SANDY, Utah. December 5, 2019 – Dave Cox of Iron County won the 2019 Utah Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet. The competition was concluded at the recent Utah Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Layton and is considered a top honor for young farmers and ranchers in Utah.
The Discussion Meet contest is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. More than a simple debate, this competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined agriculture topic. The judges look for the contestant that offers constructive criticism, cooperation, and communication while analyzing agricultural problems and developing solutions.
Participants build basic discussion skills, develop an understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems. Successful participants are productive thinkers, rather than emotional persuaders, and assist the group in creating ways to implement the solutions discussed and highlight Farm Bureau’s involvement in those steps.
The competitors spoke on topics ranging this year from opioid and mental health concerns in rural America, to emerging food technologies and using trade to benefit agriculture.
“This was a thrill to win this competition,” Cox said. “My wife and I feel fortunate to live in this great part of our state and to interact with many great farmers and ranchers. I love advocating for our industry in the variety of interactions I have with people in our community and beyond through social media.”
Originally from Kane County, Dave Cox and his wife, Jessica and their young daughter, make their home in Cedar, where they are students at Southern Utah University. Dave works as the yard manager at the Cedar Livestock Market and part-time at the SUU Valley Farm. His family has a background in the livestock marketing industry, with his father Duke as a representative for Superior Livestock Auction as well as recently purchasing the Cedar City Livestock Market.
Cox competed with more than 15 other contestants from around the state in the competition. For winning the competition, he received a 2019 Honda ATV courtesy of IFA, and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual meeting in Austin, Texas.
(Final Four contestants in the 2019 Discussion Meet, from left to right: Dave Cox (Iron County), Caleb Smith (Cache County), Chelcey Larsen (Juab County) and Bradie Jones (Summit County))
Dave will compete at the American Farm Bureau Discussion Meet against Discussion Meet winners from across the country. In 2020, the national winner of the Discussion Meet will receive a new 2020 Ford vehicle (up to a value of $35,000), and paid registration to the AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference in Louisville, Kentucky courtesy of Ford. The runner-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 50A tractor, third place finalists will receive a Case IH 40” Combination Roll Cabinet & Top Chest and a $500 parts card, as well as $2,200 of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise, and Fourth Place receives a Case IH 40” Combination Roll Cabinet & Top Chest and a $500 parts card.
About the Utah Farm Bureau
The Utah Farm Bureau is the largest general farm and ranch organization in the state with more than 34,000 member families. Its mission is to inspire all Utah families to connect, succeed, and grow through the ‘Miracle of Agriculture’. The Farm Bureau is a non-partisan, voluntary organization, and its efforts are based on grassroots policies developed by members at the local, county, state and national levels. It is affiliated with the American Farm Bureau Federation, the world’s largest general farm organization, with more than 6 million family members in 50 states and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to the Utah Farm Bureau website at http://www.utahfarmbureau.org, ‘Utah Farm Bureau’ on Facebook, @UtahFarmBureauon Twitter, Utah Farm Bureau on Instagram, or on YouTube at www.youtube.com/utahfarmer.