Jared Knock, of Carpenter, S.D., finished third in the nation at the Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) Discussion Meet at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention held recently in Nashville, Tenn.
The Discussion Meet competition simulates a committee meeting where contestants are judged on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic. Knock advanced to the national competition after winning the South Dakota contest held during the South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) Centennial Convention in November.
“The first time I saw a Discussion Meet was three years ago at a SDFB YF&R conference,” said Knock. “This year I was contacted by some friends who encouraged me to give it a try, so I did. It was an intense experience and I was honored to represent South Dakota on such a big stage.”
Competition began on Saturday, Jan. 6 at the AFBF convention. Knock first advanced to the “Sweet 16” level on Sunday; and then moved to the “Final Four” round which took place on Monday morning, Jan. 8.
Following the competition, the Discussion Meet winner was announced during the AFBF closing session, which included a speech by United States President Donald J. Trump.
“I can’t quite describe the feeling of being on the same stage that in just a matter of time included the President of the United States,” said Knock. “If Farm Bureau is a strong enough organization to interest a U.S. President to attend, it definitely reinforced my belief in the power of Farm Bureau. I look forward to using what I have gained from this experience to strengthen Farm Bureau both in my county and in South Dakota”
Knock received a Case IH 40” combination roll cabinet and top chest and a $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH. In addition, he took home $2,000 worth of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise, courtesy of Black & Decker.
“It was very impressive to watch Jared advance thru the competition and end up on the “Final Four” stage, said SDFB President Scott VanderWal, who also serves as AFBF Vice President. “He was very well prepared and could not have represented South Dakota any better. We are very proud of him.”
Jared appreciated the strong support he received during the Discussion Meet contest, particularly from his wife Kati, who also attended the AFBF Convention. In addition, Matt Smith, SDFB YF&R Chairman, who participated in the Excellence in Ag competition at AFBF, and several other South Dakotans who attended AFBF, encouraged and cheered Jared on during the national competition.
“It was good to see friendly South Dakota faces in the crowd and both Kati and I appreciated their support along the way,” said Jared.
What’s next for the Knocks? Besides spending time with their three daughters and getting back to life at home, which includes a company the Knocks founded called Dakota Vision Ag, they hope to get more involved with their county Farm Bureau and also with the South Dakota YF&R program.
“Hopefully we can use what Kati and I have learned through this process to get more folks involved in the YF&R competitions both at the state and national levels,” said Knock. “Farm Bureau is a great organization and now more than ever we need to utilize the resources and reputation of Farm Bureau to help strengthen our way of life.”
Knock will share more about his experience at the upcoming Farm and Ranch Conference, Jan. 19-20, 2018 in Sioux Falls. More information on the conference can be found at www.sdfbf.org.
To learn more about the Knocks, visit Dakota Vision Ag on Facebook. More information on South Dakota Farm Bureau and the SDFB YF&R program, can be found at www.sdfbf.org.