Jacob Meisner, a University of Illinois student in the Agricultural Education Program, earned national recognition as the winner of the American Farm Bureau's 2013 Collegiate Discussion Meet. Meisner competed against 46 other college students during multiple rounds of the discussion meet. The event was part of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference in Phoenix, AZ.
The Collegiate Discussion Meet is designed to develop young leaders for agriculture and Farm Bureau. The contest allows participants to develop communication skills, increase understanding of key agricultural issues and become consensus builders and problem solvers.
Meisner grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Piasa, Illinois, located in Jersey County. He also raised and showed Shorthorn beef cattle, rabbits, and Boer goats for 4-H. During his years as a Southwestern FFA member, he worked for a local dairy farm for his Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program. He is also a former Illinois Association FFA State Officer, and plans to become an agricultural teacher. Meisner says a career as an agricultural educator and FFA advisor is "the perfect way to combine my passion for agriculture and teaching."