By Frankie Gould, LSU AgCenter
NEW ORLEANS - The energy, poise and professionalism of the nine contestants in this year’s Louisiana Farm Bureau Talk Meet made selection of the winner almost impossible for the judges.
In the end, William Gaspard’s “Put the Label on the Table,” took top prize. The Avoyelles Parish youth had more than just a clever title for his 5-minute presentation, but was nevertheless taken by surprise by the win.
"When they called my name as the winner, I was speechless," said Gaspard, who will be a senior at the Louisiana School for the Ag Sciences in Bunkie. "My hard work really paid off."
Gaspard plans to attend McNeese University when he graduates and major in Agribusiness and political science with the hope of becoming an agricultural lawyer.
The subject of this year's contest focused on how the food label can educate the consumer. Gaspard discussed sections on food labels and why it is now a federal law as well as informing the consumer of where their food comes from.
The Farm Bureau’s Talk Meet is a competition designed for youth, ages 15-19, to showcase their public speaking skills. The contestants are given an agricultural issue topic that they speak to, presenting their point of view and solutions on the topic.
"I want to thank the Louisiana Farm Bureau for hosting a great event and the hardworking farmers and producers that put food on our tables," Gaspard said.
The Talk Meet is organized by the Women's Leadership Committee and was chaired by Lisa Register, of Desoto Parish.
Wesley Adolph, who will be a senior at Assumption High in Assumption Parish, placed second. Bailey Nelson from Calcasieu Parish placed third.