Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
510 S. 31st Street , Camp Hill, PA 17001 • 717.761.2740 • Email • @pfbmediaone
For Immediate Release: November 16, 2016
(Hershey) – Cumberland County farmer Mark Fulton has been named Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s (PFB) winner of the 2016 Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet at PFB’s 66th Annual Meeting in Hershey.
Fulton, who milks 100 cows on his dairy farm near Shippensburg, says he enjoyed the competition.
“The final round of the Discussion Meet provided a great opportunity for me and the other two finalists to talk about the challenges farmers face in effectively marketing their products to consumers,” said Mark Fulton, who has also served in a variety of roles on the Cumberland County Farm Bureau over the years.
The discussion meet contestants were put in situations where they had to analyze agricultural problems and decide on solutions that best meet their needs. The discussion meet is designed to help members build communications skills, develop an understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool resources to reach a consensus and solve problems.
“The discussion meet is an opportunity for our young farmers to formulate ideas that could help solve problems facing agriculture. It’s also critical for the future of agriculture to have young farmers informed about key issues and willing to speak out about them to the public and policymakers,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “Congratulations to Mark for demonstrating his overall knowledge of agriculture and his strong communications skills in winning the discussion meet.”
Jessica Lietszke of Lancaster County and Stacey Hann of Juniata County were the other discussion meet finalists. Meanwhile, the Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet winners were Simon Itle of Cambria County and Michael Long, Jr. of Lebanon County.
Fulton receives a number of prizes, including an expense paid trip to PFB’s 2017 State YF&R Leadership Conference and a trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona in January, where he will represent Pennsylvania Farm Bureau in AFBF’s national discussion meet competition.
“I will need to do more research and practice more in order to effectively compete at the national level. It’s a great challenge and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to compete in Phoenix,” concluded Fulton.
Hundreds of farmers from across the state attended Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s 66th Annual Meeting at the Hershey Lodge from November 14-16, to set policy for the statewide organization on issues affecting farm and rural families.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly 62,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.