Young Farmer's and Ranchers 2023 farmer's market. (Photo: Timothy Collins?YF&R)

By Christine Johnson, Chair, Young Farmers and Ranchers

The Kern Young Farmers and Ranchers is eagerly anticipating its 9th Annual Charity Farmers Market on Saturday, July 20th. Every year we put together this wonderful event for the community. I often get asked if the market is offered more than just once a year — I wish we could! It’s a team effort and takes an enormous amount of work to plan, obtain permits, contact local growers, and coordinate pick-up schedules for all the produce. Be reminded that all our donations are fresh from the farm. Everything is generously donated by local farmers and producers. We have a small team of volunteers who drive all over Kern County the day before the market with the shared goal of bringing delicious food to your table. 

When I was brand new to YF&R, the Farmers Market was the first event I volunteered at. It was the perfect setting to make new friends and jump into the group. We started bright and early before the sun was up. The produce needed to be unloaded, sorted, and organized so that guests could easily pick their choice of fruits, vegetables, or specialty items. My assigned duty during the market was to help with check-out. We always disclose that this is a charity event with suggested prices, therefore we will accept the donation amount that guests feel comfortable with. At the check-out stand, I enjoy seeing everyone’s chosen treasures and chatting about the day’s activities. The morning goes by in such a whirl that before I know it, the day’s work is wrapping up. Our faithful YF&R volunteers who stick around afterward to help clean up are rewarded with lunch — I’m usually starving after such an energetic morning. 

This year we are pleased to support a local garden project to benefit Country Christian School. Located on Dean Avenue close to Rosedale Highway, the school offers K-8th grade education. We are excited to partner this year to support their edible garden, which was established several years ago by a few of the parents and teachers. Proceeds from the farmers market also allow us to fund agriculture grants, scholarships, and monthly YF&R meetings/tours. 

Are you looking for one more reason to attend our Charity Farmers Market? I heartily believe that nothing beats California’s fresh produce. There are few places in the world where you can find such a plethora of high-quality, fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables. During my college years, I had the joy of living overseas several times and would frequent local grocery stores or markets. I certainly missed the quality fresh produce from back home, but occasionally I would find something imported from California. It was comforting to taste something from home, and I found myself proud to realize that California farmers truly feed the world. 

Please join us on Saturday, July 20th from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at 8660 Rosedale Highway to support our 9th Annual Charity Farmers Market. Many people have attended our market since the beginning and it’s exciting to recognize repeat faces over the years. Be sure to come early — some of our specialty produce sells fast! We may even have some surprise bakery items waiting. Considering the traditionally warm weather in July, we encourage everyone to arrive the sooner the better. 

Save the date for our next YF&R event on August 10th when we will tour the Pandol Cold Storage facility. Reach out to us for details!


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