GILMAN A FINALIST

Jackson County’s Newt Gilman, top left, was a finalist in the 2020 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet. (photo courtesy of Georgia Farm Bureau)

Jackson County Farm Bureau member Newt Gilman was a finalist in the Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Discussion Meet, which was conducted as a virtual event during October.

The Discussion Meet is set up to simulate a meeting where participants talk about an agriculture-related issue and explore possible solutions.

The GFB YF&R Discussion Meet consisted of four rounds. Competitors submitted video essays in which they addressed two questions for the first and second rounds. The first-round topic was how to improve rural broadband access. The second round focused on how to enhance and expand international trade.

The third round pitted the top 12 competitors in four groups of three for virtual face-to-face discussion. The third-round topic was how farmers can ensure they have a clear understanding of the risks and rewards that accompany using big data. The winners of those four groups advanced to the final four.

In the final four round, Gilman and fellow finalists Sarah Nerswick of North Fulton County Farm Bureau, Willie Sizemore of Lee County Farm Bureau and Ashley Yopp of Tift County Farm Bureau focused on ways to improve the rural economy with the goal of stemming the decline of rural populations.

Yopp won the competition and will represent Georgia in the 2021 American Farm Bureau Federation Discussion Meet.

The GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers program is designed to provide opportunities for leadership development, educational and social growth for farmers between the ages of 18 and 35.

Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization and has 158 county offices. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, state and national activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB offers its members a wide variety of benefits, including insurance, but enrollment in any of the member benefits is optional and not a requirement for membership.

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