Some of Oklahoma’s top students competed for more than $10,000 in scholarships and awards in the annual AFR State Speech Contest, Saturday, Dec. 1 at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Each of the state contestants previously participated in their district contests, where they must have placed first or second in their respective category and division in order to advance to state. In total, more than 120 students advanced to the state contest from the five districts across Oklahoma.
The winners include:
AFR/OFU Novice: 1st: Merrick Ballou, Elgin; 2nd: Kord Campbell, Jet; 3rd: Chance Kennedy, Edmond
AFR/OFU Junior: 1st: Maci McCorkle, Snyder; 2nd: Morley Griffith, Dale; 3rd: Alec Anderson, Ringwood
AFR/OFU Intermediate: 1st: Hayley Lundry, Haworth; 2nd: Karla McConnell, Calumet; 3rd: Paige Huckaby, Snyder
AFR/OFU Senior: 1st: Peyton Burns, Kingfisher; 2nd: Tate Ott, Lomega; 3rd: Tanner Stevens, Yukon
Science & Natural Resources Junior: 1st: Madi Myers, Lomega; 2nd: Alli Themer, Kingfisher; 3rd: Cherokee Sanders, Snyder
Science & Natural Resources Intermediate: 1st: Cora Taylor, Kingfisher; 2nd: Lillie Plane, Kiefer; 3rd: Grace Schneberger, Burns Flat-Dill City
Science & Natural Resources Senior: 1st: Bree Kisling, Chisholm; 2nd: Victoria Gerken, Kingfisher; 3rd: Emily Kennedy, Edmond
Agribusiness Junior: 1st: Kayla Poling, Silo; 2nd: Ivy Hartman, Kingfisher; 3rd: Gentry Taylor, Kingfisher
Agribusiness Intermediate: 1st: Katon Lunsford, Kingfisher; 2nd: Samuel Snider, Glencoe; 3rd: Connor Brooks, Granite
Agribusiness Senior: 1st: Weston Church, Fairview; 2nd: Brett Forgy, Silo; 3rd: Madison Hutton, Owasso
Ag Advocacy & Policy Junior: 1st: Georgia Griffeth, Cushing; 2nd: Chloe Kelsey, Tecumseh; 3rd: Kelby Ott, Lomega
Ag Advocacy & Policy Intermediate: 1st: Colter Esparza, Granite; 2nd: Rebekah Rake, Owasso; 3rd: Ally Newman, Ringwood
Ag Advocacy & Policy Senior: 1st: Jentry Squires, Kingfisher; 2nd: Krista Carroll, Tishomingo; 3rd: Madison Stephens, Weatherford
The AFR Speech Contests consist of five district contests and a state contest. At each contest, students in grades 4-12 compete in one of four categories – American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union, Science & Natural Resources, Agribusiness and Ag Advocacy & Policy.
This year marks the 74th year of the AFR speech contests.
“We are proud to host a contest that highlights outstanding youth across Oklahoma,” said Micaela Danker, AFR Youth Development Coordinator. “The fall speech contest proves to be a successful event every year. It gives students the opportunity to gain knowledge about current issues and topics facing the agricultural industry as well as improve public speaking skills.”
The AFR speech contests are just one of several ways for Oklahoma’s youth to become involved in AFR. Poster contests, summer youth leadership summit, statewide scholarships, livestock handling and skills contest, livestock judging and grading contests and many other leadership opportunities are available.
AFR had its beginning in 1905 and is headquartered in Oklahoma City. The organization is actively supportive of Oklahoma’s agricultural industry and rural population, and provides educational, legislative and youth leadership development programs across the state. AFR Insurance provides automobile, home, farm and life insurance with an emphasis on quality products and exceptional customer service. Available statewide, AFR Insurance is recognized as a leading domestic insurance carrier with 162 agencies serving communities throughout Oklahoma.
Photos of the winners are posted to the AFR/OFU website, afrcoop.org, and the AFR youth Facebook page.