INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Farm Bureau collegiate member Grace Hasler of Bartholomew County is the American Farm Bureau 2020 Young Farmer & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet winner. Hasler, a sophomore at Purdue University, won the INFB Young Farmer Collegiate Discussion Meet in late 2019, earning her position in the national competition, which was held this past week.
The competition is typically held at the Young Farmer & Rancher Conference, but this year’s in-person event was canceled due to COVID-19. Hasler competed, alongside collegiate Farm Bureau members from across the county, in three rounds of the Discussion Meet in front of a virtual panel of judges. The first round of competition required each participant to record 3-minute videos on two top agricultural topics. Hasler advanced to the Sweet 16 which was held on Thursday, April 30. A panel of judges determined that Hasler should advance through to the Final Four on Friday, May 1 where she earned first place.
The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. The competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic.
Hasler and the other finalists discussed common dilemmas and potential problems facing farmers in America, such as the need for new markets, opioid addiction and mental health issues in our rural communities, and the introduction of cell-based food products. The question for the final round was about labor shortages in modern agriculture.
Hasler is studying agriculture communications and agriculture economics at Purdue, where she is completing her sophomore year. In addition to being a member of the Purdue Collegiate Farm Bureau, she is an International Ag Ambassador, member of Purdue University’s Ag Council, Issues 360 Fellow, Agriculture Future of America Ambassador, International Ag Ambassador and a member of the Purdue Rising Professionals program.
The other final four contestants were Marisa Phelps of Tennessee, Meikah Dado of Wisconsin and Sarah Byrd of Mississippi.
— Indiana Farm Bureau
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