By Romeo Agbalog, Executive Director, Kern County Farm Bureau

Romeo Agbalog
Kern County Farm Bureau Executive Director, Romeo Agbalog

The Kern County Farm Bureau held its annual meeting and elected new officers and directors to help govern the 106-year-old organization that focuses on advocating, promoting, and educating the public about our local agriculture industry.

Patty Poire, Executive Director of the Kern Groundwater Authority was elected President of the Board of Directors replacing John C. Moore, III, and is the first female to serve as the organization’s President in its over 100-year history. Poire previously served as the board’s first Vice-President and has served on various boards and committees including the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley.

Also elected as first Vice-President is Shafter area almond farmer Jenny Holtermann, whose “Almond Girl” brand is well known both locally and beyond, and Jason Giannelli as second Vice-President who is also employed by local farming company Wegis and Young, and whose family are long-time area farmers. The terms of these positions is two years.

Allie Cushnyr with Syngenta Corp Protection and Greg Actis, a farm manager with Elk Grove Farming were both elected to the Farm Bureau’s board of directors. Both have considerable experience and knowledge of local agriculture with Cushnyr also serving as President of the local chapter of Young Farmers and Ranchers.

At its annual meeting, the Farm Bureau also bid farewell to Ben Laverty, III, who has served on the group’s board for 41 years. In addition to serving on the local Farm Bureau board, Laverty also played roles in the California Farm Bureau organization and is widely regarded for his expertise in the areas of labor, safety, and training.

As we’re now in October, we have our Bounty of Kern County to look forward to! This is both the largest and the most highly anticipated KCFB event of the year. I look forward to seeing new faces and the opportunity to engage with our community of local farmers and ranchers on Saturday, October 9th. To sponsor or to purchase tickets, please call (661) 397-9635 or visit

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