Alex Mahrenholz of Lawrence County represented Illinois Sunday in the first round of the national Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet. The meet, part of the 2021 American Farm Bureau Federation Convention, took place virtually.
During the first round, competitors discussed international trade -- specifically ideas about how the U.S. can enhance existing trade while establishing new and diverse foreign partners.
“American agriculture is two and a half times more reliant on trade than the overall economy,” explained Mahrenholz. “Exporting American goods and services creates jobs at home, expands consumer choices and increases American competitiveness. As a grassroots organization, Farm Bureau members have built a culture of collaboration in nearly every state in the union and across the globe. Using our unified voice, we need to expand that foundation to work with our partners so that we’re able to deliver more food into the hands of people that need it.”
Mahrenholz grew up working on her family’s grain farm in southeastern Illinois. She just recently started a new job as a Purdue University extension educator in Pike County, Indiana.
“I’m just so glad to be here and have the opportunity to do this (Discussion Meet) even though it’s in a little bit of a different format,” she said.
Mahrenholz will go on to compete in round two of the Discussion Meet Monday morning.
Meanwhile, Correy and Kellie Rahn of Chadwick did not advance to the Top 10 of the national Achievement Award competition.