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Hoosiers represent INFB at the national convention

For many Indiana Farm Bureau members, the first trip of the new year was to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend the 2018 American Farm Bureau Federation National Convention and IDEAg Trade Show.

Roughly 250 INFB members were in attendance and while most were there to learn and observe, several members were there to compete in a national competition, run for an election or represent Indiana on the trade show floor.

Four INFB young farmers competed against their peers from across the country while in Nashville. Washington County’s Deidra Gottbrath was Indiana’s Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet representative this year. The Discussion Meet is a competition which simulates a committee meeting. Participants are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic.

Gottbrath represented Indiana after winning the state Discussion Meet at INFB’s annual convention in early December. She advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the national competition.  The 2018 Discussion Meet winner was Martha Smith of Colorado.

Also representing Indiana’s young farmers were Matthew and Brianna Chapman of Henry County, INFB’s Young Farmer Achievement Award winners, and Jeff Demerly of White County, INFB’s Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award winner.

At the national convention, the Chapmans competed in the Achievement Award competition, which recognizes young farmers who earn the majority of their income from their farms. Russell and Amelia Kent of Louisiana won the national Achievement Award.

Demerly competed in the national Excellence in Agriculture Award competition, which recognizes young farmers who do not derive the majority of their income from a production agricultural operation. In that competition, he advanced to the Top Ten. Greg and Rose Hartschuh of Ohio took home first place.

It also was an important convention for Cindy Ramsey, INFB’s District 8 education and outreach coordinator. Ramsey, of Shelby County, was elected to the American Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Leadership Committee. The women’s leadership program engages women with the training and education they need to become powerful advocates for modern agriculture. Ramsey will serve on the national board as Midwestern representative, representing Farm Bureau members in several states, including Indiana.

Also representing Indiana at the national convention was Elkhart County Farm Bureau’s leadership team and Cowboy Ethics program leader, Dwight Moudy. Elkhart County was selected by AFBF as one of this year’s County Activities of Excellence awards program winners. The CAE awards celebrate unique, volunteer-driven programming at the local level. As a winner, the county earned booth space at the convention trade show where they showcased their program to Farm Bureau members from all over the county.

Indiana Farm Bureau was also recognized during the convention. Awards of Excellence are awarded to state Farm Bureaus that demonstrate outstanding achievements in four program areas: advocacy; engagement and outreach; leadership and business development; and membership value. INFB received Awards of Excellence in all four program areas.

Next year’s AFBF convention will be held in New Orleans, Jan. 11-16.

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Deidra Gottbrath
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Cindy Ramsey
 
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Matt & Brianna Chapman
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Jeff Demerly