The Institute of Applied Agriculture Coaches Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapter Students to the Top

Image Credit: Edwin Remsberg

December 13, 2016 Larisa Cioaca

College Park, Md. – Less than a month after establishing the first Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter at the University of Maryland, students from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources competed in the Collegiate Discussion Meet held Dec. 4, 2016 during the 101st Maryland Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Ocean City, Md. Lecturers from the Institute of Applied Agriculture were instrumental in providing coaching advice, mentoring, and advising to help best prepare students for competition.

The winner was Gabrielle Cory of Leonardtown, Md., a sophomore student majoring in agricultural education. Cory grew up on a 20-acre farmstead dedicated to forest conservation, and is the former 2013 Miss Maryland Agriculture.

“It was a great experience,” said Cory. “Discussing key issues affecting our industry with other young farmers was good practice for my future career as an ag educator.”

The runner-up was Emily Solis of La Plata, Md., a junior student majoring in animal care and management. By placing first and second at the state level, Cory and Solis qualified to participate in the national Collegiate Discussion Meet that will be held Feb. 10-13, 2017 during the American Farm Bureau Federation’s FUSION Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The Discussion Meet is a competition that engages young farmers ages 18-35 in analyzing agricultural problems and evaluating possible solutions. Through simulated committee meetings, participants practice and develop their critical thinking, speaking, listening and problem solving skills.

The Collegiate Farm Bureau at the University of Maryland officially kicked off on Nov. 8, 2016. It is the first collegiate Farm Bureau chapter ever established in the state of Maryland. The chapter helps students build professional networks, discuss issues impacting agriculture, understanding the legislative processes, promote agriculture as an industry, and gain experience in agricultural leadership and communication. Lecturers from the Institute of Applied Agriculture serve as faculty advisors and communication coaches.