Freshman ag student wins national Discussion Meet contest

Tino Rossi, a freshman agriculture business major at Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, won the American Farm Bureau Federation’s collegiate Discussion Meet at the Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Rossi, who also triumphed in California Farm Bureau Federation competition, faced off in the final round on Feb. 18-19 against students from Colorado, Florida and Missouri. They discussed ideas that could promote interaction between farmers and consumers. Bakersfield-native Rossi argued the merits of social media programs to achieve the goal.

“I have always loved discussing agricultural issues with others,” said Rossi. “I am also very competitive so the Discussion Meet provided a conducive environment for me to enjoy both competition and the discussion agriculture issues.”

The Discussion Meet, designed to promote conversations among young agriculturists, included four rounds of conversation and proposed solutions to issues facing farmers.

Rossi was drawn to Fresno State for the teachers and location. “My logic was if I am going to study agriculture I should do so in the most prosperous agricultural area in the world,” said Rossi.

Public speaking contests are not new to Rossi, who won the California FFA’s extemporaneous speaking contest as a high school his senior and was third runner-up in the National FFA contest

In addition to being a full-time student, Rossi works for the California Department of Education and California FFA as a Leadership Conference facilitator and travels across the state to host conferences for FFA members. He also volunteers as an ambassador for the Jordan College.

After graduation, Rossi plans to pursue a master’s degree in leadership development and a career in consulting.

For his victory, Rossi received a $2,500 scholarship.

For more information, contact Dr. Steve Rocca, an assistant professor of agriculture education and adviser for the discussion team, at 559.278.5088 or srocca@csufresno.edu.

(Copy by University Communications student news assistant Nicole Maul.)
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