Lafe Aarsvold of Southwest Minnesota State University finished in the Top Four of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Committee Collegiate Discussion Meet competition, held during the AFBF FUSION Conference March 3-6 in Jacksonville. 

Winning the competition was Maddie Dvorak of Florida. Also in the Final Four were Brenden Kleiboeker of Missouri and Weston Svoboda of Nebraska. 

Thirty-three competitors participated in this year’s Collegiate Discussion Meet. All competitors (including the four finalists) received a $100 scholarship courtesy of CHS Foundation in recognition of their efforts and making it to the national level; students advancing to the “Sweet 16” round (including the four finalists) received an additional $300 scholarship. Aarsvold also received $1,900 for advancing to the Final Four. CHS provided a total of $15,000 in scholarship funds for the contest.

The Collegiate Discussion Meet is designed to replicate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each collegiate participant. Participants are judged on their ability to exchange ideas and information on an agricultural topic and find answers or solutions related to it. Aarsvold advanced to the national competition to represent Minnesota after winning the state competition in January. 

The YF&R program includes men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. The program’s goals are to help younger Farm Bureau members learn more about agriculture, network with other farmers and realize their full potential as leaders in agriculture and Farm Bureau.