Becky Berkebile, an agriculture and extension education major in West Virginia University’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, recently competed against 37 other college students or new graduates in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2010 Collegiate Discussion Meet during the AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference in Tulsa, Okla.
She was the winner of the West Virginia Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet.
Berkebile is active in Collegiate Farm Bureau, a member of Alpha Tou Alpha, a past Maryland State FFA officer, a 4-H and FFA volunteer in Garrett County, Md., and is currently student teaching at Preston County High School. Her family also owns a diversified livestock operation in Accident, Md.
Discussion Meets help participants build basic discussion skills, develop an understanding of important agricultural issues, and work together to solve problems.
Berkebile made it to the final round where she discussed the question “How can we continue to bridge the gap between farmers/ranchers and lawmakers in order to have an influence in the changing political environment?”
“It is important for Farm Bureau members to be able to have in-depth discussions about the wide variety of issues facing agriculture today. It’s encouraging to see people at the collegiate level successfully analyzing and developing thoughtful solutions to these issues,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Seeing these individuals compete makes me optimistic that American agriculture has a very bright future.”
She was one of three finalists to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the CHS Foundation. The winner received a $2,500 scholarship, while the remaining competitors each received $250.