SANDY, Utah. December 6, 2016 – Addison Hicken of Wasatch County won the 2016 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 including how to best draft a national immigration policy; how farmers and ranchers can best direct the management of natural resources; maintaining ownership of intellectual and proprietary information (Big Data); what a balanced and beneficial tax policy should look like for agriculture; and addressing misconceptions related to food labeling and other marketing issues.

Addison and his wife Jenn make their home in Heber City, where he is the comptroller for his family’s ATV dealerships. Addison also raises hay and cattle. Both Addison and Jenn are active in their community and serve as ambassadors for agriculture.

Hicken competed with more than 16 other contestants from around the state in the competition. For winning the competition, he received a 2016 Polaris ATV courtesy of IFA, and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in Phoenix.

Addison will compete at the American Farm Bureau Discussion Meet against Discussion Meet winners from across the nation during its annual convention in January. National winners of the Discussion Meet have their choice of either a Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra Truck, courtesy of General Motors.