University of Mount Olive Student wins NC Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet

MOUNT OLIVE –Hannah Singleton of Goldsboro, a senior agriculture education major at the University of Mount Olive (UMO), recently won the North Carolina Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet. Singleton competed against five other competitors – two from NC State University, two from NC A&T State University and one additional competitor from UMO, Jessica Hogan a senior agriculture education student from Mount Olive. Singleton will represent North Carolina at the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Conference to be held in early February in Virginia Beach, Va. and will compete in the National Discussion Meet at this event.

“I am very proud of all of our students for competing well at the regional level and extremely proud of Hannah for her preparation and persistence to succeed in winning this coveted award. To compete with the land grant universities and to be successful in bringing the title to the University of Mount Olive is very rewarding for all of us,” stated Dr. Sandy Maddox, director of the Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center.

Fourteen University of Mount Olive students competed at the regional level of the NC Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet. The Discussion Meet contest is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. This competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. The judges are looking for the contestant that offers constructive criticism, cooperation, and communication while analyzing agricultural problems and developing solutions.

“It was extremely exciting to be selected the state winner,” stated Singleton.  This event provides competitors an opportunity not only to learn about pertinent issues in agriculture, but to improve their verbal communication and persuasion skills to offer solutions for these issues.  I look forward to representing the University of Mount Olive at the national level and appreciate the partnership we have with the Farm Bureau Federation which allows me to participate in this event.”

Other regional competitors from UMO included agriculture education students: Tyler Adams of Benson (Johnston); Heath Brittain of Catawba (Catawba); Kaitlyn Brock of Mount Olive (Wayne); Jessica Gordon of Staley (Randolph); Dillon Robinson of Norlina (Warren);  Hannah Smith of Staley (Randolph); Elizabeth Rowe of Goldsboro, Cole Watkins of Hillsborough (Orange); Chelsea Sawkiw of Princeton (Johnston); Paige Herring of Goldsboro (Wayne);  Paige Shuler of Edenton (Chowan) and David Thomas a senior in agribusiness from Timberlake. Discussion meet competitors must be engaged in agriculture curriculums. While the knowledge gained is important to the competitors, those students progressing to the state level of competition also receive a cash prize for their efforts from the NC Farm Bureau Federation.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit