Katie Reichling was selected winner of the 2012 Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer and Agriculturist Discussion Meet contest at the organization’s 93rd annual meeting in Wisconsin Dells.
Reichling is a member of the Lafayette County Farm Bureau.
Growing up on her family’s 330-cow dairy farm in Darlington gave Reichling her passion for agriculture. She graduated from UW–Platteville in 2005 with a degree in animal science with a dairy emphasis and was the commencement speaker at graduation that year.
After running for Alice in Dairyland in 2010, Reichling returned to the UW–Platteville School of Agriculture to work as a student recruiter and coordinator. She also works part-time at the UW–Platteville Pioneer Farm in the Research Department and is a dairy herd manager for Rick Althaus near Cuba City.
The Discussion Meet contest is a panel discussion in which Farm Bureau members 18 to 35 are judged on their ability to express their ideas and opinions and reach a solution on current issues affecting agriculture.
Prior to competing at the state level, Reichling competed at the district contest where three individuals advanced to the state contest.
“I utilized the resources that Farm Bureau provided me to prepare for the five topics used in this year’s contest,” said Reichling. “I was happy to advance past the first two rounds at the state level, which was better than last year. When I got into the final round I was somewhat nervous, but I just wanted to do my best and learn more about agriculture.”
Reichling took home several prizes for her efforts in winning the contest. Midwest Stihl awarded a chainsaw, Rural Mutual Insurance provided a free financial plan and Gromark awarded a $50 Fast Stop gift card. Reichling will compete in the national Discussion Meet contest at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th annual meeting in Nashville. She will be a guest of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation at next year’s WFBF YFA Conference, and a special guest at the annual meeting of Gromark, Inc. in Chicago in August. Reichling may also qualify for the YFA trip to Washington D.C. in 2014.
She first saw the discussion meet contest six years ago and was impressed at the level of skill the contestants possessed.
“I have always been a person with a high level of involvement and Farm Bureau has been no different for me,” said Reichling. “I enjoy public speaking and a challenge, which made discussion meet the perfect fit for me.”
As Reichling looks to the future she couldn’t be happier that UW–Platteville has a Collegiate Farm Bureau. “I can’t wait to work with them in the coming year and watch them succeed as individuals as well as an organization,” she said.