Colorado State Senior Takes Top Honors at YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet
Newsroom / February 14, 2017
Ryan O’Reilly of Colorado State University, winner of the Collegiate Discussion Meet, is congratulated by AFBF President Zippy Duvall.
The winner of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet, announced earlier this week, is Ryan O’Reilly of Colorado. O’Reilly was awarded the top prize following a discussion on ensuring that farmers and ranchers, not government agencies, are driving the management of natural resources.
O’Reilly, a senior at Colorado State University, is studying environmental and natural resource economics.
The Discussion Meet is designed to replicate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each collegiate participant. Participants are judged on their ability to exchange ideas and information on an agricultural topic and find answers or solutions related to it.
O’Reilly qualified for the national competition upon winning the Colorado Collegiate Discussion Meet. As the national winner, he received a $2,500 scholarship from competitive event sponsor John Deere.
In addition to O’Reilly, three finalists participated in three rounds of discussion before making it to the Final Four round. Finalists were Hunter Berry, California State University, Fresno; Caroline Kelsoe, Mississippi State University; and Tiffani Phillips, Southern Utah University. They each received $1,000 courtesy of John Deere.
Fifty-three competitors from 36 states participated in this year’s AFBF Collegiate Discussion Meet. All competitors received $250, courtesy of John Deere, in recognition of their efforts and making it to the national level.
The YF&R program includes men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. The program’s goals are to help younger Farm Bureau members learn more about agriculture, network with other farmers and realize their full potential as leaders in agriculture and Farm Bureau.
(L to R) Discussion Meet Finalist Hunter Berry, California State University, Fresno; Discussion Meet Finalist Caroline Kelsoe, Mississippi State University; Discussion Meet Winner Ryan O’Reilly, Colorado State University; and Discussion Meet Finalist Tiffani Phillips, Southern Utah University.