COLUMBUS, Ohio — Four finalists will compete in Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2019 Discussion Meet. They are Gregory Corcoran of Chillicothe, Andrew “Dewey” Mann of Ashville, Micaela Wright of Arcanum and Victoria Popp of Cincinnati.
The annual contest tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. These young agricultural professionals will compete in the finals at the Young Agricultural Professionals’ Leadership Experience at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus on Feb. 1 and 2, 2019.
The finalists were named after a preliminary competition at Ohio Farm Bureau’s 100th Annual Meeting in Columbus where they discussed topics impacting the agriculture industry.
“The Discussion Meet contest is designed for young ag professionals to work together find solutions around issues facing agriculture today. The semifinal rounds were impressive and I am looking forward to the finals,” said OFBF Young Agricultural Professionals Coordinator Melinda Witten.
The winner receives a $1,000 cash award from Nationwide Insurance, an expense-paid trip to OFBF Annual Meeting including two-nights lodging and invitation to the Harvest Banquet Dec. 11-13, 2019, and an expense-paid trip to represent Ohio at the national competition during the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Austin, Texas, in January 2020.
Corcoran, a Ross County Farm Bureau member, is president of the county Farm Bureau and has also served as secretary on the board. He has been the Young Ag Professionals state committee chair and is one of the founders of the Ross County YAP group. Corcoran earned a bachelor’s degree at Ohio State University in construction and systems management. He helps run a 5,000 acre corn, soybean and popcorn operation with his family in addition to 250 head brood cows and a Certified Angus Beef feedlot. In his community, Corcoran also serves on the parish council for St. Peter’s Catholic Church. He and his wife, Theresa, have four children.
Mann, a Pickaway County Farm Bureau member, grew up on his family’s farm and has participated in the county Farm Bureau policy breakfast. He is a lecturer at Ohio State University in ag systems management. Mann is on the Village Chapel Church leadership board, serves as adviser for the ag systems management student organization at Ohio State and is a member of the American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers. He received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri, his master’s degree at Purdue University and his doctorate at Ohio State. Mann and his wife, Kathy, have two children.
Wright, a Darke County Farm Bureau member, is an AgriPOWER Class IX graduate, former Ohio Farm Bureau Policy Outreach Fellow and past Discussion Meet participant. She grew up on a small sheep farm in Darke County and currently serves as director, communications at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Wright earned a bachelor’s degree in ag sustainability at Wilmington College and a master’s degree from Ohio State University.
Popp, a Clermont County Farm Bureau member, is a current participant in AgriPOWER Class X and active in Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals program. She is the young, small and beginning farmer program manager for Farm Credit Mid-America and enjoys riding with her favorite horse Earl Grey.
The Discussion Meet is hosted by OFBF’s Young Agricultural Professionals — singles and married couples ages 18 to 35 who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills. Learn more about the Young Ag Professionals program at experienceyap.com.
— Ohio Farm Bureau Federation