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Kylie Wheeler wins Indiana Farm Bureau Discussion Meet

The Henry County Farm Bureau member is headed to Utah for the national contest.

Tom J. Bechman, Midwest Crops Editor

December 21, 2023

1 Min Read
 Randy Kron shakes hands with Kylie Wheeler as she recieves an award
DISCUSSION MEET WINNER: Randy Kron, Indiana Farm Bureau president, congratulates Kylie Wheeler, Henry County, Ind., winner of the 2023 INFB discussion meet. Willie Vogt

Just how good are you at presenting your ideas to others in a group setting? Can you hold your own? Kylie Wheeler of Henry County, Ind., can. Judges tapped her as the state winner of the Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ag Professionals Discussion Meet at the 2023 INFB convention in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Wheeler will represent Indiana in the national contest held at the American Farm Bureau Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 19-24. It’s one of the most prestigious competitions conducted by Farm Bureau annually. This contest is open to members ages 35 and younger.

Former judges explain it’s not a speaking contest, per se. Instead, four members in each round act as a committee discussing a real-life farm problem, just as farmers and spouses might at a local meeting. The goal is to demonstrate skills that allow the group to analyze an issue and identify potential solutions.

This year’s state contest included several elimination rounds. Topics included identifying how young people could find financial resources and make sound financial decisions on their farms, reaching a workable definition of sustainable agriculture, Farm Bureau’s role in engaging diverse ag communities and cultivating leadership, and the role INFB should play in addressing water management challenges.

Three runners-up who competed in the final round were Austin Sinders, Clay County; Caleb Purkhiser, Washington County; and Cody Pate, Posey County.

Information from an Indiana Farm Bureau news release was used to prepare this story.

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About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Midwest Crops Editor, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman became the Midwest Crops editor at Farm Progress in 2024 after serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer for 23 years. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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