Silo students place at South District AFR Speech Contest

Kendyl Eppler (L) and Delany Eppler were among the Silo students who competed and placed at the AFR Speech Contest. Photos: AFR.

Laici Neumann

WILBURTON— Silo students placed in their respective categories at the American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) Southeast District Speech Contest held in Wilburton, Nov. 11. 

Three students placed in the Junior AFR/OFU category – Kyleigh Eppler placed first, and Kyliegh Caldwell placed second, and Cedar Cloyd placed fifth; Two students placed in the Junior Agri-Science – Cotter Whittington placed first, and Cadence Brown placed second; Two students placed int Intermediate AFR/OFU category – Claycey Rowland placed first, and Makenzie Crawford placed second; Additionally, Starla Buns placed third in Intermediate Agribusiness, Taylor Lawson placed third in the Intermediate Natural Resources, Ashton Lawson placed second in the Intermediate Ag Policy, Kendyl Eppler placed first in the Senior AFR/OFU category, Delany Phelan placed first in Senior Agri-Science, Sam Whitlock placed second in the Senior Natural Resources, and Kayla Poling placed first Senior Ag Policy.

This marks the 76th year of the statewide contest. The event has gone through many changes over the years, but has always maintained its central agricultural theme. Varying by grade level, this year’s speech categories are AFR/OFU, Agricultural Policy, Agribusiness, Natural Resources, and Agri-Science. All students, grades four through 12, are eligible to compete.

Nearly 500 students will compete in AFR district speech contests this season, resulting in more than 160 finalists advancing to the state contest held Dec. 4 at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater.

“Public speaking is one of the most valuable skills young people can gain for their future careers,” said AFR Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “We are honored to host the 76thAnnual AFR Speech Contest, which has a long-standing tradition of fostering professionalism and confidence in Oklahoma’s youth.”

The AFR Annual Speech Contest is just one of many AFR/OFU Youth Program traditions. The organization also hosts a youth leadership summit, statewide scholarships, livestock judging and grading competitions, and many other development opportunities. For more information on this contest or other AFR Youth Program projects, contact AFR Youth Development Coordinator Tailor Atkinson at (405)218-5566 or

AFR Cooperative is a membership services organization established in 1905 as Oklahoma Farmers Union. AFR provides educational, legislative and cooperative programs across the state and serves as a watchdog for Oklahoma’s family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. The organization is actively supportive of the state’s agricultural industry and rural population with membership consisting of farmers actively involved in production agriculture and non-farmers adding their voice in support of AFR principles.

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