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Artesia student places in top four at Youth Discussion Meet

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The New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau’s (NMF&LB) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) program recognized the top four finalists of their statewide Youth Discussion Meet Nov. 15 with an Artesia student among them.

The competition was held during the NMF&LB’s 106th Annual Meeting. In first place was Aiden Schwebach from Estancia, second was Mikayla Klinger from Tucumcari, third was Jase Starnes from Artesia, and fourth was Lillian Sloan from Hobbs. 

“We take great pride in hosting this competition each year because it spurs students to work together to reach solutions to some of agriculture’s biggest challenges,” said Chair of the NMF&LB YF&R Committee Russell Johnson. “It is encouraging to see the future of New Mexico agriculture represented by these brilliant students. We hope to see many of them again at next year’s competition.”

The discussion meet is not meant to be a debate, but rather simulates a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. This competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. Participants build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues, and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems.

There were five possible topics and the one chosen for the final round was: “What is sustainable agriculture and how can Farm Bureau help farmers and ranchers access market-based solutions that advance sustainability goals without restricting their ability to stock America’s pantries, help feed a growing population and maintain farm profitability?”

The New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program includes both men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. The objective of the program is to provide training to young people for leadership roles in agriculture, to foster young farmers and ranchers through our industry and to help build a more effective Farm Bureau. For more information, please visit wwww.nmflb.org.

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