Michigan State University student Samantha Ludlam took the top spot at Michigan Farm Bureau's (MFB) 2018 Collegiate Discussion Meet Nov. 27 at MFB's 99th Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids. MSU’s John Williams was named the runner-up.
Also competing in the final round were Austin Blaine, Monroe Community College; Michael Ceja, Delta Community College; Cameron Victor, Southwestern Community College; and Reese Watson, Muskegon Community College.
With seven new Collegiate Farm Bureaus from across the state making a grand total of 12 collegiate chapters, two contestants from each chapter earned a spot to discuss and advance through a preliminary and final round at the state level.
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 first- and second-place winners took home $250 and $150 cash prizes, respectively, provided by the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture and will compete in the American Farm Bureau Federation Collegiate Discussion at the 2019 AFBF FUSION Conference, March 15-18 in Milwaukee, WI courtesy of the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture.