Katy VanderWal of Brookings, S.D. will represent South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) at the national Discussion Meet contest that will take place during the AFBF Annual Convention, Jan. 11-16 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

VanderWal, a farmer and registered dietician, would like to build on and even exceed the success that SDFB's 2018 contestant had at the AFBF national contest. In January of 2018, Jared Knock of Willow Lake, S.D., finished in the top four at the national Discussion Meet competition.

"Preparing for this experience has taught me a lot about the importance of learning more about issues in a way that I am able to carry on a conversation that will hopefully help our industry," said VanderWal. "Combining that with my real world experience as a farmer, dietician and mom, will hopefully give me an advantage in the competition."

The AFBF Discussion Meet contest is a debate-styled competition for young farmers, which relies on an individual's skill in reasoning and logical discussion of issues.

The competition is open to Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 to 35.

By winning the South Dakota Discussion Meet, VanderWal received a $500 cash award and an expense-paid trip to the AFBF Annual Convention, where she will represent South Dakota.