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North Carolina Student Wins FB Collegiate YF&R Discussion Meet

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 17, 2009 – Crystal Roberts, a Weaverville, N.C., student at North Carolina State University, won the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2009 Collegiate Discussion Meet held Feb. 8 at the Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Conference in Sacramento, Calif.

Roberts emerged as the winner after four rounds of competition. In the final round, she competed against three other finalists: Bernie LeFils of Florida; Michael O’Shane Hughes of Utah; and Christy Huffman of Virginia. The final discussion topic was,“How do land grant universities remain on the forefront of an ever-changing agricultural environment?”

As winner, Roberts earned a $2,500 scholarship from the CHS Foundation. She is pursuing an Animal Science degree at North Carolina State University and plans a career in food animal veterinary medicine after completing her education. She is a former state officer of the North Carolina FFA and is active in agricultural leadership organizations.

Roberts qualified for the national competition by winning the Collegiate Discussion Meet at the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation Fall Festival in Raleigh, N.C., last November. Her victory in the national competition was the first by a N.C. college student.

In all, 42 college students or recent graduates from across the U.S. competed for the top prize.

“Farm Bureau’s strength depends on its members’ ability to creatively analyze agricultural issues and develop solutions that best meet their needs as well as the needs of agriculture,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “At the collegiate level, the discussion meet is designed to foster these crucial skills in young people who may one day be active farmers and ranchers.”

The other competitors reaching the “Final Four” stage of the competitive event were each awarded $1,000 from the CHS Foundation, which also presented $250 to every competitor not reaching the finals.


Contacts: Tracy Taylor Grondine
(202) 406-3642
Jerry Harke
(202) 406-3640