Tuesday, January 13, 2009

American Farm Bureau Convention News

Samantha and James Williams accept a four-wheeler from Polaris representatives for winning the Idaho YF and R Discussion meet in December. Putnam photo

Idaho Young Farmer Wins National Competition

SAN ANTONIO--A young farmer from Ucon won the national YF and R discussion meet Monday at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 90th annual meeting.

James Williams will bring home a 2009 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup and other prizes after finishing first in the AFBF Discussion Meet. He competed against a field of his peers from every Farm Bureau in the country. Williams also earned free registration to the 2009 YF&R Leadership Conference.

The three runners-up in the Discussion Meet were Marc Arnusch of Colorado, Dalton Henry of Kansas and Nicole Reese of Wisconsin. They each received a $6,000 U.S. Savings Bond and a Farm Boss chainsaw, both courtesy of STIHL.

The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting in which active discussion and participation are expected. Participants are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on predetermined topics.

This year’s topics included the following:

How can the aging infrastructure of the United States support the transportation of agricultural commodities in the future?

How do land grant universities remain on the forefront of an ever-changing agricultural environment?

How do we correct the misconceptions of Farm Bureau?

After YF&R, how can Farm Bureau utilize the leaders it has developed?

Williams qualified for the AFBF competition by winning the Idaho Farm Bureau discussion meet in early December. In that competition he took home a new Polaris four-wheeler and an all expense paid trip to the national competition in San Antonio.

Williams is the son of Galen Williams of Ucon. He currently teaches at Brigham Young University Idaho in their Institute of Religion Department. James and his wife Samantha have four children and also run a horse boarding and hay operation north of Idaho Falls. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a Master’s degree in education.

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