Seth McLaughlin of Prague was the winner of the first high school discussion meet held by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers. Kalee Horn, Edmond; Summer Stevens, Perry; and Camy Daniel, Amber-Pocasset, were the other three finalists. The contest was held in conjunction with the 73rd Oklahoma Farm Bureau Annual Meeting Nov. 14-16 in Tulsa.
The high school discussion meet allows high school students to participate in an event that promotes basic discussion skills, develops an understanding of agricultural issues and explores how groups can pool knowledge to solve problems. This event is designed to build crucial skills to aid in analyzing problems and deciding solutions to best meet one’s needs.
“The high school discussion meet helps prepare these students for discussing agricultural issues with the general public,” said Holly Carroll, YF&R coordinator.
McLaughlin is active in the Prague FFA Chapter, which he said helped prepare him for this contest. McLaughlin said he really enjoyed being able to get everyone involved in the discussion.
“Engaging people together, we were able to get more collective ideas and that is how you get the best ideas,” McLaughlin said.
The main topic of discussion between the top four finalists was the best way to promote Oklahoma Farm Bureau to new members. The finalists presented ideas of utilizing social media, websites and technology while still maintaining traditional uses of marketing, such as newspapers. McLaughlin said the event helped prepare him for the future.
“Because this event simulated a committee meeting, it helped prepare me for committee meetings later in life, and I will know how to discuss issues and engage others,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin received a MacBook Air laptop computer and a $300 gift card as the winner of the discussion meet. Horn, Stevens and Daniel all received an iPad Mini as the remaining top three finalists.
The OKFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee hopes to continue this event as part of the OKFB Annual Meeting.
Updated: Seth McLaughlin is from Prague, Oklahoma, and was originally identified as being from Edmond. The information in the story above has been updated on Nov. 14, 2014.