The 2021 preliminary rounds of the Discussion Meet will be held virtually on Wednesday, February 10. Young farmers interested in participating in the Discussion Meet must pre-register. Registration opens December 28 and closes February 5.
The Discussion Meet is a free-wheeling discussion of ag topics, as if you are sitting around the table discussing a problem. The Discussion Meet helps you build communication skills, develop an understanding of important ag issues and explore how to pool knowledge to solve problems. Successful participants are productive thinkers rather than emotional persuaders. They help the group create ways to implement the solutions discussed and highlight Farm Bureau’s involvement in those actions.
Two of the following questions will be selected for the preliminary rounds of the 2021 Discussion Meet:
1. Animal agriculture is an important part of Iowa’s economy and a vital protein source. The pandemic amplified the complexity and challenges of our current food supply chain. Farmers lost markets to sell their livestock and milk, while some retailers limited meat purchases to consumers. What role can farmers play to help restore consumer confidence in the food supply system, provide more choices to consumers and protect farmers’ livelihoods. Consider the following:
- Meat processing facilities
- Direct to consumer sales
- Marketing Options
2. With the current low profit margins in traditional farming operations and limited access of land, many young farmers are looking to diversify with other crops, livestock markets, and value-added opportunities. What role can Farm Bureau play in helping young farmers accomplish their goal of generating additional income on the farming operation through niche markets and value-added agricultural?
3. Farm life can be demanding and stressful, especially for young farmers. The ongoing challenges with the pandemic, trade wars, natural disasters and low commodity prices can impact a farmer’s mental health. What can be done to help young farmers experiencing mental health challenges. Consider the following:
Participants compete in two rounds, each addressing one of these questions. Three to six young farmers participate in each room. The format is a 30-second opening statement, 25 minutes of group discussion, and a 60-second closing statement. Contestants are judged on cooperative attitude, problem solving, delivery, problem analysis and opening and closing statements. Based on cumulative ranking, the top eight finalists (and two alternates) will be determined.
Click here to view the scoresheet judges will use to assess each participant’s Discussion Meet performance.
Finalists receive coaching throughout the year to prepare for the final rounds, held during the Iowa Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in December 2021. Questions for the final rounds will be selected from the five questions provided by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Prizes are awarded to four state finalists. The winner receives a one-year/ 100 hour lease on a new Cat Skid Steer Loader (a $10,000 value) and will advance to the American Farm Bureau Discussion Meet in January 2022 in Atlanta, GA.
Click here to view the Discussion Meet flyer.
A minimum of 12 participants must register for the Discussion meet to be held. Limited to 24 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. You must be 35 years or younger as of Jan. 31, 2022 and be a regular member in good standing of your county Farm Bureau.
Discussion Meet Examples, AdviceWatch the videos below to see examples of how to deliver an opening statement and engage in effective group discussion during the Discussion Meet and to hear tips from two of Iowa’s past Discussion Meet champions, Megan Hansen and Beth Baudler.
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