Big Timber rancher wins Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet
Jennie Anderson, a Big Timber rancher, won the Montana Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet and will be taking home a new Polaris Ranger Side by Side. Anderson was one of four competitors to make the final round of the Discussion Meet held Nov. 10 during the MFBF Annual Convention in Missoula. The Discussion Meet, which is open to Farm Bureau members ages 18-35, is meant to simulate a committee meeting with ideas discussed and solutions developed.
The four discussed the question: How can we influence state and local policy that more effectively balances the social and economic interests of farmer and ranchers versus burdensome federal regulations?
“The best way to influence policy is to do what we are doing – getting involved,” noted Anderson during the competition. “For instance, look at the Sage Grouse issue. Because of local and state efforts, the bird did not get on the Endangered Species list. That shows that policy can be influenced starting at the grass roots level.”
During the discussion with Lacey Sutherlin, Gil Gasper and Jon Bouma, Anderson said that encouraging people to contact their Congressmen is essential to influence both state and national policy. “Now you can just write a brief note and click on a button to send a letter to your U.S. senators. That’s a great way to have a voice, and it doesn’t take much time.”
Anderson started ranching when she married her husband six years ago. She has been involved in the Sweet Grass County Farm Bureau for four years. Thanks to participating Montana Polaris dealers, Anderson drives away with a Polaris Ranger ® Side by Side. She also receives an all-expense paid trip to Orlando to compete in the national YF&R competition in Orlando in January.
“I did the Discussion Meet last year, and it gave me the experience to be more competitive this year,” said Anderson. “It’s a great avenue to exercise your public speaking skills, increase your confidence and learn more about agriculture. The fact that I won the Polaris makes it especially great.”
The Montana Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention wraps up Nov. 11. For more information on the convention and MFBF visit http://www.mfbf.org and follow MFBF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
–Montana Farm Bureau