Marissa Mikel is the winner of the 2018 Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Discussion Meet. The competition, which was held Dec. 7 and 8 in Fort Wayne as a part of the INFB state convention, is one of the three major awards presented to Farm Bureau members age 35 and younger. During the competition, contestants participate in a group discussion that simulates a committee meeting.
Mikel and the other finalists and participants discussed common dilemmas and potential problems facing farmers in America, such as:
- How can Farm Bureau best protect farmers’ and ranchers’ access to production technology options?
- As the voice of agriculture, how can Farm Bureau be more inclusive of all agriculture and production practices?
- How can the industry attract the best and brightest minds from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into agricultural careers?
- How can farmers implement market trends and develop responsive business plans to generate value-added ventures and farm profits?
- How do we create membership value and broaden the base of supporters in the Farm Bureau family?
Mikel will now advance to the national Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet, which will be held during the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention, Jan. 11-16 in New Orleans. Mikel is currently employed as a legislative assistant for the Indiana House of Representatives. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University.
As winner of the INFB Discussion Meet, Mikel received a $4,000 cash prize from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance and expenses paid to the national convention in New Orleans.
The three runners-up were Kent Burton, Fulton County; Mason Gordon, Rush County; and Amanda Mosiman, Warrick County. The runners-up each received a $1,000 cash prize from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.
Also announced at this year’s state convention was the 2019 INFB State Young Farmer Committee. The 2019 committee, by district, is as follows.
District 1: Jake and Jill Smoker, LaPorte County.
District 2: Scott and Jenna Burton, Kosciusko County.
District 3: Ryan and Marie Hilton, Jasper County.
District 4: Daniel and Leslie Stauffer, Wabash County.
District 5: Nick and Beth Tharp, Putnam County.
District 6: Courtney Rude, Marion County.
District 7: Justin and Alli McKain, Sullivan County.
District 8: Matthew and Michelle Tobias, Shelby County.
District 9: John and Abby Michel, Gibson County.
District 10: Deidra Gottbrath, Washington County.
Source: Indiana Farm Bureau