Jackson County Farm Bureau member Ali Merk competed in the final round of the 2013 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Discussion Meet during the organization’s annual convention on Jekyll Island.
Merk was one of four finalists in the discussion meet. The other finalists were Kyle Dekle of Habersham County, Trisha Lastly of Madison County and Constance Reid of Greene County.
During the final round Merk and the other finalists discussed ways young farmers can be encouraged to continue their involvement in Farm Bureau activities and how young farmers can lead even when they do not hold elected positions.
In the preliminary rounds held in July, the topics discussed were what farmers can do to stimulate more economic growth, how farmers and ranchers from various types of agriculture can work together to promote a more positive image of farming and how young farmers and ranchers can work with government officials to eliminate excessive regulations placed on agriculture.
Merk, who works as the city clerk for the city of Hoschton, operates a family farm with her husband Phillip, raising beef cattle and growing hay and seasonable vegetables. She has an associate’s degree in agriculture from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Ashford University. Ali is active in the Jackson County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and Young Farmer Committee. She serves in the children’s ministry at Maysville Baptist Church. Merk and Phillip have two children, Gabe, 9, and Vivi Ann, 1.