CSU, Chico

Chico State Students Make Elite Eight at Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet

Chico State Students Make Elite Eight at Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet

The California Young Farmers and Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet was held during the annual meeting of the California Farm Bureau Federation in Monterey, Calif., on Dec. 8, 2013. The discussion meet consisted of five topics that the contestants were given in advance. This year’s topics included promotion of diversified farming operations to better the image of agriculture, farmer and rancher involvement in the Farm Bureau, child labor safety in the agriculture industry, agricultural economic growth, and agricultural regulations.

Professor Mollie Aschenbrener coached the students for the contest, which evaluates contestants’ cooperation and communication while discussing agriculture issues. This year’s participants included freshman Leah Gibson and junior Vince Pellegri. Both Gibson and Pellegri made it to the Elite Eight, and Gibson continued on to the Final Four.

“Leah and Vince practiced hard to prepare for this contest, and it showed,” said College of Agriculture Dean Jennifer Ryder Fox, who attended the competition. “They both did exceptionally well and made me proud to know they represent College of Agriculture students from Chico State.”

Gibson found the experience enlightening and rewarding. “It forces you to not only be knowledgeable about current agriculture topics, but it makes you brainstorm tangible solutions for these important issues,” said Gibson. “It's a lot more productive than a debate or prepared speech format because it is set up to facilitate an open-minded and civil discussion. It's such a wonderful opportunity to push yourself, meet new people in the agriculture industry, and overall just have a complete blast.”