Weston Svoboda, a Garfield County Farm Bureau member, secured his spot in the Final Four round of the American Farm Bureau (AFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Collegiate Discussion Meet after competing in three earlier rounds.
Svoboda is a fifth-generation agriculturalist from central Nebraska. His family has been actively involved in the beef industry for over 70 years spanning all segments from seedstock to feed yard. While studying agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he has continued his passion for agriculture advocacy with an internship in the office of Senator Deb Fischer, and executive roles in Collegiate Farm Bureau and the Young Nebraska Cattlemen.
Svoboda plans to pursue his law degree and ultimately take over the family ranch while serving the legal needs of fellow agriculturalists focusing on estate planning and generational transitions of family farms.
The Collegiate Discussion Meet is designed to replicate a Farm Bureau committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each collegiate participant. Participants are judged on their ability to exchange ideas and information on an agricultural topic and find answers or solutions related to it.
Svoboda qualified for the national competition upon winning the Nebraska Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet. As a Final Four contestant, he received a $1,900 scholarship from competitive event sponsor CHS Foundation.
Thirty-three competitors participated in this year’s Collegiate Discussion Meet. All competitors (including the four finalists) received a $100 scholarship courtesy of CHS Foundation in recognition of their efforts and making it to the national level; students advancing to the “Sweet 16” round (including the four finalists) received an additional $300 scholarship. CHS provided a total of $15,000 in scholarship funds for the contest.
The YF&R program includes men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. The program’s goals are to help younger Farm Bureau members learn more about agriculture, network with other farmers, and realize their full potential as leaders in agriculture and Farm Bureau.
The Collegiate Discussion Meet was held during AFBF’s FUSION Conference, held March 3-6 in Jacksonville, Florida.