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DISCUSS: CAGs & Discussion Meets: One & the Same

Young Farmer Discussion Meets like this one in the Saginaw Valley are designed to encourage and showcase the kind of respectful two-way dialogue necessary for agriculture to assert itself with confidence and credibility.
Date Posted: June 27, 2022

Farm Bureau Discussion Meets simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected. Discussion Meets are evaluated on an exchange of quality ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. Participants build discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of agricultural issues and explore how groups can use their collective knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems. If you ask me, Discussion Meets are a great example of what our network of Community Action Groups do each month: meet and discuss topics important to agriculture.

In the complex world of agriculture, issues change rapidly. Today’s producers need to stay aware of the situations affecting their operations and agriculture as whole. Community Action Groups and competitions like Discussion Meets meet this need. Just as participants in discussion meets are encouraged to propose solutions to the issues presented, CAGs are encouraged to discuss and work toward solutions on monthly topics.

Today’s Farm Bureau members belonging to a Community Action Group and the Young Farmer program enjoy the benefits of education, policy input, the opportunity to make a difference on issues within their community and influence their organization.

MFB hosts Young Farmer Discussion Meets for 18- to 35-year-old members, as well as High School and Collegiate Discussion Meets to introduce young leaders to the organization. District-level Young Farmer Discussion Meets kicked off in February and will conclude in August, while most Collegiate and High School Discussion Meets will take place September through November.

The top Young Farmer competitors from each region will move on to the state level competition, participating in two preliminary rounds on Nov. 11, 2022. The sweet sixteen will be announced via Facebook Live that evening and will go on to compete in two sweet sixteen rounds at MFB's State Annual Meeting on Nov. 29, with the final four competition that evening.

High School and Collegiate competitors advancing through their regions and chapters will compete at the State Annual Meeting on Dec. 1, 2022.

The state winners of the Collegiate and Young Farmer competitions will represent Michigan at the American Farm Bureau Federation's Discussion Meets in early 2023.

As we head into the next rounds, we want to hear what you have to say about the topics our future leaders are discussing.

 

Questions

  1. How can Farm Bureau effectively support and equip young farmers to successfully manage economic and infrastructure challenges to ensure healthy and sustainable farms and ranches across the country?
  2. Due to current economic demands, many farmers spend a lot of time outside the “fence rows” on off-farm jobs. How can Farm Bureau become more accessible and welcoming to members who are working in related fields and juggling responsibilities on and off the farm?
  3. Climate has become a major topic among business leaders, policymakers and consumers. As an industry that depends on the weather, what role do we as farmers play in shaping climate initiatives to benefit society overall as well as our own farms?
  4. Advancements in autonomous equipment and drone technology offer solutions to challenges farmers have faced for years. How can Farm Bureau improve access to, and help farmers deploy, these emerging technologies on their operations?
  5. Many external influences are causing supply chain disruption for agricultural goods. How can Farm Bureau reduce the impact of external influences through policy development and programming?

 

Respond via email to [email protected] or post: MFB Community Group Discussion Topic Responses, ATTN: Michelle Joseph, 7373 W. Saginaw Hwy., Lansing, MI 48917. Please include your name and CAG affiliation.

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