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California State Collegian Wins Discussion Meet

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 23, 2012 – The winner of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Collegiate Discussion Meet was announced last Sunday at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s national YF&R Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich.  Tino Rossi, of Bakersfield, Calif., won the contest following a discussion about the need for social media strategies to present an accurate portrayal of farmers and ranchers.

Tino Rossi (center) of Bakersfield, Calif., is congratulated by Ben LaCross, immediate past chairman of the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee, and Jennifer Thatcher, manager of the CHS Foundation (contest sponsor), for winning the AFBF YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet. Rossi is a freshman at California State University, Fresno. Click on the image for a high resolution copy.

Rossi is an agriculture business major at California State University, Fresno. He also works for the state’s Education Department and for the California FFA Association, facilitating leadership conferences and helping young students reach their leadership potential. Upon graduation from Fresno State, Rossi plans to go to law school and pursue a career as an agricultural attorney.

The Discussion Meet competition is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each college-age participant. Participants are judged on their ability to exchange ideas and information on an agricultural topic.

Rossi qualified for the national competition upon winning the California Collegiate Discussion Meet last December. As the national winner, Rossi received $2,500 from contest sponsor CHS Foundation.

In addition to Rossi, three runners-up participated in three rounds of discussion before making it to the Final Four round. Runners-up were Will Callis of Colorado, Beth Nordwald of Missouri and Caitlyn Prichard of Florida. Each received a $1,000 award from CHS Foundation.

Forty-eight competitors from 32 states competed in this year’s AFBF Collegiate Discussion Meet. All competitors received $250, courtesy of CHS Foundation, in recognition of their efforts and making it to the national level.

The AFBF YF&R program includes men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. The program provides leadership training and networking opportunities for younger Farm Bureau members.


Contacts: Tracy Taylor Grondine
(202) 406-3642
Mace Thornton
(202) 406-3641