The picture is me, Tim Collins, second from left and not looking at the camera at Farm Bureau's Farm Day in the City in 2001. (Photo: Kern County Farmers Bureau)

By Timothy Collins, Chair, Kern County Young Farmers & Ranchers

Timothy Collins
Timothy Collins Chair, Kern County Young Farmers & Ranchers

As I reflect on 2022 and start to think about next year, I’ve been asking Young Farmers & Ranchers members what they like about the group and what keeps them coming. I hear a range of answers but the one that nearly every member says is that they like the farm and industry tours we often do as part of our monthly meetings. This year we toured Lakeview Farms Dairy, Poncetta Farms/Maggenti Show Goats, Murray Farms, Temblor Brewing, and Semi-Tropic Almond Huller. With our new officer team, we are already planning another great round of tours for 2023.

My interest in ag tours started very young. I was homeschooled up through junior high and my family was part of co-op and charter school groups that gave me the opportunity to do many field trips from a young age. Over the years, I remember touring Grimmway Farms, Bolthouse Farms, Frito Lay, a sugar beet farm, a cherry orchard, Farmer John Eggs, an apple orchard, a nursery, an almond huller and Farm Bureau’s Farm Day in the City back in 2001. These instilled a knowledge of and interest in agriculture that continues today by means of Young Farmers and Ranchers. Many were not able to have that experience as a child but anyone ages 18-35 can join us today at YF&R and learn about ag through more in-depth industry tours.

In 1900, about 40 percent of Americans lived on farms with about 60 percent living in rural areas. Now, 122 years later, only about 1 percent live on farms and 20 percent in rural areas. The fact that such a small percentage of people actually produce food for us to eat is a very new development in history. Never before has most of society been so distant from agriculture. We may not know what exact effect this will have, but what we do know is that people are no less dependent on food and farming than in the past.

This is reflected in Young Farmers & Ranchers where our group is not mainly composed of the less than 2 percent of Americans that live on a farm or ranch. However, what we have been able to learn through our YF&R tours is how diverse and complex the agriculture industry is today in Kern County where we grow a wide variety of crops that we eat every day. Knowing where your food comes from is as important for someone in ag as anyone else. For most of us, the ag industry is far too vast to see it all through our job, so make joining YF&R part of your career. Our Christmas party is December 16th, and it is a great event to attend as a first timer to get to know the group. For more information, look us up on social media or reach out to us via email.

Email: KernYFR@KernCFB.com

Instagram: @KernYFR

Facebook: KernYoungFarmersAndRanchers

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