Kern YF&R's 4th Annual Clay Shoot is a great opportunity to support young people in agriculture. Save the date for Saturday March 16th, 2024 at Five Dogs Range (Photo courtesy of Christine Johnson/YF&R).

By Christine Johnson, Chair, Young Farmers & Ranchers 

Whether you realize it or not, you are impacting the next generation. For better or worse, your current attitudes and assumptions are shaping the way you interact with young people. Some choose to ignore the younger generation, citing the entitled attitudes and self-absorption that often characterizes young adults. Yet others dig deeper and see the energy, vitality, and positive impact cultivated within young adult groups such as the Young Farmers & Ranchers. I am convinced that partnerships between generations have the potential to foster innovation and mutual encouragement. My personal interactions with those at the Kern County Farm Bureau over the past several years support this conclusion. May I humbly suggest that it is the duty of older, seasoned individuals to mentor the next generation. Here are three reasons that it is a worthwhile endeavor: 

  1. While the term “mentor” may invoke the idea of a formal setting, I believe that it simply implies intentionally directed personal encouragement. This may look like a conversation, phone call, text or taking the time for lunch. Here’s an idea: Share any professional development books, articles or podcasts that have helped you over the years. You may discover more common goals than you realize. 
  1. Let me assure you that you have the wisdom and skills necessary. Even if you do not consider yourself eloquent, outgoing or tech-savvy, others can learn from you. Have you ever navigated through a market downturn? Have you ever faced difficult financial choices or worked through legal or business decisions? Have you ever resolved an employee conflict? Others can learn from these experiences. Ask a young person what challenges they are currently dealing with in their career. Chances are you can point them in a helpful direction. Here’s a hint: Young professionals want to know how to grow in their career, deal with co-worker challenges, navigate the vast web of financial decisions, and balance work and personal life.  
  1. Expect mutual benefit. Young folks are more intuitive than you may realize, and likely there’s something they can help you improve. Millennials and Gen Z have grown up with technology — it’s second nature. Ask a young person how you can improve your systems, organize your operations, and work smarter using technology. They may be able to help you improve communication with employees or find time-saving shortcuts for mundane or recurring tasks.  

Have I convinced you to start investing in one young person today? Begin by looking around you. I suspect someone has come to mind. Perhaps a niece, nephew, intern, younger co-worker, or new hire has crossed your path. Take a moment to speak into their life. Even one conversation could kickstart a positive change. Consider investing in relationships within the Kern Young Farmers and Ranchers club. We are a group of young adults, eager to grow professionally and make an impact on our community. I believe it is a worthwhile endeavor for us to partner with the generations that have gone before us.  

If you are interested in staying updated on the latest activities of the Kern Young Farmers & Ranchers, please email or reach out to us! Be sure to save the date for our 4th Annual Clay Shoot at Five Dogs Range on March 16, 2024. Please consider sponsoring a station or team.  

Tickets and sponsorship information can be found at We are always grateful for the agriculture community’s support! Funds raised at the event will go toward agriculture scholarships for college students, as well as FFA and 4-H projects at the Kern County Fair.  


Instagram: @Kern_YFR 

Facebook: KernCountyYoungFarmersAndRanchers 

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