STILLWATER — Several Silo students placed in their respective categories at the American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) State Speech Contest held at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater on Dec. 7.
Preston Pratt placed second in Senior AFR/OFU; Maddie Milks placed third in Senior Natural Resources; Kayla Poling placed third in Intermediate Agribusiness; Lucas Rezner placed third in Junior Science; and Kyleigh Eppler placed third in Novice AFR/OFU. Four additional students placed fourth or fifth in their respective category—Colton Mills, Sam Whitlock, Brooklyn Toney and Lilly Brewer.
This marks the 75th year of the AFR Speech Contest. Each year, the contest encourages young Oklahomans to hone their public speaking ability through district contests. All students, grades fourth through 12th, are eligible to compete.
This year, nearly 500 students competed in AFR district speech contests, resulting in 130 finalists advancing to the state contest. At the state level, the top three competitors in each category receive cash awards.
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, Ag Advocacy and Policy, Agribusiness, Natural Resources, and Science.
“Public speaking is an indispensable skill students will use throughout their lives,” said AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “Competitors in our contest will go on to lead their communities, promote our great state and be champions for agriculture. We are honored to host the 75th Annual AFR Speech Contest and to continue fostering professionalism and confidence in Oklahoma’s youth.”
The AFR Speech Contest is just one of many AFR 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 how to participate in the AFR Speech Contest or other youth activities, visit the AFR/OFU Cooperative website at www.afrcoop.org.
For more information about the 2019 AFR Speech Contest, contact AFR/OFU Youth Coordinator Vanessa Wiebe at (405)218-5561 or firstname.lastname@example.org.