Bailey Elchinger of Deshler, Kristen Clemson of Cortland, Kayla Hansel of Newark and Kayla Weaver of Upper Sandusky have been named the four state finalists in Ohio Farm Bureau’s 2013 Young Agricultural Professionals Discussion Meet. Hansel is unable to attend the finals; Brandi Fornshell of Washington Court House will replace her in the competition.
The annual contest tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. The young agricultural professionals will participate in the finals of the competition at the Young Agricultural Professionals Summer Reach Out Event June 29. The winner will receive $1,000 from Nationwide Insurance and a trip to the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in San Antonio for the national Discussion Meet.
The finalists were named after discussing the following topics during competition semifinals at the Young Agricultural Professionals Winter Leadership Experience in Columbus March 22:
• “How should Farm Bureau engage farmer/rancher members, representing all types and kinds of operations (i.e. conventional, organic, large, small and niche markets), to work together to better promote a more positive image of agriculture?”
• “What are the best practices for youth working on farms and ranches to ensure their safety and provide them learning opportunities in the area of agriculture production?”
OCJ field reporter Weaver is a member of Wyandot County Farm Bureau and serves as the communications action team leader and is a past chair of the Young Agricultural Professionals Advisory Team. She is a Farmers Mutual Insurance Agent and freelance writer, and farms with her family on their corn and soybean farm.
Replacing Hansel at the finals, Fornshell of Washington Court House is a Fayette County Farm Bureau member. She is a financial services officer for Farm Credit Mid-America.
Elchinger is a two-year member of the Henry County Farm Bureau, and is a graduate of Michigan State University where she was active in Collegiate Farm Bureau. She lives on a row crop farm with her husband Nick. Elchinger works as a risk management consultant for FCStone.
A third generation member of Trumbull County Farm Bureau, Clemson is a doctoral student in educational leadership at Penn State University, where she also earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Her family farms row crops and she is a 4-H leader in the county. Clemson was an NCAA All-American track and field athlete in 2007 at Penn State.
Hansel is a member of Licking County Farm Bureau and has been involved with its membership committee and Farmer’s Share Breakfast. She works for the Licking County Auditor as the director of CAUV and Ag District programs. Hansel has a bachelor’s degree from Muskingum College and master’s degree from Ohio State University.
The Discussion Meet is hosted by Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals. Young Ag Professionals is for singles and married couples ages 18 to 35 who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills.