the state discussion meet receives and all expenses paid trip to American Farm Bureau’s annual convention (next year’s is in Phoenix, Arizona) to compete in the national discussion meet competition AND…wait for it...a brand new Polaris Ranger to take home! Now is that worth conquering a little stage fright for or what?!
5.) You might win even more stuff! If you are lucky enough to make it to the national competition, you will have the opportunity to compete for some more great prizes. Did I mention that the winner of the AFBF discussion meet goes home with a brand new Ford pickup? And don’t worry if you don’t take top honors. The first runner up receives a Case IH Farmall 50A tractor with additional prizes for the third and fourth place finishers!
I encourage anyone who is even the least bit interested, to step out of his or her comfort zone and join in on this great event next fall. It is worth it.
Interested in participating in the Discussion Meet? Applications need to be turned in by November 5th, apply here.
Want more information? These resources have you covered:
- 2018 MFBF Discussion Meet Application
- 2018/2019 YF&R Discussion Meet Questions
- 2018/2019 YF&R Discussion Meet Best Practices
- 2018 MFBF YF&R Discussion Meet Final Four Video
Jennie, along with husband Nathan and daughter Dylan, ranches near Melville.