John Reese, of Kanab, won the Utah Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet. The competition was concluded at the Utah Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Layton last week, and is considered the top honor for young farmers and ranchers in Utah.

The Discussion Meet contest 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. The judges are looking for the contestant who offers constructive criticism, cooperation and communication, while analyzing agricultural problems and developing solutions.

The competitors talked on topics such as whether renewable energy policies are beneficial to American agriculture; how farmers and ranchers can work with the public on communicating the needs of animal agriculture; use of social media on communicating the realities of agriculture with the public; and the role agriculture should play in addressing health and obesity issues.

Reese currently works for the BLM in Kanab managing allotments and implementing range improvements. John, his wife Dusty, and their two kids spend their spare time helping on the family farm raising sweet corn and alfalfa, while participating in livestock team roping and building their own cow herd.

John Reese, representing the Kane County Farm Bureau, competed with more than 18 other contestants from around the state in the competition. The ‘Final Four’ competitors included John’s wife Dusty, animal nutritionist Zak Miller from Cache County, and dairyman Russ Kohler from Wasatch County.

For winning the competition, Reese received a plaque, a $500 check from the General Motors, a 2011 Polaris Trailboss ATV, and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Reese will compete at the American Farm Bureau Discussion Meet against Discussion Meet winners from across the nation during its annual convention in January. National winners of the Discussion Meet have their choice of either a Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra Truck, courtesy of General Motors.