SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Matt Mahler of Wichita County won the 2019 Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Discussion Meet during the organization’s 86th annual meeting.
Mahler grows cotton and wheat in Wichita County. He is also a drone pilot and designer for IVM Solutions.
“The Discussion Meet allows young farmers and ranchers the opportunity to discuss current challenges facing agriculture,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “They are able to talk through possible solutions or develop goals for improvement. Their ideas and thoughts are important as agriculture continues to change and adapt.”
The YF&R Discussion Meet is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each contestant.
During the final round, the four finalists discussed how future food technologies and products can be beneficially integrated into modern agricultural production without hampering the success of traditional products and the farmers and ranchers who grow them.
During the discussion meet, the contestants build basic discussion skills, develop a deeper understanding of agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems through discussion.
Mahler will receive an ATV, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, and a $5,000 cash award, courtesy of Farm Credit.
The Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet finalists were Shannon Bellis of Van Zandt County Farm Bureau, Kacy Mitchell of Smith County Farm Bureau and Josh Ritchey of Erath County Farm Bureau.
The three finalists will receive a $500 cash award, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company.
Mahler will represent Texas in the national Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet hosted by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) in January 2020.
The winner of the national contest will receive a $35,000 credit toward a Ford truck, courtesy of Ford Motor Company, and paid registration to at the AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference in Kentucky, courtesy of Ford.
The national runner-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 50A, courtesy of Case IH.
Third place in the Discussion Meet will receive a Case IH 40” combination roll cabinet and top chest and $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH; and $2,200 of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise, courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker.
Fourth place receives Case IH 40” combination roll cabinet and top chest, as well as a $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH.
For more information on young farmer and rancher activities and opportunities, visit www.texasfarmbureau.org/YFR.
–Texas Farm Bureau
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