Photo: Timothy Collins

Timothy CollinsTimothy Collins, Chair, Kern County Young Farmers and Ranchers

As a heat wave rolled into Bakersfield on a Saturday in mid-July, we held our 8th annual Kern County Young Farmers & Ranchers Charity Farmers Market. For those unfamiliar with the event, once a year, we reach out to local growers and pick up donated produce. After collecting everything, we set up a Saturday market and offered the produce for suggested donations. Most of what we receive goes toward supporting a local garden project. The remaining income helps fund our Ag Grants, scholarships, and monthly meetings/tours. None of this would be possible by ourselves, so I would like to give a big thank you to all the growers who donated produce and everyone that came out on a very hot morning to get that produce!  

This year we are happy to be able to support the school garden project for Kern Resource Center. Their students focus on a hands-on approach to gardening and nutrition and are taught how to incorporate the fresh produce they grow into healthy meals. We are looking forward to working with them soon! 

The week leading up to our farmers market is always crazy for all of us on the YF&R officer team, and it takes a great amount of work to make this event happen. Then Saturday comes, and we remember why we have kept doing it for eight years. We see regular customers that look forward to the event every year. This year we had Kern Resource Center set up a booth, and we enjoyed learning about their school and met some of the very appreciative students and staff. We talked to members of the media who were encouraged to see a local ag charity event happening here, where it should be part of the community, in the top ag-producing county.  

While traveling across this county this summer, I was reminded again of what a unique and diverse industry we have in California agriculture. There is simply no other state where we could get this variety of produce, and most of it from right here in Kern County. As I have said before, this is where to get involved in agriculture. Come check out YF&R!  

In closing I would like to thank all the volunteers and give a shout-out to this year’s donors, including Murray Family Farms, Sunview, Driscolls, Pandol Bros, Bolthouse Farms, Grimmway Farms, Country Sweet Produce, Fachin Honey, Famoso Nut, J G Boswell, Johnston Farms, JSS Almond, Kirschenman Ent., Kuntz Family Farms, Tasteful Selections, The Garlic Company, Vine Ripe Sales, Suntreat Packing, Varsity Produce, Elite Site Services, Wild Culture Mercantile, Delish Cakepops & Sweets, Kern Machinery and all of the Wonderful Company. 

Email: kernyfr@kerncfb.com 

Instagram: @kern_yfr 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KernYoungFarmersAndRanchers 

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