MOUNT OLIVE — University of Mount Olive senior agribusiness major Sarah Best of Newton Grove recently participated in the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Collegiate Discussion Meet held in Pittsburgh, Pa. She qualified by winning the state level competition in November.
The purpose of the American Farm Bureau Federation is to unify the voice of agriculture. Through the collegiate discussion meet, students are able to increase their knowledge of agricultural issues, develop practical leadership skills, and create networks with other young farmers and ranchers nationwide. The Collegiate Discussion Meet competition builds confidence in participants, increases awareness of issues impacting agriculture, and provides training in how to articulate ideas relating to those issues.
“Having the amazing opportunity to compete on behalf of North Carolina was such an honor,” said Best. “I was able to learn more about current issues in agriculture and collaborate with young minds across the nation to find new ideas and perspectives to bring back to our state and my community regarding these issues. I am thankful for this learning experience, which was one of the most memorable and beneficial of my time here at UMO.”
Best’s academic achievements and agricultural background allowed her to excel in the discussion meet competition. “Sarah has a very strong work ethic and an innate ability to grasp many of the issues facing agriculture. She can relate these issues to her own family farm and she has been involved in numerous internships while at UMO that have revealed to her some of the challenges facing businesses engaged in agriculture today,” stated Sandy Maddox, Director of the Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center. Best was one of 16 semifinalists in the competition out of more than 50 competitors at the National level.
“My internships have allowed me to get hands-on experience practicing many of the things I have learned here at the University,” Best stated. “These opportunities, coupled with the experience on my own family farm, allowed me to be successful in the Discussion Meet both at the state and national levels. I am forever grateful for the opportunities that have been available through the Agriculture Department at UMO.”