During the 98th Annual Meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation in Phoenix, Arizona the Tennessee Young Farmers & Ranchers took home honors in the Achievement Award and Discussion Meet. Young farmers and ranchers from around the country competed for the awards by demonstrating knowledge of and achievement in agriculture, as well as commitment to promoting the agriculture industry.
Matt Niswander of Lawrence County was announced as the winner in the Discussion Meet and will have his choice of either a 2017 Chevy Silverado or a 2017 GMC Sierra courtesy of Chevrolet. Niswander competed in four total rounds of competition to be announced as the winner. The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting in which active discussion and participation are expected. Participants are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic.
Jay and Alice Ann Yeargin of Weakley County were named runners-up in the Achievement contest. They receive a Case IH Farmall 50A tractor, courtesy of Case IH and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise, courtesy of STIHL. The Yeargins farm approximately 5,000 acres where they raise corn, soybeans, seed soybeans, wheat, and cattle. They also host groups on their farm each year, including the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences, to share the story of agriculture. The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Participants are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operation’s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of Farm Bureau.
Delegates will return home following the annual meeting of the voting delegates, who discuss and set policy for the national farm organization. A total of 355 voting delegates, of which Tennessee Farm Bureau had 34, representing every crop and livestock sector in the United States deliberate on policies affecting farmers’ and ranchers’ productivity and profitability. The policies approved at the convention will guide the nation’s largest general farm organization throughout 2017.