Fresno County woman wins Farm Bureau Discussion Meet
» December 6, 2011 «
Megan Jacobson Download JPG (342 KB)
After a final round of competition that focused on public perceptions of animal agriculture, a California Young Farmers & Ranchers member from Easton won the California Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers Open Discussion Meet.
Megan Jacobsen, a Fresno County Farm Bureau member and director of membership for the California Grape and Tree Fruit League, was among 30 individuals from throughout the state to compete in the contest during the 93rd CFBF Annual Meeting in Sparks, Nev. The Discussion Meet is a contest designed to elicit constructive criticism, cooperation and communication while discussing agricultural issues.
In the finals of the competition, discussion centered on how farmers and ranchers can show the public that animal agriculture balances production efficiencies with the public's expectations of animal care. During the discussion with three other finalists, Jacobsen described the need for conversations between consumers and farmers, providing examples of farms that have opened their businesses to consumers to visit, inviting questions and open dialogue.
"Consumers want to be talked to, not talked at. We can say, 'Educate, educate, educate,' as much as we want, but at the end of the day it is not a one-way communication street. We need to be able to have a conversation," Jacobsen said.
As the winner of the state competition, Jacobsen earned $4,000 from CFBF sponsors Bank of America, Cathie and Dick Bradley, the California Association of Pest Control Advisers, Farm Credit West, CoBank, American AgCredit, and State Compensation Insurance Fund. As the winner, she will represent California in the national Discussion Meet competition at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, next month.
First runner-up in the Discussion Meet was Diane Coderniz of Merced County, who is an attorney in Fresno. Other finalists included Jeff Alves of Riverside County and Daniel Dresselhaus of Trinity County.
The Collegiate Discussion Meet winner was Tino Rossi of Bakersfield, who attends California State University, Fresno. Rossi earned a $500 cash award and will compete in the national competition in Grand Rapids, Mich., next February. California State University, 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 nearly 6.3 million Farm Bureau members.
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