MANHATTAN — Farmers and ranchers from across Kansas gathered in Manhattan Feb. 2-4 for the annual Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) leaders conference. Nearly 500 attended the three-day Kansas Farm Bureau conference designed to provide educational and networking opportunities for young producers in Kansas.

The conference provided young ag producers between the ages of 18-35 with agricultural education, motivational speakers and opportunities to connect with industry resources and network with peers.

Attendees heard from Jason Wetzler, a motivational speaker who grew up on a 14-acre farm in the middle of Portland, Ore., and Marshall Stewart, Kansas State University’s chief of staff and senior vice president for executive affairs, university engagement and partnership.

State committee members from each of the 10 Kansas Farm Bureau districts planned and hosted the conference, which included workshops, speakers, tours and competitions. The YF&R state committee played an integral part in making this year’s conference a success.

Winners of the conference competitions include the following:

  • Ag Quiz Bowl – Patrick Biggs, Laine Schmalzried, August Hulse and Hayden Lott, Kansas State University
  • Collegiate Discussion Meet – Aidan Yoho, Allen Community College
  • YF&R Discussion Meet – Emily Zahurones, Labette County
  • Excellence in Agriculture – Ashton Schneider, Sedgwick County
  • YF&R of the Year – Scot Schwieterman, Hamilton County

Yoho received $500 and an expense-paid trip to the 2024 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) YF&R Leadership Conference in Omaha, Neb. Zahurones, Schnider and Schwieterman each received $500 and will represent Kansas in their respective competitions at the 2025 AFBF Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Photos and cutlines of competition winners are available for download here.