Franklin County Farm Bureau member Kylie Bruce bested 34 other competitors to win the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet March 17. Bruce made history by being the first Georgia Farm Bureau member to win the event.
The competition was held at the AFBF Fusion Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As the national winner, Bruce received a $3,000 scholarship from the CHS Foundation, which sponsored the event. GFB awarded her a matching $3,000 scholarship.
Bruce qualified for the national competition by being the top collegiate finisher in the 2018 GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet at the GFB YF&R Leadership Conference. The discussion meet is designed to replicate a committee meeting during which contestants are judged on their ability to exchange ideas and information on various ag topics as they offer solutions to situations Farm Bureau or the ag community are facing.
On May 9, Bruce graduated from ABAC with an associate of science degree. She is transferring to the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences in August to pursue a double major in ag education and poultry science. She is the daughter of Mike and Teresa Bruce.
Below is part of an interview the GFB News did with Kylie about her historic win.
What inspired you to compete in the GFB Discussion Meet?
I was very involved in FFA in middle and high school, so when I got to college, I searched for organizations to invest my time in. My local Farm Bureau office asked if I would be interested in participating and I agreed. This sparked my involvement in YF&R and it has been increasing steadily since!
How many years did you participate in the GFB Discussion Meet?
2017 & 2018.
How did you prepare for the AFBF Collegiate Meet?
Growing up in agriculture was the main thing that prepared me to compete in the discussion meet. I believe passion is KEY in this competition. You can memorize facts but being able to share real life experiences that relate to the topics being discussed adds an element that is matched by none other. Of course, I did research and had a staggering number of facts and real-life examples for each topic. I asked many of my ag friends about their opinions on the topics, and this gave me another point of view to discuss from. I also prepared and memorized my opening and closing statements.
What type of farm did you grow up on?
I grew up on a 4th-generation poultry farm. We have four broiler houses, beef cows, two dogs, and a huge goldfish. I showed hogs for 12 years.
What would you say to encourage other college students to compete in the GFB YF&R Discussion Meet to advance to the AFBF Collegiate Meet?
DO IT. Not only to increase your ag knowledge, but simply to network with others in agriculture. I have met so many people with so many different experiences. It has grown my knowledge of agriculture as well as given me ideas for what I want to pursue as a career. I am partial to working in the poultry industry but no matter what commodity I work with, my goal is to be an advocate for agriculture as a whole.