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By Rachel Nettleton, Executive Director, Kern County Farm Bureau

With the new year approaching, it’s remarkable to reflect on how fast the first five months have passed since assuming the position of Executive Director at the Kern County Farm Bureau. Since July, KCFB has successfully organized two events — “Save Water, Drink Beer” and the “Bounty of Kern County.” These events have been just the tip of the iceberg, as we have an exciting lineup of events scheduled for 2024! 

My goal for the rest of the year and moving forward is to nurture and strengthen the connections within our agricultural industry, our community, and governmental representatives. This objective has been a driving force behind my work, and I am delighted to share some of the significant experiences that have already set this goal into motion. 

I’ve been fortunate enough to engage with a multitude of elected officials and their district representatives. These meetings have provided invaluable insights into the complex and interconnected world of agriculture and policymaking. One experience that stands out is the full day of farm tours I attended in October with Assemblymembers Vince Fong and David Alvarez. These visits not only exposed me to the exceptional work of our local farms but also deepened my understanding of the unique challenges our farming community is experiencing.  

Moreover, I have taken part in various pivotal agricultural gatherings. This has included not only having the chance to do the coin toss during Bakersfield College’s Oil and Agriculture Night but also participating in numerous significant events, including a recent international conference where I had the opportunity to engage with a group of French farmers. This global perspective was enlightening and offered insights into the shared challenges farmers and ranchers face on a global scale.  

Lastly, I had the pleasure of connecting with many of our Platinum Partners and engaged in meaningful conversations with several  KCFB members.  I am looking forward to the opportunity to expand these conversations by meeting more of our members in the future, thus ensuring that we continue to tailor our efforts to best serve the evolving needs of our agriculture community.  

While I could continue recounting these remarkable experiences, I will conclude with saying that I am committed to continuing my efforts as well as building upon the impressive work our agricultural community is already undertaking. The collaboration and support of our dedicated members, agricultural leaders, and community stakeholders are instrumental, and I am excited to work hand in hand with all of you to strengthen the future of agriculture. 

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