Chapin Wins Farm Bureau Discussion Meet
» December 7, 2004 «
The strength of Farm Bureau comes from its members and their ability to build solutions for agricultural issues. That message was clearly conveyed by the four finalists in the Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet, held during the California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Sparks, Nev.
Caroline Chapin of Monterey County was named the 2004 winner. Timothy Baldwin of Monterey County was named first runner up, followed by Tim Chiala of Santa Clara County and Molly Fagundes of Merced County.
The four finalists took part in an hour-long discussion before an audience of Farm Bureau members to demonstrate their basic discussion skills. The contest gives YF&R members the opportunity to display cooperative problem solving and logical thinking.
Chapin was raised on a working horse ranch in Salinas and works as a civil engineer. As an active member of the Central Coast YF&R, she has become an advocate for farmers and ranchers.
In addressing the Discussion Meet topic "What should Farm Bureau's role be in facilitating the connection between today's agriculture and tomorrows producers?" Chapin suggested that Farm Bureau make it a goal to connect with local governments to spread the message of California agriculture and communicate with the non-traditional farmer.
"It is all about outreach, person-to-person outreach," Chapin said. "What if you were a city dweller who recently bought five acres in the country? Wouldn't it be great if you received a little package in the mail from Farm Bureau that said, "Welcome to the rural lifestyle, here is a little bit about what the agricultural community is about." We just have to be open to personal contact."
Chapin will represent California in the American Farm Bureau Federation Discussion Meet finals to be held in February in New Orleans. State YF&R winners from all over the country will compete to be the national Discussion Meet winner.
Prior to the Discussion Meet finals, finalists for the Collegiate Discussion Meet participated in a similar competition and were asked to address the challenges of maintaining or expanding production agriculture in the United States.
Tracy Schohr, who attends California State University, Chico, won the contest. First runner-up was Lindsey Liebig of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; second runner-up was John Migliazzo of CSU Fresno; and third runner-up was Shauna Sprague of CSU Chico.
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