Kern Young Farmers and Ranchers Clay Shoot volunteers. From left: Tim Collins, Katelyn Filkins, Ashley Tartaglia, Matt Pandol III, Cory Camp, Russell Todd, Katie Verhoef, and Christine Johnson. (Photo courtesy of Christine Johnson/YF&R)

By Christine Johnson, Chair, Young Farmers and Ranchers 

Springtime brings the most beautiful weather to Kern County, which is the perfect time for the Young Farmers & Ranchers Clay Shoot Fundraiser. On March 16, we hosted our much-anticipated annual event at Five Dogs Range. The hills of Woody showcased a blanket of velvet green against a blue-sky backdrop. This year turned out to be our biggest fundraiser to date —114 shooters attended to support YF&R and enjoy an afternoon of competition.  

This event takes an enormous amount of preparation and 2024 was no exception. Our amazing Clay Shoot Co-Chairs Cory Camp and Matt Pandol III worked tirelessly to ensure that the day was well-planned and ran smoothly. From the food choices to carefully thought-out prizes, no detail was overlooked. Thank you, especially, to the dozen or so companies that donated a raffle item. We had a variety of baskets including sweets, nuts, a framed farm photo, a handgun safe, and a solo stove. And of course, our gun raffle is always very popular! 

This year we added an extra surprise. We decided to host the shoot in honor of a noteworthy member of our community – Matt Pandol II (Jr.). His unexpected passing in 2023 impacted the agriculture community and beyond. Mr. Pandol was a sponsor of our clay shoots in years past, and we felt it only appropriate to take this year to remember his legacy in a small way. Upon check-in, every shooter received a T-shirt commemorating our appreciation for him.  

A few months prior, as our Executive Team sat around a table brainstorming ideas for the shoot, Matt Pandol III relayed a memory he had with his dad at the previous year’s event. Mr. Pandol suggested that we offer T-shirts similar to one he received at a 2002 Kern YF&R “Shootout” fundraiser. Talk about a sharp memory! The shirt read “Cost of this T-shirt: $14. Amount farmer received for this T-Shirt: $0.07. Farmers love and pride for feeding and clothing the world: PRICELESS.” Our plan was set — we would bring back the T-shirt and add one extra inscription: “In honor of Matt Pandol Jr.” As one more token to Matt and his family, I framed a photo of Mr. Pandol’s team from the 2023 clay shoot and asked all participants to sign it. We presented it at the end of the day as a gesture of the community’s appreciation.  

Lastly and most importantly, we are extremely grateful for our sponsors, who make it possible for YF&R to continue hosting tours and events and provide scholarships for students in Kern County. We had 20 amazing companies who supported us as station sponsors, meal sponsors, and drink sponsors. I think it’s important enough to mention each by name so here we go — a big THANK YOU to: AgWest Farm Credit, Buttonwillow Warehouse Company, Coastline Equipment, Crusader Brewing Company, Dirty Bird Guns & Ammo, Driscoll’s, Harris BBQ, Jay Hershey, JSS Almonds, Kern Machinery, Klein DeNatale Goldberg, Miller Chemical, NV Catering, Pandol Brothers Inc., Quinn Company, Rovensa Next, S&S Sprayers LLC, Tasteful Selections, Valley Ag Voice and Vita-Pakt.  

We will be back in March 2025 with another clay shoot and hope to continue the trend of an amazing fundraiser. We look forward to your support! 


Instagram: @Kern_YFR  

Facebook: KernCountyYoungFarmersAndRanchers 

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