Four finalists were named to compete in Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2019 Discussion Meet after a preliminary competition at OFBF’s 100th annual meeting in Columbus.
Jeremy Trester of Hamersville, Andrew “Dewey” Mann of Ashville, Micaela Wright of Arcanum and Victoria Popp of Cincinnati were chosen to advance after discussing topics impacting the agriculture industry. (Original finalist Gregory Corcoran and his wife, Theresa, have been named to the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers national committee, and therefore Greg had to withdraw from this contest.)
The annual contest tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem-solving abilities, and personal and small group communications skills. These young agricultural professionals will compete in the finals at the Young Agricultural Professionals’ Leadership Experience on Feb. 1-2 at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus.
“The Discussion Meet contest is designed for young ag professionals to work together to find solutions around issues facing agriculture today. The semifinal rounds were impressive, and I am looking forward to the finals,” says Melinda Witten, OFBF Young Agricultural Professionals coordinator.
The winner receives a $1,000 award from Nationwide Insurance; an expense-paid trip to OFBF annual meeting, including two nights’ lodging and an invitation to the Harvest Banquet on Dec. 11-13; and an expense-paid trip to represent Ohio at the national competition during the American Farm Bureau annual convention in Austin in January 2020.
Corcoran, a Ross County Farm Bureau member, is president of the county Farm Bureau and has served as secretary on the board. He has been the Young Ag Professionals state committee chair and is one of the founders of the Ross County YAP group. Corcoran earned a bachelor’s degree at Ohio State University in construction and systems management. He helps run a 5,000-acre corn, soybean and popcorn operation with his family, in addition to 250-head brood cows and a certified Angus beef feedlot. In his community, Corcoran serves on the parish council for St. Peter’s Catholic Church. He and his wife, Theresa, have four children.
Mann, a Pickaway County Farm Bureau member, grew up on his family’s farm and has participated in the county Farm Bureau policy breakfast. He is a lecturer at Ohio State University in ag systems management. Mann is on the Village Chapel Church leadership board, serves as adviser for the ag systems management student organization at Ohio State and is a member of the American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers. He received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri, his master’s degree at Purdue University and his doctorate at Ohio State. Mann and his wife, Kathy, have two children.
Wright, a Darke County Farm Bureau member, is an AgriPower Class IX graduate, former Ohio Farm Bureau Policy Outreach fellow and past Discussion Meet participant. She grew up on a small sheep farm in Darke County and serves as director of communications at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Wright earned a bachelor’s degree in ag sustainability at Wilmington College and a master’s degree from Ohio State University.
Popp, a Clermont County Farm Bureau member, is a current participant in AgriPower Class X and is active in Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals program. She is the young, small and beginning farmer program manager for Farm Credit Mid-America. She also enjoys riding with her favorite horse, Earl Grey.
The Discussion Meet is hosted by OFBF’s Young Agricultural Professionals, comprised of singles and married couples ages 18 to 35 who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills.
Learn more about the Young Ag Professionals program at experienceyap.com.