An Indiana corn and soybean producer and financial services lead at Cargill Risk Management didn’t take home the crown, but he made his family and fellow Farm Bureau members proud during the annual convention Discussion Meet competition this week in San Diego. After the final round Monday Jeremy Barron of Noble County shared with HAT that he felt very good about his performance.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it (to the final 4) but it feels really good. That was probably the most fun discussion that I’d had through the state and the national convention. We had a really good group of people. We were actually able to have great discussion and come up with tangible solutions to bring back to our local, state and county Farm Bureaus.”
Barron and the other 3 finalists, from Iowa, Illinois and Tennessee, discussed whether farmers and ranchers should be held liable for possible food-borne illnesses if the food item can be traced back to their farm. Barron said preparing for that topic and the many others he tackled in state and national competition is one of the benefits of participating.
“This allowed me to expand my horizons and learn about things I was as comfortable with or I didn’t know about. It forced me to utilize resources back and our state and county levels within Farm Bureau, but then also it helped me gain confidence in my ability to speak in front of people.”
And as Barron explained there is a real purpose behind the meet, and it is not honing debate skills.
“So many times we engage with people in debate and it turns people off, instead of discussion, which produces results. That was probably the biggest thing that I learned from participating in this year’s Discussion Meet.”
Participants are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on the topic and the judges selected Sean Arians of Illinois (far left) as the Discussion Meet winner. The prize is his choice of either a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra, courtesy of GM, plus free registration to the 2015 FUSION Conference.
The other runners-up are Megan Hansen of Iowa and Doug Giles of Tennessee. Each runner-up receives a Case IH Farmall 55A tractor, courtesy of Case IH, and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise, courtesy of STIHL.
Barron and his wife Lindsay have two children, Lane and Lawson.
Watch the full final meet below.
Chris and Rebekah Pierce of Kentucky won the Achievement Award. They are the winners of either a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado or 2015 GMC Sierra, courtesy of GM. They will also receive paid registration to attend the 2015 FUSION Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, in February.
Runners-up in the Achievement Award contest are Ben and Amy Gittins of Idaho, Matt and Jenna Kilgus of Illinois and Mark and Cindy Klepper of Tennessee. The runners-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 65A tractor, courtesy of Case IH, and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise, courtesy of STIHL.
The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Participants are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operation’s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of Farm Bureau.
Paul and Ruth Lanoue of Minnesota won the Excellence in Agriculture Award. They will receive their choice of either a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado or 2015 GMC Sierra, courtesy of GM, plus free registration to the 2015 FUSION Conference.
The three runners-up in the Excellence in Agriculture competition are Jessica Jones of Virginia, Michael and Amy Shirley of Tennessee and Phillip and Allison Honea of South Carolina. Each runner-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 45A tractor, courtesy of Case IH, and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise, courtesy of STIHL.
The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively contribute and grow through their involvement in agriculture, their leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.