Young Farmers and Ranchers

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 1, 2020.

Discussion Meet Manual

2021 Discussion Meet Questions

Click here for SD Farm Bureau Discussion Meet Application

Discussion Meet 2020 Best Practices

2019 Discussion Meet Winner

Matt Smith of Spink/Faulk County represents South Dakota at the 2020 AFBF Discussion Meet competition.

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.

Applications are due in the state office by November 1, 2020.

Click here for application

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.

Applications are due to the state office by November 1, 2020.

Click Here for Excellence in Ag Application

Nick and Bekah Ihnen represented SDFB at the Excellence in Ag Awards and made it to the top 10!

Interested in YF&R? 

SDFB Staff Contact:
Lowell Mesman
(605) 280-1319

SDFB Young Farmers & Ranchers
State Committee:

Charles & Heather Maude              Caputa, SD       

Josh & Lin Sybesma                      Platte, SD        

District 1 Greg & Christiana Ostrem
Centerville, SD

District 2

District 3
Bryan & Sarah Moes
Florence, SD

District 4
Josh & Bailey Coats
Doland, SD

District 5
Clay & Miranda Conry
Bell Fourche, SD

District 6
Tyrel & Kassidy Eisenbraun
Wall, SD

District 7
Jay & Sarah Myers
Winner, SD

Visit the SDFB Young Farmers & Ranchers on facebook!