Sarah Tweeten will participate in the discussion meet and Appanoose Manufactured Products is a semifinalist in the Ag Innovation Challenge

Nine farmers will represent the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) during the voting delegate session of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 105th annual convention Jan. 19-24 in Salt Lake City. 

The delegates will join other farmer-delegates from across the United States to adopt policies guiding Farm Bureau’s national policy efforts in 2024, including several issues surfaced during IFBF’s grassroots policy development process.

Iowa’s 2024 delegation includes IFBF President Brent Johnson of Calhoun County, IFBF Vice President Brian Feldpausch of Grundy County, District 1 Director Randy Brincks of Winneshiek County, Internal Study Committee Chairman Jeff Pape of Dubuque County, Meghan Leibold of Buchanan County, Dave Bolin of Butler County, Gary Rees of Louisa County, Dan Hanrahan of Madison County and Kevin Schechinger of East Pottawattamie County.

Young farmer contests

"New Frontiers" is the theme of AFBF’s 105th convention, which will feature a variety of educational seminars and contests, including the annual young farmer discussion meet and Ag Innovation Challenge.

Sarah Tweeten of Cerro Gordo County will represent Iowa in the discussion meet after winning the state contest at the IFBF annual meeting last month. 

The event simulates a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. Contestants are judged on cooperative attitude, problem solving, delivery and analysis of the topic.

Iowa will once again be represented in the Ag Innovation Challenge, a national business competition that showcases U.S. start-ups developing innovative solutions that address challenges facing America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities. 

Appanoose Manufactured Products (AMP) owner Mark Mendick will compete against nine other companies in the business pitch contest. AMP designs and builds firefighting equipment with a specific focus on Ultra High Pressure (UHP) systems that can quickly extinguish a fire using 60% less water, providing greater firefighting capability in rural and remote areas. The portable units can be mounted in the back of a utility vehicle or pick-up.  

Each semifinalist was awarded $10,000 and will compete for the $35,000 top prize at the AFBF convention. All 10 semifinalists are also in the running for the $5,000 People’s Choice Award chosen by public vote.

Iowa companies have won four of the previous nine Ag Innovation Challenges. Previous Iowa winners are ScoutPro in 2015, AccuGrain in 2016, SwineTech in 2018 and FarmlandFinder in 2019.

View sessions online

AFBF President Zippy Duvall will address members during the opening general session at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 21. 

Duvall’s speech and the activities on the Cultivation Center Stage, including the finals of the Ag Innovation Challenge and several 20-minute town hall style workshops, will stream live on,, and the AFBF YouTube channel.

Go online to to see the full schedule of events.