Well-spoken. Poised. Intelligent. Passionate. These are just a few words one could use to describe Sarah Clark. Those traits served her well while competing for the 2021 YF&R Discussion Meet award winner title.

“I believe participating in events like this make you step out of your comfort zone and become a better-rounded individual,” Clark said. “I enjoy the conversation during a discussion. You never know what someone is going to say or what new knowledge you will walk away with. I’m honored to represent Mississippi in the American Farm Bureau competition.”

Clark graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy and a concentration in Integrated Pest Management in 2020. She works for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Indianola.

“I really enjoy working with and assisting farmers in Sunflower County,” she said. “In this role, I have the opportunity to interact with people and learn new things about agriculture every day.”

In addition to her full-time job, Clark farms soybeans with her husband, Gentry.

She uses the experience and knowledge gathered from both jobs to prepare for each discussion meet.

“You have no idea which question will be used in the competition, so it is just constant preparation,” Clark said. “To prepare for the competition, I listened to podcasts while driving or working, read articles and discussed the issues with people who work in the industry.”

Clark served as the 2019 Collegiate Discussion Meet winner and placed in the top four of the American Farm Bureau Federation Collegiate Discussion Meet hosted virtually in 2020.

“It was such an honor to win the Collegiate Discussion Meet and represent Mississippi at a national level in 2020,” Clark said. “Even though I had that experience, I was still shocked when they called my name as the winner of the 2021 Discussion Meet. I hope to represent our state well in the national Discussion Meet competition.”

Clark believes being an active member of Farm Bureau and the Young Farmers & Ranchers program has provided her with more access to resources compared to her peers.

“Farm Bureau gives people like me such wonderful opportunities to network and step out of your comfort zone,” she said. “This organization has been and will continue to be a tremendous asset to me as I move forward in my career.”

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