A Stoystown man has been named winner of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau's 2012 Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet.
Scott Rhoads represented the Somerset County Farm Bureau at the 62nd annual event, which was held in Hershey last week.
Rhoads — who operates a 200-head beef operation and grows 1,500 acres of grains and hay with his father — said it was just a matter of "talking shop." The discussion included ethics, farm transitions and the future of farming.
"These are some topics that we discuss on a regular basis," he said. "These are a lot of issues I deal with every day."
According to Rhoads, he and the 15 other contestants were given 25 minutes to talk including opening and closing remarks. He noted that a few of the talking points hit close to home.
"Something that's big to me is the transition of the family farm," he said. "We're at the point where we want to transition — (my father) to retire and me to continue farming.
To win the competition, Rhoads called on both his practical experience and education. He graduated with a degree in agricultural sciences from Penn State University and has taken various public speaking courses.
Rhoads — who lives with his wife, Kimberly, and daughter, Olivia — received $500 from General Motors, a gift card for lodging at any Choice Hotel, an Amazon Kindle provided by Energy Plus, a prize from Grainger and paid expenses for the state farm bureau's 2013 State YF&R Leadership Conference.
He also has paid lodging and registration for the national competition in Nashville, Tenn. He will represent Pennsylvania at this event, which takes place Jan. 13-16.
Rhoads admitted that he went into the state competition a little lackadaisically. But with big winnings on the line — tractors, cash prizes and a brand new pickup truck — he plans to hit the books.