Beth Baudler of Fontanelle has been selected as the winner of Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) Young Farmer Discussion Meet, held virtually on Dec. 1. Baudler will represent Iowa in the Young Farmer and Rancher National Discussion Meet during the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Annual Convention, also to be held virtually in January 2021.
Baudler helps on her family farm where they grow hay, oats, corn and soybeans, and manages her own cow-calf herd and sheep flock. She works off-farm as a cattle nutritionist and co-product specialist and instructs an animal breeding and genetics course at Southwestern Community College in Creston. She also is passionate about promoting agriculture through Ag 4 All, a collaboration of Adair County commodity groups and more than 150 local volunteers, who bring educational ag programs to local communities and highlight area farmers on the “Who’s Your Iowa Farmer?” Facebook page.
Second place winner for the Iowa competition was Shelby Smith, a cricket farmer out of Story County; in third, Krista Huntsman, a Montgomery County cattle farmer; and fourth, dairy farmer Megan Kregel of Clayton County.
The Young Farmer Discussion Meet is a unique competition in which participants, ages 18-35, are scored based on their ability to engage in a “cooperative” 30-minute discussion on challenges impacting agriculture and rural America. Contestants are awarded points based on their ability to seek solutions, listen to each other’s viewpoints and engage in cooperative dialogue.
Eight contestants secured their spot to participate in the semi-final rounds by competing at the IFBF Young Farmer Conference held this January. This year’s questions focused on international trade, rural broadband access, the risks and rewards of “big data”, sustainable farm practices to address climate and rural economic stability.
As the top Iowa finalist, Baudler received a one-year/100-hour lease on a Cat Skid Steer Loader ($10,000 value) and an expense paid trip to the 2021 GROWMARK annual meeting, pending conference planning. Smith received a $500 value Choice Hotels certificate, $500 Cat gift certificate and a $500 gift card to FAST STOP or local FS Cooperative from GROWMARK. Huntsman received a $500 Cat gift certificate, a YETI cooler from Farm Bureau Financial Services and six park passes with a cabana rental at Adventureland. Kregel received a $250 gift card to FAST STOP or their local FS Cooperative from GROWMARK, six park passes with a cabana rental at Adventureland and $100 from the IFBF Young Farmer Program.