YOUNG FARMERS EMPHASIZE EDUCATION AT COMMODITY CONFERENCE
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alfa's Young Farmers Division had the opportunity to practice advocacy skills in the Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture contests, which were held in conjunction with the 39th annual Commodity Producers Conference in Huntsville, Aug. 4 -6.
|The Federation's Young Farmers Division stressed the importance of educating the media and non-farmers on animal health and well-being during the 39th annual Commodity Producers Conference in Huntsville. Top Photo: Alabama Farmers Federation President Jerry Newby presents Jena Perry of Choctaw County and Grace Smith of Autauga County with their Excellence in Ag awards. Perry took first place in the contest, and Smith was named first-alternate. Bottom Photo: Five finalists in the Discussion Meet also were selected at the conference. They were, from left, Kirk Smith of Blount County, Matt Ledbetter of Cleburne County, Tyler Dunn of Dale County, Colin Wilson of Jackson County and Stan Usery of Limestone County. |
Jena Perry, an agriscience teacher at Southern Choctaw County High School, won the Excellence in Agriculture contest. She received $500 and will represent Alabama at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 2012 Annual Meeting in Hawaii. The first alternate was Grace Smith of Autauga County, who received $250.
The Excellence in Agriculture program is designed for young professionals who do not receive their primary source of income from farming. Each contestant presented an illustrated talk about how his or her work and civic activities strengthen agriculture. Other contestants were Joey Haymon of DeKalb County and John and Hannah Bevel of Marshall County.
Five finalists in the Discussion Meet also were selected at the
conference. They were Kirk Smith of Blount County, Matt Ledbetter of Cleburne County, Tyler Dunn of Dale County, Colin Wilson of Jackson County and Stan Usery of Limestone County.
The Discussion Meet topic addressed misconceptions of animal agriculture. Contestants provided ideas on how farmers could prove their animals receive proper healthcare, dispelling negative publicity created by the media and ill informed consumers. As several contestants in Saturday morning's preliminaries pointed out, farmers have the truth, facts and science on their side; they should be winning this war, not looking like they have something to hide.
Each contestant in the Discussion Meet received $100 and will compete in the Discussion Meet finals at the Federation's Annual Meeting in December. The state winner will receive $500 and will represent Alabama at the American Farm Bureau Annual meeting in Hawaii.
The Discussion Meet competition combines public speaking, problem-solving and consensus-building abilities in a committee-style setting. Contestants were given a discussion topic based on issues affecting agriculture and engaged one another in a panel discussion.
All cash prizes were courtesy of the Alabama Farmers Federation.
For more information on the Young Farmers program, contact Brandon Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit AlfaYoungFarmers.org.