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Sharon Rabe


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Discussion Meet

The Discussion Meet is a contest where participants can freely discuss a current topic affecting the agriculture industry, and practice their public speaking and analytical skills.

The discussion is not a debate but rather a way to share ideas, identify the cause and effect of the problem, and evaluate and compare alternative solutions. The participants should attempt to cooperatively share ideas and further develop their understanding of the topic/issue.

2013 Discussion Meet Schedule

  • District 1, March 6, 6:00pm, Fillmore Equipment, Inc in Three Rivers, Contact: Sarah Pion
  • District 3, February 15, 7pm, John & Sue Mathe Farm, 4200 South Otter Creek Rd, LaSalle, Contact: Kelly Turner
  • District 4, March 21, 6:30pm, Crossroads Conference Center, 6569 Clay Ave SW Grand Rapids, Contact: Jason Scramlin
  • District 5, March 3, 2:30pm, Capitol Bowl, Owosso, Contact: Laura Hamlin
  • District 6, March 22, 7pm, Holly Meadows, 4855 Capac Rd, Capac, Contact: Beth Rupprecht
  • District 7, March 25, 5:30 pm, Holiday Inn Big Rapids, Contact: Ryan Fox
  • District 8, March 7, 6:30 pm, Whiting Forest, Midland , Contact: Kate Krepps
  • District 9, March 18, 6:30pm, Ellens Corner's in Mesick, Contact: Rick Gleason
  • District 10, February 28, BJ's Restaurant, 660 N. Center Ave in Gaylord, 6:30pm, Contact: Cole Iaquinto
  • District 11, April 16, Terrace Bay Inn, 6:30pm, Contact: Craig Knudson

There are three parts of a Discussion Meet. They are:

  1. The opening statement is 30 seconds in length. The statement should be broad in scope, show relevancy, and importance of the topic.
  2. The body of the discussion will last 20-30 minutes in length. During the body of the discussion, contestants have the freedom to talk about any part of the topic. It is recommended the discussion start with addressing the background of the topic, discuss why it is an issue, come up with solutions to the issue, and share how they feel they can be a part of the solution.
  3. The closing statement is given at the end of the body of the discussion. Contestants will be given one minute of quiet time to put their closing statements together. Closing statements should summarize the discussion that took place during the body and make any final comments about the topic.

Contestants are scored in 6 areas:

Opening Statement, Closing Statement, Delivery, Problem Solving, Analysis of the Topic and Cooperative Attitude.

Discussion Meet Topics:

District — Level Topics:

  1. How do we encourage young farmers to continue to be involved in Farm Bureau? How can young producers lead even if they don't hold elected positions on the board?
  2. What are the best practices for youth working on farms to ensure their safety and provide them learning opportunities in the area of agriculture production?

State — Level Topics:

  1. How should Farm Bureau engage farmer members, representing all types and kinds of operations (i.e. conventional, organic, large, small and niche markets), to work together to better promote a more positive image of agriculture?
  2. How can young farmers work with elected and appointed officials to eliminate unnecessary or excessive regulations placed upon agriculture while ensuring that new regulations are justified based on their costs and anticipated benefits?