• Austin La Salle, Jasmine Flores, Andrew Skidmore
  • Austin La Salle, Jasmine Flores, Andrew Skidmore

La Salle advances to National Discussion Semifinal Round

(April 24, 2021) – Agricultural education senior Austin La Salle (Firebaugh) carried on the recent tradition of excellence of Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology students at the Young Farmers and Ranchers national discussion contest in March.

The event was held virtually for the second straight year as state champions from across the nation submitted video answers for preselected questions for the opening round that were judged by industry professionals.

Austin La SalaleLa Salle was one of 16 competitors that advanced to the semifinal round that featured four groups of four contestants that competed together in a Zoom teleconference to answer another question.

The top scorer in each semifinal advanced to a four-person final that was also held virtually.

Participants were judged on their ability to exchange ideas, information and potential solutions related agricultural industry and consumer issues and topics. 

To read more about the event's winner and finalists, read this American Farm Bureau press release link

La Salle received a $150 scholar for competing for competing, and an additional $250 scholarship for advancing to the semifinal round. He qualified for the event after he won the previous year’s state discussion title held in late February 2020.

La Salle is the 12th Fresno State student to compete at the national event since 2003. Three of those former competitors won national titles, Tim Truax (2018), Levy Randolph (2015) and Tino Rossi (2012).

Other past state champions from Fresno State include Samuel Looper (2019), Abigail Carlson (2017), Hunter Berry (2016), Levy Randolph (2014), Jake Carlson (2013), Tino Rossi (2011), Jackie Mundt (2008) and Molly Fagundes (2003).

The 2021 state discussion contest is tentatively slated to be held in the fall.