Young Farmers and Ranchers

The Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) program is for SDFB members between the ages of 18 and 35 who are enthusiastic about agriculture and want to grow into leadership roles in the Farm Bureau family. Participating in YF&R builds camaraderie among young producers, develops leadership skills, promotes lifelong learning, and positively impacts agriculture through these young voices.


YF&R develops leadership skills in these areas:

  • Public speaking & media training
  • Issue advocacy
  • Business development
  • Networking
  • Service leadership
  • Telling the story of agriculture!

YF&R contests offer recognition, leadership growth.... and great prizes!

South Dakota Farm Bureau YF&R members have the chance to compete in three contests: Discussion Meet, Achievement Award, and Excellence in Agriculture Award. Each contest is held at the SDFB annual meeting each November, with the state winner advancing on, expenses paid, to the national contest at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in January.

Discussion Meet

The YF&R Discussion Meet is a public-speaking contest where participants discuss timely agricultural topics in a panel-discussion format with active participation being expected from each participant. The competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. The judges are looking for the contestant that offers constructive criticism, cooperation, and communication while analyzing agricultural problems and developing solutions.

Applications are due in the state Farm Bureau office on November 4, 2024.

Discussion Meet Manual

South Dakota Discussion Meet Application

2025 AFBF YFR Discussion Meet Questions

Discussion Meet Best Practices

Achievement Award

The Achievement Award is designed to recognize Young Farmers & Ranchers who have excelled in their farming / ranching operations and have honed their leadership abilities to superiority. The contestants will be evaluated on a combination of their farming operation growth and financial progress of operation, Farm Bureau leadership, as well as leadership outside of Farm Bureau. More specifically, the judges will be looking for excellence in management, growth and scope of the enterprise and self-initiative that have been displayed throughout the operation.

Excellence in Agriculture Award

The Excellence in Agriculture Award is an opportunity for Young Farmers & Ranchers, while actively contributing and growing through their involvement in Farm Bureau and agriculture, to earn recognition. Participants will be judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations (i.e., civic, service and community). This award is designed for individuals or couples who do not derive the majority of their income from production agriculture.


Interested in YF&R?

SDFB Staff Contact                                    
 Lowell Mesman                                        
(605) 280-1319 

SDFB Young Farmers & Ranchers
State Committee: 

 Jay & Sarah Myers
Winner, SD

Kyle & Allyson VanderWal
Volga, SD

District 1  
Travis & Chrissy Petty
Viborg, SD

District 2  
Cody Reed & Aryel Reed
Brandon, SD

District 3  

District 4
Landon & Anita Bushong
Redfield, SD

District 5  
Layton & Brittany Hendrickson
Bison, SD

District 6  
Kaden Eisenbraun
Box Elder, SD

District 7  
Aaron Linke & Jessica Linke
Sioux Falls, SD

Visit the SDFB Young Farmers & Ranchers on facebook!