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Tennessean wins Young Farmers & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet

OMAHA - The winner of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet is Ella McLerran of Tennessee. She was awarded the top prize following a discussion on Farm Bureau’s role and future direction in welcoming and engaging diverse agricultural communities.

AFBF President Zippy Duvall congratulates Ella McLerran, winner of the Collegiate Discussion Meet.

At right is finalist Aidan Yoho. photo credit: AFBF Photo, Wales Hunter

McLerran is a senior studying animal science - animal industries at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She will receive her degree in December.

The 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.

McLerran qualified for the national competition upon winning the Tennessee Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet. As the national winner, she received a $3,100 scholarship from competitive event sponsor CHS Foundation.

In addition to McLerran, three finalists participated in three rounds of discussion before making it to the Final Four round: Jaden Maze, Indiana; Matthew Slivka, Montana; and Aidan Yoho, Kansas. They each received a $2,100 scholarship courtesy of CHS Foundation.

Thirty-four 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 $500 scholarship. CHS provided a total of $18,400 in scholarship funds for the competition.

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 Leadership Conference, March 8-11 in Omaha, Nebraska.


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