Michaelson goes to debate

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A junior at Randolph-Henry High School had the opportunity to attend the Vice Presidential Debate in Farmville because of an essay she wrote.

Abby Michaelson is one of only 17 students chosen as winners of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Essay contest. Each of the winners attended Tuesday night’s debate along with two guests of their choosing.

Michaelson said she was excited when she learned of her win. “It’s not very often that you can win a ticket to a vice presidential debate or have that kind of amazing experience right at your back door.”

According to a Farm Bureau press release, the contest was “the culmination of a Collegiate Farm-to-Table Dinner and Agriculture Education program held Sept. 15 at Longwood.”

Following the dinner, students were invited to submit an essay based on ideas they gathered from the panel discussion.

There were about 250 in attendance, and over 100 submitted essays for their chance to win a ticket to the debate.

Students learned that because the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 and farmland is becoming unrecoverable, there is a need for innovation in the field of agriculture to bring about a healthy and abundant food supply for future generations, according to the release.

The moderator asked the students how they would solve the food shortage projected for 2050 because of population growth.

Michaelson said she wrote about the impact needed from her generation in regard to food production in order to provide the necessary food for the world’s growing population.

She said she was most looking forward to having this experience because it’s “once in a lifetime.”

“I most likely won’t have the opportunity to do this again,” she said. Michaelson said she was also looking forward to hearing each candidate’s response to different topics. In particular, she is interested in questions related to agriculture and the environment. 

She said she would be bringing her dad with her to the debate.