Modesto Junior College sent a team of six students to compete in the annual Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet contest in Anaheim on Dec. 3, with each contestant giving a 30-second opening statement and a one minute closing statement during the 25 minute committee discussions. This year’s competition featured questions about public skepticism of foreign trade, perceptions on family farms with the rise of incorporation, how to combat increasing legal and regulatory obstacles, and how the Farm Bureau can better support first generation farmers.
MJC’s Discussion Meet team included students from across California: Riley Gillihan (Ripon), Elizabeth Enke (Grass Valley), Adriana Toste (Gustine), Adriana Coone (Phelan), Alanna Pere (Elk Grove), and Andrew Skidmore (Atwater). The team members are all MJC freshman agriculture students who were participating in the contest for the first time.
The MJC team provided quality discussion and insight on each issue in both round robin rounds, and Andrew Skidmore progressed into the Elite Eight round.
“Discussion Meet was an amazing opportunity for us to dive into the issues that are facing agriculture,” said Riley Gillihan. “We not only focused on the issues themselves, but also possible solutions. It gave me a whole new perspective on agriculture in our community and on a national level.”
Adriana Toste shared, “As a student, this event was a fantastic opportunity to learn, educate and be more aware of what is happening in the agriculture industry.”
The team also expressed appreciation to Ross Lee, Amy Wolfe, Denise Skidmore, Andrew and Anna Genasci, and Amber Simmons, community members who volunteered their wisdom and time to help them prepare for the contest.
The MJC Agriculture and Environmental Sciences division is home to over 2000 MJC students, served by a dozen full time staff. Additional information is available at www.mjc.edu/ag or by contacting Lori Marchy, MJC agriculture business instructor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 575-6206.