The American Farm Bureau Federation 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.
The winner of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet is Jacob Knaebel of Missouri. He was awarded the top prize following a discussion on how young farmers and ranchers can take a proactive approach to farm safety in their rural communities.
Knaebel is a senior studying agriculture education/leadership and agriculture communications at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He will receive his bachelor’s degree in May.
Knaebel qualified for the national competition upon winning the Missouri Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet. As the national winner, he received a $3,000 scholarship from competitive event sponsor CHS Foundation.
In addition to Knaebel, three finalists participated in three rounds of discussion before making it to the Final Four round: Braden Crosson, California; Benjamin Butcher, Michigan; and Sara Gardner, Arkansas. They each received $1,500 courtesy of CHS Foundation.
Twenty-nine 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. CHS provided a total of $15,000 in scholarship funds for the contest.
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. The Collegiate Discussion Meet was held during AFBF’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference, which wrapped up earlier this week.