San Angelo – Attending the Texas Farm Bureau’s 46th annual Youth Leadership Conference held at Angelo State University, June 22-26, was Edith Alvarez. She was sponsored by the Mason County Farm Bureau. She joined more than 330 high school juniors and seniors from over 150 counties across the state.
The purpose of the conference is to provide the students with a better understanding of their American heritage, the capitalistic free enterprise system, and to inspire leadership development, according to Larry Lehmberg, president of the Mason County Farm Bureau.
During the weeklong event, students discuss topics such as the free enterprise system, constitutional government, Americanism, leadership and goal setting. Students are encouraged to meet with school and civic groups upon their return home to share what they’ve learned.
A representative of Angelo State University welcomed students to campus at Monday’s opening session. Afterward, Chad Hymas of Utah, a motivational speaker, spoke about “Setting and Achieving your Goals.” Students were captivated on Tuesday morning as Hymas shared his personal message of “Overcoming Adversity.”
Charles Benton, TFB Field Representative, and Drew Alders, 2008 Free Enterprise Speech Contest winner, presented “Farm Bureau Scholarship Opportunities.”
Dr. Jim Sartwelle, Texas A&M University, presented sessions on “Basics of Free Enterprise,” Ronald Trowbridge, former assistant dean at Hillsdale College in Michigan, presented two-part sessions on “The Constitution,” and Gary Evans, a registered investment advisor, offered advice on “Managing Money.” In addition, the students participated in a program called “Congressional Insight,” which allowed them to simulate a Congressional office and election.
Damon Whaley, former TFB Talent Find Contest winner, provided entertainment on Tuesday. Damon is an accomplished musician, comedian and impressionist.
At Thursday’s evening’s banquet “Farm Bureau – Your Host” was presented by Kenneth Dierschke, president of Texas Farm Bureau and Miss Kelsey Craig, 2008 Miss Texas Farm Bureau, addressed the group. Special guest and motivational speaker, Clebe McClary, challenged the students to “Press on Regardless” with courage, determination and dedication to oneself and their country.
Students who complete the Youth Leadership Conference and have given a speech on free enterprise to at least five groups will have taken the first step toward qualifying for the Free Enterprise Speech contest, which awards more than $19,000 in scholarships.