San Angelo – Attending the Texas Farm Bureau’s 45th Annual Youth Leadership Conference held at Angelo State University June 23-27, 2008 were (left to right): Hillary Bibb, Joaquin Mejia and Gerardo Perez. The students were sponsored by the Mason County Farm Bureau. They joined more than 300 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 and the capitalistic free enterprise system, according to Larry Lehmberg, president of the Mason County Farm Bureau.
The students were welcomed to Angelo State University by a university representative. 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.”
Jonathan Haralson, TFB Field Representative and Emily Alders, 2007 Free Enterprise Speech Contest winner, presented “Farm Bureau Scholarship Opportunities.”
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 the knowledge they have received.
Dr. Gary Wolfram, Hillsdale College in Michigan, 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.
At Thursday’s evening’s banquet “Farm Bureau – Your Host” was presented by Kenneth Dierschke, president of Texas Farm Bureau and Miss Janae Jones, 2007 Miss Texas Farm Bureau, addressed the group.
Students who complete the Youth Leadership Conference and have given a speech on free enterprise to at least five groups have taken the first step toward qualifying for the Free Enterprise Speech contest, which awards more than $19,000 in scholarships.