Gy Hollinger (left), third member of the MFB State Young Farmer Committee, congratulates Collegiate Discussion Meet winner Lauren Heberling of Michigan State University.
GRAND RAPIDS — Michigan State University student Lauren Heberling took the top spot at Michigan Farm Bureau's (MFB) inaugural 2017 Collegiate Discussion Meet Nov. 28 at MFB's 98th Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids. MSU’s Madi Heath was named the runner-up.
Also competing in the final round were Jack Donnelly, Monroe Community College; Katie Kanouse, Kellogg Community College; Corey Knabusch, Monroe Community College; and Sam Sawyer, Muskegon Community College.
With four new chapters in 2017, this was the first year the state hosted a collegiate run-off competition at the MFB Annual Meeting. The contestants took on several topics relevant to farmers today:
Farm Bureau discussion meets test young leaders with a unique public speaking challenge; participants are rewarded for their knowledge of current agricultural issues, their cooperative demeanor, innovative problem solving and the tact and civility of their delivery. As the contest moderators explain in their opening remarks, these are discussions, not debates.
The final round on Nov. 28 represented the culmination of a process that began with five chapter-level contests that took place in October and November. The top two contestants from each collegiate chapter faced off alongside each other Nov. 28 at MFB’s 98th Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids.
The first- and second-place winners took home $300 and $200 cash prizes, respectfully, and will compete in the American Farm Bureau Federation Collegiate Discussion Meet at the AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Reno, Nev. February 16-19 courtesy of the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture.
NOTE: Contact the MFB Young Farmer Department at 517-679-5444 for more information after Nov. 30.