TECUMSEH—Two Meeker students placed in their respective categories at the American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) Central District Speech Contest held in Tecumseh, Nov. 7. Megan Johnson placed first in Senior Ag Advocacy and Policy and Connor Benn placed first in Senior Science.

This marks the 75th year of the contest. 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, Ag Advocacy and Policy, Agribusiness, Natural Resources, and Science. All students, grades fourth through 12th, are eligible to compete.

Nearly 500 students will compete in AFR District Speech Contests, resulting in more than 160 finalists advancing to the state contest held Dec. 7 at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater.

“Public speaking is one of the most valuable skills young people can gain for their future careers,” said AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “We are honored to host the 75th Annual AFR Speech Contest, which has a long-standing tradition of fostering professionalism and confidence in Oklahoma’s youth.”

AFR/OFU Cooperative is a membership services organization established in 1905 as Oklahoma Farmers Union. AFR/OFU provides educational, legislative and cooperative programs across the state and serves as a watchdog for Oklahoma’s family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. The organization is actively supportive of the state’s agricultural industry and rural population with membership consisting of farmers actively involved in production agriculture and non-farmers adding their voice in support of AFR/OFU principles.