Shamus Brown of Warren County placed first in the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) Young Farmer Discussion Meet held Dec. 6 during IFBF’s 98th annual meeting in Des Moines.  As winner of the event, Brown will represent Iowa at the Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) National Discussion Meet during the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Convention in Phoenix, held January 6-11. 

For his victory in the competition, Brown received a John Deere X380 riding lawn mower, a 90-day no-payment and no-interest (NPNI) John Deere Financial Certificate up to $5,000, and expense-paid trip to the 2017 GROWMARK annual meeting in Chicago in August.

The young farmer discussion meet encourages dialogue about issues and challenges that affect agriculture.  It tests young farmers’ knowledge of ag-related issues and their ability to express their opinions.  Such skills are vital in an age when consumers are increasingly engaged in food safety and environmental issues, and the need to tell agriculture’s story is crucial.  Contestants are judged on cooperative attitude and problem solving, as well as implementation, delivery, analysis of the topic, and the quality of their opening and closing statements.