The Collegiate Discussion Meet is an activity designed to build these crucial skills in young, active leaders in agriculture on the collegiate level. By participating, members build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems.
The Collegiate Discussion Meet is a competition promoted by the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. The Collegiate Discussion Meet is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each committee member. The competitors will discuss pre-selected topics. The four fundamental bases of general discussion are: Cooperation; Constructive Criticism; Problem Solving; Communication.
The discussion should not be "conversation" or aimless talk, nor should the participant take the role of a persuasive speaker. The participant should try to cooperatively shed light on the problem and tentatively retain a flexible position.
A successful participant is a productive thinker rather than an emotional persuader. Sometimes it’s reasonable to change positions whenever new information and ideas are presented.
This is not a panel symposium wherein each participant, in turn, makes a presentation, with the moderator ending the session with a summary. Rather, it is an exercise in cooperative problem solving, with the questions, answers and statements coming from any person at any time. The moderator plays an inactive role during the discussion.
The state winner receives an expense paid trip to the AFBF Young Farmer and Rancher Conference and will compete in the AFBF YF&R Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet. Each participant in the national Collegiate Discussion Meet receives a $250 scholarship, finalists receives a $1,000 scholarship, and the winner receives a $2,500 scholarship.
FFA Discussion Meet competitions will be held in all seven districts of the Utah Farm Bureau State Young Farmer & Rancher Committee. For additional resources on how to prepare for the discussion meet, American Farm Bureau will be hosting a series of trainings. Each call/webinar will last an hour and include an industry expert on one of the five questions that will be used in the 2020 YF&R Discussion Meet in Austin, TX and the YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet in Louisville, KY . There will be ample time for questions and answers during each of the trainings. The first training will cover the overall competition and preparation tips, and the schedule for the trainings is found below:
- Tuesday, August 7, at 8:00 p.m. ET – General overview of the competition
- Tuesday, August 14, at 8:00 p.m. ET – Question #1
- Tuesday, August 21, at 8:00 p.m. ET – Question #2
- Tuesday, August 28, at 8:00 p.m. ET – Question #3
- Tuesday, September 4, at 8:00 p.m. ET – Question #4
- Tuesday, September 11, at 8:00 p.m. ET – Question #5
All trainings will use the following toll-free number and passcode: Toll-Free Number: 1-800-768-2983. Participant Passcode: 7870140 #.