By Lindsey Mebane, President,
Kern County Young Farmers & Ranchers
Welcome to Spring fellow agriculture lovers! I want to start this article by giving a recap of our recent trip to the California YF&R State Conference. It was held February 28-29 in Visalia. Kern County was very well represented with 14 attendees. The first day was filled with industry tours. The North tour group got to visit Fresno Valve and Casting, POM Wonderful, Global Unmanned Spray System (GUSS), and The Tulare County Sheriff’s Farm. The highlight for most was the sheriff’s farm. They save Tulare county taxpayers over 1 million dollars each year by having a fully functioning farm that includes a garden, cattle, hogs, and hay. The East tour group went to Lake Kaweah- Terminus Dam, UC Davis Lindcove Research and Extension Center, McKellar Family Farms, and FoodLink. Members said their favorite part was FoodLink where they got to firsthand volunteer and pack snack bags for kids who might not have nutritious options in their home life. The last tour group was the West side. Their stops included J.G. Bowell, Nichols Farms, Curtimade Dairy- Ciao Cow Creamery, and Lake Bottom Brewery. Those members got to have some fresh made gelato which was a highlight for all.
Saturday of the conference was filled with guest speakers, breakout sessions, and the discussion meet. Tulare county Sheriff Mike Boudreaux started the day off with some inspiring words about making impressions and 30 second snapshots that stick with us forever. A personal highlight for me was being able to introduce our lunch speaker and fellow Kern County female farmer Jenny Holtermann. She shared with us how to make relationships, keep them, and the impact relationship building has had on her. It was noted that relationships that she has built were a huge part of her being selected to speak on stage during Donald Trump’s visit to Bakersfield in February. The conference rounded out with an awards banquet and dinner. Although Kern County YF&R did not win committee of the year, we did take home the Harvest for All Award which is earned by our commitment to helping feed those in need. We earned it by our garden projects, working with the county fair food drive, and our latest venture with the Adventist Health Block party. I thank all the members that helped us earn that honor. We couldn’t have done it without you.
As I write this article I should be sitting in Louisville, Kentucky at the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers conference but due to the health risks with the coronavirus, American Farm Bureau canceled the conference. I was excited to represent this great state as a young farmer and rancher, but there will always be next year.
With all the chaos happening with this outbreak, our YF&R didn’t get a March meeting set due to some tours not allowing visitors. We do plan to have a meeting in April, so make sure you are on our e-mail list to get the updates. If you are interested in joining our group or looking for ways to be involved, don’t be shy and start by contacting email@example.com. Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KernYoungFarmersAndRanchers and follow us on Instagram @kern_yfr.