Ritchey named 2020 Discussion Meet winner
(WACO, Texas)—A dedication to solving issues in agriculture and the ability to discuss them propelled one young man to the top in this year’s Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Discussion Meet.
Josh Ritchey of Erath County was announced the 2020 YF&R Discussion Meet winner during TFB’s 87th annual meeting on Nov. 30.
Ritchey grows hay, raises horses and cattle and operates a pumpkin patch, corn maze and agritourism venue on his farm outside Stephenville.
“Farm Bureau’s future depends on our members’ ability to analyze challenges we’re facing in agriculture and come up with solutions,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “Through dialogue in the Discussion Meet, young farmers and ranchers discuss creative solutions and improvement goals. Those problem-solving skills are an important tool to develop and nurture as agriculture continues to evolve.”
The YF&R Discussion Meet, which was held virtually this year, is designed to simulate a committee meeting, where discussion and active participation are expected from each contestant.
During the event, contestants build basic discussion skills, develop a deeper understanding of agricultural issues and explore how groups can combine knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems through open dialogue.
Topics discussed by the contestants in the preliminary rounds included international trade and the risks and rewards of big data and smart farming.
The topic for the final round covered tools and production practices that farmers and ranchers can be engaged in to reduce climate and weather risks.
Ritchey will receive an ATV, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, and a $5,000 cash award, courtesy of Farm Credit.
The Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet finalists were Kelley Hutchinson of Cherokee County Farm Bureau, Jenny Jones of Anderson County Farm Bureau and Kristen Anderson-Warner of Hays County Farm Bureau.
The three finalists will each receive a $1,000 cash award, courtesy of Farm Bureau Bank, and a $500 cash award, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company.
Ritchey will represent Texas in the national Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet hosted by American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
The winner of the national contest will receive a $35,000 credit toward a new Ford truck, courtesy of Ford Motor Company.
The national runner-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 50A, courtesy of Case IH.
Third place in the AFBF Discussion Meet will receive a Case IH 40” combination roll cabinet and top chest and $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH; a $2,500 Investing in Your Future cash prize, courtesy of American Farm Bureau Insurance Services; and $1,850 of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise.
Fourth place receives Case IH 40” combination roll cabinet and top chest, as well as a $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH.
For more information on young farmer and rancher activities and opportunities, visit texasfarmbureau.org/YFR.