Michigan’s most recent Young Farmer Discussion Meet superstar Amanda Sollman took delivery this week of the Case IH Farmall tractor she earned as a finalist in the national-level competition in January.
The Saginaw County standout won the state-level Young Farmer Discussion meet at Michigan Farm Bureau’s 2016 Annual Meeting, Nov. 30 in Grand Rapids. The following January she represented Michigan at the national-level Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet, part of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 Annual Convention in Phoenix, Ariz.
“It’s been more than a year now since I first got involved in the Young Farmer program, and the discussion meets in particular,” Sollman said. “Ever since then, I keep finding myself saying how glad I am to have found a niche for myself in Farm Bureau—there’s really something for everyone here, no matter what your role is in the agriculture industry.”
Sollman’s poise and thorough knowledge of current agricultural issues made her a formidable opponent. She weathered two preliminary rounds before facing off in the “final four” against competitors from Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. In the end the Volunteer State’s Matt Niswander came out on top, but Sollman’s outstanding performance did Michigan “Farm Bureau Proud.”
“I also find myself recommending Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer program to my peers in the farming community,” she said. “It’s a great way to grow your professional network, enrich your personal farming community and develop leadership skills that will serve any farmer well into the future.
“Farm Bureau members here in my county and MFB staff all really teamed up to help me prepare for this competition at every level. From the districts to the state level to the national stage in Phoenix, I was surrounded by support and encouragement.”
That support extends beyond Farm Bureau and into the agribusiness sector, exemplified by the corporate and local-level sponsors that put their products behind their support for farming’s next generation. In this case, Case IH and Weiss Equipment in Frankenmuth embraced the honor of awarding Sollman with her national-finalist award.
“It’s common knowledge Case IH has been very active in supporting Michigan’s farming community—and certainly here in the Saginaw Valley and Thumb,” said Weiss Equipment’s Alan Weiss.
And he would certainly know, being the third-generation owner of his family’s equipment business, this year celebrating its 100th year serving customers across Saginaw, Genesee, Lapeer and Tuscola counties.
Handing Sollman the keys was Bill Annin, who oversees 12 Case IH dealerships across the state from his regional headquarters in South Lyon.
“We’re proud to sponsor programs like this to support the future of agriculture and agribusiness,” Annin said. “We’re proud of our dealers, too—they’re all very experienced and well-established. Weiss’ here in Frankenmuth is the oldest of them—one of the oldest in the nation.”
Note: Your Michigan Farm Bureau membership can save you hundreds of dollars on select Case IH equipment; visit the MFB website for details.