Young Farmers

Maryland Farm Bureau Young Farmers

The 2024 Discussion Meet questions that will be used for the 2023 Maryland Farm Bureau Annual Meeting have been announced! 

1. Production agriculture requires a lot of capital. Young farmers and ranchers face challenges gaining access to the capital they need to start or grow their operations. What tools are currently available, and what new programs could be introduced, to help young people access financial resources—and make sound financial decisions—to run their farms and ranches?

2. Working with elected officials, in all levels of government, is critical to advancing public policy that supports farmers and ranchers. How can Farm Bureau help elected leaders better understand the challenges of the agriculture sector and the importance of supporting the financial viability of America’s family farms and ranches?

3. What is sustainable agriculture and how can Farm Bureau help farmers and ranchers access market-based solutions that advance sustainability goals without restricting their ability to stock America’s pantries, help feed a growing population and maintain farm profitability?

4. Farmers and ranchers across the country are diverse in not only the goods they produce,
but also in the ways they raise and market them. Farm Bureau’s role is to broadly represent all producers. How can our organization further welcome and engage diverse agricultural
communities and cultivate dynamic future Farm Bureau leaders?

5. Agriculture uses water for everything from growing crops, raising livestock and moving products to and from farms and ranches. Water issues are often hotly debated, are unique to each region and can pose significant challenges to growers. How can Farm Bureau help address water management challenges and seek long term solutions for farmers and ranchers?

Click here for a PDF version of the questions.

Discussion Meet | Excellence in Agriculture | Achievement Award

The Young Farmers are also happy to announce that we will be partnering with Ford for a “Fill-A-Ford” Food Drive that will benefit the Maryland Food Bank. There will be a Ford truck located on the Trade Show floor and throughout the Convention attendees can help in fill the bed of the truck with donated items. Here is a list of the most requested items from the Maryland Food Bank.

Young Farmers Donate 5,000 Meals

Young farmers from around the state gathered together to pack 5,000 meals for families in need on the lower shore during an event at Maryland Farm Bureau’s 104th Annual Convention.

The organization’s Young Farmers Committee spearheaded the donation effort as part of Farm Bureau’s Harvest for All program. The program has worked for the past 18 years to help provide food to those in need. Packed meals were donated to local Maryland Food Bank community partners. 

“Maryland Farm Bureau members have a long history of supporting the important work of local food banks,” said Katie Stevens, chair of the MFB Young Farmers Committee and a farmer from Frederick County. “Whether it be donating food from our farms to families in need or donating our time to pack meals, we’re happy to be involved in the effort to fight hunger in the state.”

More than 650,000 Maryland residents – or 1 in 9 – are food insecure, meaning they live at risk of hunger. The Maryland Food Bank is a non-profit organization leading the movement to end hunger in Maryland. Their extensive network of partners across the state distribute food to Marylanders in need.

If you are interested in volunteering to fight hunger in Maryland, please visit Farmers interested in participating in the Harvest for All program or the Maryland Farm to Food Bank program should contact Parker Welch at

2023-2024 Young Farmer Committee

District 1 (Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, Washington) – Vacant
District 2 (Carroll, Howard, Montgomery) – Greg Dell, Chair
District 3 (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s) – Charlie Scasser
District 4 (Baltimore, Cecil, Harford) – Wilson Davis
District 5 (Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot) – Alan Eck and Rachel Manning
District 6 (Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset) – Shelby Griffin

Competitive Events Winners for 2022

Discussion Meet Shelby Green, Frederick County

Excellence in Agriculture Becky Yost, Garrett County

Collegiate Discussion Meet Grace Tisone, Calvert County (University of Maryland)

Shelby and Becky will represent Maryland at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, UT in January 2024. Grace will represent Maryland at the FUSION Conference in Jacksonville, FL in March 2023.

The Final Four in the Collegiate Farm Bureau contest who participated in Discussion Meet at the Maryland Farm Bureau Convention on December 4th, 2022 were Grace Tisone, Calvert County, Anthony Righter, Montgomery County, Raven Herron, Howard Countyand Kendall Abruzzese, Frederick County.

Young Farmers Competitive Events

Discussion MeetThe Discussion Meet is a competition promoted by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young
Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Committee. Farm Bureau’s strength depends on its members’ ability to analyze agricultural issues and decide on solutions that best meet their needs. The competition is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each committee member. Applicants build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems. 

A successful applicant is a productive thinker rather than an emotional persuader. He/she will assist the group in creating ways to implement the solutions discussed and highlight Farm Bureau’s involvement in those actions/steps. The applicants will discuss pre-selected topics using four bases for the general discussion: Cooperation, Constructive Criticism, Problem Solving, and Communication.

Excellence in AgricultureThe Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Excellence in Agriculture Award competition is designed as an opportunity for young farmers and ranchers to earn recognition, while actively contributing and growing though their involvement in Farm Bureau and agriculture. Participants will be judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, and participation/involvement in Farm Bureau and other organizations (i.e., civic, service and community). The ideal candidate(s) for the Excellence in Agriculture Award is an individual or couple who does not have the majority of his/her net income subject to normal production risk.

Response Examples

Achievement AwardThe American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annually conducts a Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Achievement Award competition. State Farm Bureaus are encouraged to promote this activity among county Farm Bureaus. Selection of the winning YF&R competitor is based on his/her efforts in production agriculture and leadership achievement. 

Participation in this program with individual recognition and the resulting publicity will help build the organization. The ideal candidate(s) for the Achievement Award is an individual or couple involved in production agriculture with a majority of his/her net income subject to normal production risks.

Response Examples

Learn more about how you can get involved at the state and national levels.

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