Widmer Wins Regional Minnesota Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) hosted a regional Collegiate Discussion Meet at South Central College in Mankato. The competition was held Monday, November 6.

This year’s regional winner was Mitch Widmer of Le Sueur County son of Jerry and Julie Widmer studying agribusiness service and management. The runner-up of the regional contest was Sam Schmidt of Scott County son of Dale Schmidt and Gail Gagnon studying agricultural education. The Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation sponsors a $200 scholarship for the winner and a $100 scholarship for the runner-up for each regional Collegiate Discussion Meet.

Undergraduate students studying agriculture from South Central College took part in the meet. Students participated in two rounds of discussion and 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. The two topics discussed by contestants were:

Farmers are a shrinking percentage of the population. How can Farm Bureau help first-generation farmers and ranchers get started in agriculture?
Formation of family farm corporations is common. How can Farm Bureau work to ensure that the public’s positive perception of the family farm is not lost?

Widmer and Schmidt will advance to the state Collegiate Discussion meet to be held on Saturday, November 18 as part of the 99th MFBF Annual Meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington. The state winner receives an expense paid trip from the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation sponsored by Christensen Farms to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Fusion Conference in Reno, Nevada, February 16-19, 2018 to participate in the national competition. The winner also receives a $500 scholarship and the runner-up a $250 scholarship from the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation sponsored by Gislason & Hunter.