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Strickland Wins State FFA Discussion Meet

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation worked with the Minnesota FFA to sponsor the 14th FFA/Farm Bureau Discussion Meet competition. Sixteen regional FFA finalists from across the state competed at the Minnesota State FFA Convention on Sunday, April 24 at the Continuing Education Conference Center Building on the University of Minnesota campus.

Zachary Strickland of the Staples-Motley FFA Chapter won the competition and Justin Petersen of the Jackson County Central FFA Chapter took second place. Savannah Aanerud of the Morris Area FFA Chapter and Amanda Stafford of the Forest Lake FFA Chapter also advanced to the final round. Strickland and Petersen both receive a college scholarship sponsored by the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation.

Other regional winners participating in the Discussion Meet included: Nick Aarsvold, Plainview-Elgin-Millville FFA; Kirsten Barott, Glencoe-Silver Lake FFA; Solomon Carlson, Hawley FFA; Ashley Helgeson, Fisher FFA; Derek Krieger, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg FFA; Tristan Rabbe, Martin County West FFA; Maria Schirado, Rockford FFA; Jacey Schlosser, Ashby FFA; Levi Schmidt, Belle Plaine FFA; Charli Schocker, Blackduck FFA; Emma Severns, Maple River FFA; Moriah Weiss, LeRoy-Ostrander FFA;

Topics of discussion for this year’s event included:
  1. How do FFA members and Farm Bureau members work to build consumer confidence when the media portrays negative stories about agriculture?
  2. How do farmers and others balance agricultural needs while protecting our water resources?
  3. As FFA members, what do you see as the biggest challenge in returning to agriculture? How can Farm Bureau and other agriculture organizations work to remedy that challenge?

Students participated in two semi-final rounds, and the top four advanced to a final round. Contestants were judged on their basic knowledge of critical farm issues and their ability to exchange ideas and information in a setting aimed at cooperative problem solving.

Minnesota Farm Bureau representing Farmers • Families • Food is comprised of 78 local Farm Bureaus across Minnesota. Members make their views known to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public. Programs for young farmers and ranchers develop leadership skills and improve farm management. Promotion and Education Committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom and safety education for children. Join Farm Bureau today and support our efforts to serve as an advocate for rural Minnesota, www.fbmn.org.