Young Farmers & Ranchers Recap

It’s been quite the year Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R). Churchill County has added a YF&R chapter to their county, which already has an impressive membership total with over 20 members. A Collegiate program has also been established at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) with growing membership engagement as well. 

At the 99th Annual Nevada Farm Bureau Meeting YF&R was fortunate enough to have the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) YF&R Chair Russel Kohler. Russel spoke to YF&R at their breakout session to encourage them to become more active. He shared his story of growth in his state and how each and every YF&R member can be involved. He focused on delegation saying, “no one can do everything, we need to find strengths in each person and work together.” 

The annual YF&R Discussion Meet also took place at the 99th Annual Nevada Farm Bureau meeting with eight participants. Participants included: Blane Merkley, Hunter Drost, Gunnar Garms, Kathleen Wolter, Sarah Stallard, Dann Mathews, Bailey Brown, and Kari Brough. 

Discussion Meet questions are selected by the AFBF and distributed throughout the states. The winner from our state competition is then selected to represent us at the AFBF Annual Meeting held this year in New Orleans. 

It was a great discussion meet with the final four contestants being Blane Merkley, Dann Mathews, Sarah Stallard and Kari Brough. The final four battled it out and the results were: 

1st Place: Blane Merkley of Churchill County and the Collegiate YF&R President. 

2nd Place: Dann Mathews of Lincoln County and the Lincoln County President. 

3rd Place: Sarah Stallard of Clark County and the District 1 YF&R Committee representative 

4th Place: Kari Brough of Elko County and the District 2 YF&R Committee representative 

“The Discussion Meet is a great time to come together with other individuals to discuss important issues and figure out new solutions we can use to increase engagement,” said Blane Merkley. 

We look forward to seeing Blane Merkley compete in the AFBF discussion meet this January in New Orleans and wish him all the best. 

Each year YF&R also collects food donations for people in need throughout the state as part of the Harvest for All campaign. This year the state YF&R committee decided to award a Golden Pitch Fork to the county who collected the most food. The winner of the Golden Pitch Fork was Elko County with a total of 15 lbs. of food collected in addition to a monetary donation of $280. The Golden Pitch fork will be awarded again next year to the county with the greatest Harvest for all Contributions. 

YF&R hopes to double participation in the coming year as we go into our 100th year celebration.

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