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INFB has compiled resources for county YF&AP chairs. These resources include job descriptions, event ideas, social media guidelines and more. Click here to view the YF&AP online toolkit.
What does it take to do well in the Young Farmers & Ag Professionals Discussion Meet?
According to Virgil Bremer and Beth Archer, both veteran discussion meet judges, the answer to this question can be summed up as “preparation,” but they added preparation goes beyond simply studying up on the current year’s topics.
Encouraging a meaningful exchange of views among the other competitors is as important as demonstrating command over the subject matter, noted Archer, executive director of AgrIInstitute, a leadership development program focused on Indiana agriculture.
As a judge, what Archer asks herself is, “Are they asking good questions of those involved? Are they trying to gain insight into the other person’s views? Are they really trying to better understand why that person’s view is the way it is?”
Just as important is making Farm Bureau part of the discussion, said Bremer, president of the Rush County Farm Bureau.
“You need to remember Farm Bureau – what action Farm Bureau needs to take. And that’s where some contestants fall down,” he said.
The two judges offered a few tips to prospective competitors:
“The ultimate goal is that they’re better advocates for the organization and the industry,” said Archer. The experience, she added, is “incredibly valuable whether they win or lose.”
For Bremer, the end goal of the program is developing new ideas, implementing those ideas and developing Farm Bureau leadership.
“In the end, you’re looking for leadership that they’ve developed in the process,” he said.
The early rounds of the Indiana YF&AP Discussion Meet will be held virtually starting at 9 a.m. on Aug. 21. The top 16 competitors will advance to the final two rounds, to be held at INFB’s 2021 convention, planned for Dec. 9-10 in French Lick.