KEARNEY, NEB. – Katie Hothem of Sumner, Kyle Lechtenberg of Spencer, Chris Niemann of Dwight, and Lindsey Stern of Anselmo advanced to the final round of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation (NFBF) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Discussion Meet to be held at the next NFBF Annual Convention, Dec. 3-5, 2017.

Eleanor Aufdenkamp of North Platte was named first alternate and Robert Stuart of Lexington is the second alternate.

Rather than debating, contestants work to develop a solution to a problem being discussed, building on each other’s contributions. Competitors in the annual contest must be prepared to speak on any number of agriculture-related topics; the selected question is announced a short time prior to the contest round. Finalists received the top scores of contestants after competing in three rounds of the discussion meet at the YF&R Conference, Jan. 20-21.

Hothem is a Dawson County Farm Bureau member and an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at Amherst Public School. She also works on the family ranch with her husband, Matt, and his parents.

Lechtenberg is a Boyd County Farm Bureau board member who raises beef cattle and alfalfa while serving on the YF&R Committee. He and his wife, Tiffany, have four children: 6-year-old Joycin, 4-year-olds Addison and Austin, and 11-month-old Jackson.

Niemann is a fourth generation farmer who grows corn, soybeans, and raises beef cattle on his family farm in Butler County where he serves on his county Farm Bureau board. He and his wife, Ashely, have a son, 2-year-old Colton, who they hope will become the fifth generation to farm in their family.

Stern, along with her husband Jacob, co-own and operate Broken Bow Dairy in Custer County where they are Farm Bureau members. They also own two small businesses, Stern Housing and Open Gates Trucking, to aid with their growing dairy operation.

Aufdenkamp is a second year student at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis, majoring in Agriculture Education. Her goals include becoming a high school ag teacher and FFA advisor. Aufdenkamp is heavily involved in her Collegiate Farm Bureau, livestock judging team, Collegiate Cattlemen, and NCTA Women in Ag.

Stuart is a Dawson County Farm Bureau member who farms with his parents and wife, Megan. They grow corn, soybeans, sorghum, alfalfa, and beef cattle. His farm has been in his family since 1888. Before returning to the farm, Stuart taught business information systems.

Finalists received a $50 prize and a chance to compete for $500 and an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the American Farm Bureau Discussion Meet in Nashville, Tenn. in January 2018. Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35 are eligible to compete in the Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet. For more information, visit
The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 61,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit