Sarah Schlepp wins Montana Farm Bureau Youth Speech Contest |

Sarah Schlepp wins Montana Farm Bureau Youth Speech Contest

Courtesy photoSarah Schlepp, an eighth grader from Ringling, MT, receives a check for $400 for her first-place finish at the Montana Farm Bureau Foundation Youth Speech Contest, Sunday, Nov. 7.

BILLINGS, MT – The theme, “Today with so many media outlets – everything from cell phones to Twitter – what is the best way to communicate agriculture’s message?” brought about plenty of great speeches for the Montana Farm Bureau (MFB) Foundation Youth Speech Contest Sunday, Nov. 7. The contest was held as part of the Montana Farm Bureau Annual Convention Nov. 7-10 at the Crowne Plaza in Billings.

Sarah Schlepp, an eighth grader at White Sulphur Springs High School, captured first place in the junior division for youth 13 and under. In her speech, she said, “I believe the best way to spread agriculture’s message is with Facebook. This is because agriculture is a business and Facebook has many business options. More than 1 million developers and entrepreneurs from over 180 countries use Facebook, and 150 million people engage with Facebook on external Web sites every month. Montana Farm Bureau is one of them. There is a direct link from their home Web page to their Facebook page. Montana Farm Bureau has the advantage to spread messages about agriculture advocacy on Facebook.”

Schlepp also noted, “Only 2 percent of the United States’ people are involved with agriculture. The other 98 percent of the United States, maybe even your neighbor, or people across seas, may have not even heard about Montana agriculture but are now learning about it because Facebook is one of their resources. Facebook has 70 translations so anyone could be learning about Montana Farm Bureau right now.”

Schlepp, who helps with all aspects on her family’s ranch near Ringling, said she decided to compete in the speech contest because, “I enjoy talking about agriculture and spreading the message.”

Second place went to Gunnar Nelson, a 13-year-old from Luther, MT, and Elijah Bonner from Billings received third place.

Contestants were judged on content, composition, delivery and staying within the allotted time frame. The MFB Foundation speech contest awards $750 in prize money both the junior and senior divisions.