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2022 High School Discussion Meet and P&E Speech Contest Finals


“Right now Idaho is the fastest growing state in the U.S…”

On February 7th Young Farmer & Ranchers of Idaho held their high school discussion meet competition in Boise, Idaho.

“I’ve seen loss of farmland and I would like to see that go away less,” said Dani Sitts of Homedale.

“You can have one industrial acre per 40 acres of rural land,”said Abbie Smith of Arimo.

“What kind of policy in Farm Bureau could support this?” said Anna Palwak of Homedale.

The competition is designed to simulate a committee meeting.

“Then Farm Bureau can actually send a request to the zoning commission,” said Dakota Nelson of Weston.

“There are these certain areas that aren’t being developed with houses…” said Ausha Covert of Rigby.

“Use not this prime farmland, but these corners of these fields…” said Natalee Abegglen from St. Anthony.

They’re evaluated on their discussion skills and exchange of ideas and information. The 10 competitors in the preliminary rounds were whittled down to 4 for the finals. That final competition was held in an actual committee hearing room in the Idaho Statehouse.

“Coming out of the pandemic it’s shared that 2 out of 3 farmers are dealing with mental health problems and struggles,” said Eliza Dugan of Jerome.

“There’s so much you can learn, even as we continue through high school and we continue through ag ourselves we’re learning something new every single day,” said Haven Chase of Athol.

“I think that working with organizations such as OSHA to kind of enforce some of these because they’re all really great ideas,” said Megan Taber of Shoshone.

“And maybe if that takes hold and helps make a safer environment we can move on to branching out to specific agricultural industries,” said Trew Kammers.

“Our first place winner… is Trew!”  - Applause -

Trew Lammers of Bonners Ferry was the eventual winner.

4 high school students also competed in the finals of the Idaho Farm Bureaus’ Promotion & Education Public Speaking Contest. Each one gave a 6 to 8 minute speech that they memorized on an agriculturally related topic of their choice.

“With only 15% of the U.S population actually working in agriculture, it is extremely import that we promote and educate on various aspects of agriculture,” said Cody Carlon from American Falls.

“Although land left alone is good, land that was grazed produced more grass than ungrazed land. And grazing led to the most carbon and nitrogen being sequestered in soil,” said Hallee Miller from Rigby.

“From a consumers’ perspective, beef prices are at an all time high, rising 20% since the fall of 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” said Libby Blattner from Kuna.

“As the cost for producing a food item increases, the price must also increase for the consumer. But instead of actually raising the prices of these goods, instead the companies decreased the size. Consumers are now paying more per ounce of a product,” said Kamille Mirkin.

“And in first, Kamille from Jerome…” – Applause -

Kamille Mirkin of Jerome was the winner.

Congratulations to all the contestants and winners!

For the Voice of Idaho Agriculture, I’m Paul Boehlke.