Fresno State agriculture student Jake Carlson won the individual state championship at the California Farm Bureau’s Collegiate Discussion Meet competition and the 10-member Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology squad won the state team championship.
Carlson, an Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary major from Elk Grove, now advances to compete at the national contest — the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Collegiate Discussion Meet — in Virginia Beach, Feb 7-10.
The event is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. This competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. Participants build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems.
The state competition was held Dec. 8 in conjunction with the California Farm Bureau’s 95th Annual Meeting at the Monterey Convention Center in Monterey. This is Fresno State’s third discussion meet team championship and Carlson is the fourth Fresno State student to be named state champion. He won $1,250.
He was among four Jordan College team members who qualified for the Elite 8 semi-final round. Three advanced to the final round with teammate Audra Roland, an Agriculture Business major from Tollhouse, earning first runner-up. The other finalist was Jodi Raley. The fourth Fresno State contestant to qualify for the Elite 8 semi-finals was Rachel Wright. Raley and Wright are Agriculture Education /Communication majors from Tollhouse.
“Our students’ hard work and dedication led to the overall team win,” said Dr. Steven J. Rocca, adviser for Fresno State’s Collegiate Discussion Meet team and associate professor of Agricultural Education.
“We are thrilled that one of our students earned the state championship to continue Fresno State’s strong tradition in this competition,” Rocca added. “The skills these students learn will be valuable tools in their future as our agricultural leaders.”
Other members of the Fresno State team were: Ana Lopez, an Animal Science/Pre-Vet major from Tulare; Brooke Seibert, an Agriculture Education/Teacher Prep major from Poway; Lexa Freitas, an Agriculture Business major from Hilmar; Bobbi Jean Gertken, an Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary major from Tracy; Frances Negranza, an Agriculture Education /Communication major from Saratoga; and Victor Evans, an Agriculture Education /Teacher Prep major from Fresno.
The California Farm Bureau Federation, the state’s largest farm organization, works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 91,000 members. The collegiate category is part of the federation’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet.
For more information, contact Rocca, at 559.278.5088.
University Communications news interns Juana Mosqueda and Ashlie Day contributed to this report.