Due to ongoing public health concerns with Covid 19, the District 3 Young Farmer Discussion Meet on July 18th was, by necessity, smaller this year. There was no shortage of enthusiastic participation, however, and we are grateful to everyone who made the event possible.

Special thanks to Horning Farms for not only hosting the event, but also for generously providing ice cream sandwiches for the group.


Participants moving on to state competition:

Grace Schmidt - Oakland County
Chris Heck - Monroe County
Melissa Fusilier - Washtenaw County
Alternate: Travis Fusilier - Washtenaw County

Thanks to the event Judges:

Patrick Conklin - Farm Bureau Insurance Agent
Jae Gerhart - Washtenaw County Local Foods Coordinator, MSU Extension
Nancy Thelen - District 3 Representative on the Michigan Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Committee

This year's topic was: Is big data a big solution or big exposure?

Technology tools are often cited as a method of increasing productivity and profitability, but there are liabilities that go along with technology. As young farmers and ranchers we are often first adopters. How do we ensure clear understanding of the risks and rewards of big data and smart farming?

The State-Level topics will be:

1. International trade is important to agriculture. We must continue working to build strong relations with existing customers while seeking out new trade partners to strengthen market stability. How can we enhance existing, and establish new and diverse foreign trading partners?
2. The increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters creates additional risk for farmers and ranchers. What tools and production practices can be engaged to reduce climate and weather risks?

A little info about this annual event:

Michigan Farm Bureau Discussion Meets simulate 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. Michigan Farm Bureau hosts Young Farmer Discussion Meets for 18- to 35-year-old members and Youth and Collegiate Discussion Meets to introduce young leaders to the organization.

Huge thanks to Hannah June Meyers our Michigan Farm Bureau Southeastern Michigan Regional Representative for helping to organize the District 3 Young Farmer Discussion Meet, and for capturing the informative discussion on a Facebook live video for those who couldn’t attend.
Here’s a great opportunity to see what a discussion meet is like!