77th Annual AFR State Speech Contest Challenges Oklahoma Youth

American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) wrapped up its annual fall speech contest series Saturday Dec. 3 at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater.

This marks the 77th year of the statewide contest. The event has gone through many changes over the years but has always maintained its central agricultural theme. Varying by grade level, this year’s speech categories are AFR/OFU, Agricultural Policy, Agribusiness, Natural Resources, and Agri-Science.

Nearly 500 students will compete in AFR district speech contests this fall, resulting in more than 160 finalists advancing to the state contest. At the state level, the top three competitors in each category receive cash awards.


Novice: 1st Kyan Herrman, Agra; 2nd Claire Stafford, Altus; 3rd Brigham Bunt, Ringwood

Junior: 1st Fletcher Inman, Mulhall-Orlando; 2nd Jalyn Lundry, Haworth; 3rd Kourtney Campbell, Jet

Intermediate: 1st Hadley Ott, Lomega; 2nd Kaden James, Wellston; 3rd Zane Sander, Silo

Senior: 1st Cooper Kline, North Rock Creek; 2nd Claycey Rowland, Silo; 3rd Kolton Hunt, Wellston


Junior: 1st Cason Ebert, Haworth, 2nd Lincoln Stafford, Altus; 3rd Jade McPeak, Checotah

Intermediate: 1st Bonham Eslick, Elgin; 2nd: Darla Fesmire, Oklahoma Union; 3rd Rylee Tobin, Guthrie

Senior: 1st Maci Flowers, Tecumseh; 2nd Annabella Aitken, Guthrie; 3rd Gianna Nichols, Edmond


Intermediate: 1st Taryn McCaa, Elmore City-Pernell; 2nd Jacob Mannen, Fletcher; 3rd Josie Murray, Wellston

Senior: 1st William Meinert, Granite; 2nd Trey Myers, Perkins-Tryon; 3rd Pedro Valles, Dover

Natural Resources

Intermediate: 1st Lillie Reed, Turner; 2nd Coy Davidson, Elgin; 3rd Meredith Pye, Mtn. View Gotebo

Senior: 1st Zell Freeman, Hobart; 2nd Kayla Poling, Silo; 3rd Alec Anderson, Ringwood

Ag Policy

Intermediate: 1st Abby Brooks, Navajo; 2nd Isabella Whitlock, Silo; 3rd Heath Lacebach, Mooreland

Senior: 1st Chloe Kelsey, Tecumseh; 2nd Abi Shofler, Ketchum; 3rd Alexa Schaufele, Hobart

“Public speaking is one of the most valuable skills young people can gain for their future careers,” said AFR Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “We are honored to host the 77th Annual AFR Speech Contest, which has a long-standing tradition of fostering professionalism and confidence in Oklahoma’s youth.”

The AFR Annual Speech Contest is just one of many AFR Youth Program traditions. The organization also hosts a youth leadership summit, statewide scholarships, livestock judging and grading competitions, and many other development opportunities. For more information on this contest or other AFR Youth Program projects, contact AFR Youth Development Coordinator Tailor Atkinson at (405)218-5566 or tailor.atkinson@afrmic.com.

AFR Cooperative is a membership services organization established in 1905 as Oklahoma Farmers Union. AFR provides educational, legislative and cooperative programs across the state and serves as a watchdog for Oklahoma’s family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. The organization is actively supportive of the state’s agricultural industry and rural population with membership consisting of farmers actively involved in production agriculture and non-farmers adding their voice in support of AFR principles.

Listen to Farm Director KC Sheperd & AFR President Scott Blubaugh talk about the 77th Annual Speech Contest.