Bennett Gibson of Weber County won the 2022 Utah Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet. The competition was concluded at the recent Utah Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Provo 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.

Bennett Gibson (right) competes in the Final Four of the Utah Farm Bureau Discussion Meet.

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 from managing economic and infrastructure challenges, understanding forces influencing supply chain disruptions, how farmers and ranchers can shape climate initiatives, and the management of emerging technologies in agriculture.

Bennett and his wife Trina make their home in West Weber, where works on his family’s dairy and produce farm. Bennett is the 7th generation of farmers from his family to work in agriculture, and he and his wife have also worked to develop an agritourism section of the farm, with pumpkins, a corn maze, and other activities. 

Gibson competed with more than 20 other contestants from around the state in the competition. For winning the competition, he received an ATV courtesy of Intermountain Farmers Association (IFA) and Prime Powersports, an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Bennett 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 Achievement Award receive $35,000 credit towards a new Ford vehicle and paid registration to the AFBF FUSION Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, courtesy of Ford. The runner-up receives $25,000 credit towards new Case IH piece of equipment, courtesy of Case IH. Others receive prizes courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker.