Merced County woman wins young farmers' Discussion Meet
December 4, 2012
Diane Coderniz of Merced County competes in the Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet during the final round, which focused on the importance of succession planning.
Following a final round of discussion that focused on succession planning and the estate tax, a California Young Farmers and Ranchers member from Dos Palos won the California Farm Bureau Federation YF&R Open Discussion Meet.
Diane Coderniz, a Merced County Farm Bureau member who works as an agricultural attorney, was among 12 individuals from throughout the state to participate in the contest in Pasadena during the 94th CFBF Annual Meeting. Designed to prepare young members for county Farm Bureau and committee meetings, the Discussion Meet encourages cooperation and communication while assessing agricultural issues.
Transitioning farms and ranches between generations was the center of discussion during the final round of the competition. During the conversation with three other finalists, Coderniz encouraged farming families to take control of their future, and added that Farm Bureau can serve members through leadership and education about the estate tax.
"We need to be proactive about succession planning on the farm," Coderniz said during the final round of the Discussion Meet. Noting that Bush-era tax cuts could expire at the end of the year, she said, "a 55 percent tax rate could be on the horizon. We need to look to other options like closely held corporations and LLCs."
As the winner of the state competition, Coderniz won a 2013 Polaris all-terrain vehicle valued at $5,600 and earned $4,000 from CFBF sponsors Cathie and Dick Bradley, the California Association of Pest Control Advisers, Farm Credit West, CoBank, American AgCredit and State Compensation Insurance Fund. She will represent California in the national Discussion Meet at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Nashville next month.
Beth Sequeira was named first runner-up in the Discussion Meet. Sequeira, from Kings County, works in sales and marketing for a pistachio grower and processor. Other finalists included Nicolina Alves of Riverside County and Mary Junqueiro of San Joaquin County.
The Collegiate Discussion Meet winner was Natalie Oelsner of Galt, who attends California State University, Chico, as an agricultural education student. Oelsner earned a $500 cash award and will compete in the national competition in Phoenix next February. CSU Chico won the collegiate team competition.
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of more than 74,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.
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