STILLWATER – Two Elgin students and one Fletcher student placed in their respective categories at the recent American Farmers & Ranchers State Speech Contest in Stillwater.
Bonham Eslick of Elgin placed first in the intermediate agriscience category, and Coy Davidson of Elgin placed second in the intermediate natural resources category, according to an AFR news release.
Fletcher student Jacob Mannen placed second in the intermediate agribusiness category.
2022 marks the 77th year of the statewide contest, according to the news release. The event has gone through many changes over the years but has always maintained its central agricultural theme. Varying by grade level, this year’s speech categories are AFR/OFU, agricultural policy, agribusiness, natural resources and agriscience. All students in grades four through 12 are eligible to compete.
Nearly 500 students competed in AFR district speech contests this season, and more than 160 finalists advanced to the state contest at Oklahoma State University.
“Public speaking is one of the most valuable skills young people can gain for their future careers,” AFR Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh said in the news release. “We are honored to host the 77th annual AFR Speech Contest, which has a longstanding tradition of fostering professionalism and confidence in Oklahoma’s youth.”
The contest is just one of many AFR Youth Program traditions. The organization also hosts a youth leadership summit, statewide scholarships, livestock judging and grading competitions, and many other development opportunities.