The winner of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Virtual Collegiate Discussion Meet is Abigail Durheim of the University of Nebraska. She was awarded the top prize following a discussion on solutions that would enhance the vibrancy and economic sustainability of agriculture and rural communities.
Durheim is a senior studying agricultural and environmental sciences communication at the University of Nebraska and will receive her bachelor’s degree later this year.
The Virtual Collegiate Discussion Meet, conducted using web conferencing again this year, is designed to replicate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each collegiate participant. Participants are judged on their ability to exchange ideas and information on an agricultural topic and find answers or solutions related to it.
Durheim qualified for the national competition upon winning the Nebraska Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet. As the national winner, she received a $3,000 scholarship from competitive event sponsor CHS Foundation.
In addition to Durheim, three finalists participated in three rounds of discussion before making it to the Final Four round. Finalists were Rebekah Alstede, Pennsylvania; Kaylee Fariam, Arizona; and Allie Lock, Missouri. They each received $1,500 courtesy of CHS Foundation.
Twenty-four competitors participated in this year’s Virtual Collegiate Discussion Meet. All competitors received a $150 scholarship courtesy of CHS Foundation, in recognition of their efforts and making it to the national level; students advancing to the “Sweet 16” round received an additional $250 scholarship. CHS provided a total of $15,000 in scholarship funds for the contest.
The YF&R program includes men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. The program’s goals are to help younger Farm Bureau members learn more about agriculture, network with other farmers and realize their full potential as leaders in agriculture and Farm Bureau. The Virtual Discussion Meet was held during AFBF’s 2021 FUSION Reimagined Conference, which wrapped up last week.