Taylor Wiseman of Fayetteville, a graduate assistant majoring in agriculture economics at the University of Arkansas, won the Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet at the Arkansas Farm Bureau 71st Officers & Leaders Conference at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
For her effort, Wiseman won $7,000 courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau national conference in Austin, Texas in January to represent the state in the national AFBF Discussion Meet.
“Incredible,” Wiseman said about her win. “It was fun to sit down, study issues and talk about them.”
The event provides a forum for young farm leaders to demonstrate their verbal and problem-solving presentation skills while discussing current events on issues affecting agriculture. Ten people competed in the discussion meet addressing a variety of ag topics.Wiseman says promoting the on-the-farm story to the public is the critical need facing today’s farmers and ranchers.
“There are so many issues that face farmers and ranchers,” Wiseman said. “I think the big one is the lack of education about what they do, but then also the lack of access to what they do and how they go about their operations.”
Wiseman grew up on a small farm in Vilonia showing horses and livestock. She believes farmers and ranchers actively pursuing a social media presence is essential to educating the public about how farming and raising livestock is done. Her blog http://takingtimewithtaylor.wordpress.com/about-taylor/ addresses ag issues.
“So many of these farmers and ranchers need to share that with the world. To do it, you have to take on the mentality that this is your business, and you have to promote it,” she said.
For photos of Wiseman, visit the ArFB on Flickr.
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of more than 192,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.