YF&R members (left to right) Timothy Collins, Katie Verhoef, and Katelyn Filkins presenting an Ag Grant check to Isaiah Garcia (middle left) at the Kern County Fair. (Photo: Kern County YF&R)

Timothy Collins, Chair, Kern County Young Farmers and Ranchers

The Young Farmers and Ranchers have been busy this fall with several events as the weather finally cooled down. In September, we held a “Farm Meets Art” night where, after a wonderful dinner, we tried our hand at pottery crafting by making a bowl and vase. It made for a fun evening and a great bonding experience between our YF&R members. Thank you to Jennifer Gardiner for hosting us and sharing her artistic talents!

The Kern County Fair is always a big event for the ag community and especially for 4-H and FFA students showing animals. For several years, YF&R has been giving out ag grants to help support those local students’ fair projects and animals, but this was the first year we met the students in person and gave out the checks at the fair. It was encouraging to see what all their hard work had led to as they were busy prepping and showing their animals that day. After giving out a total of $4,000 this year, we are already looking forward to supporting students again next year! Applications will go out in May.

Our YF&R has always enjoyed a great relationship with the Kern County Farm Bureau as a committee. Both we and the Farm Bureau continually benefit from the relationship. One of the main events we are involved with is the Bounty of the County annual dinner and fundraiser. During the event, we held a gun raffle with the proceeds benefiting YF&R. The Bounty is always a great time for YF&R members to volunteer and interact with the rest of the Farm Bureau and much of the ag community.

As one of our members said in years past, “When I look out at everyone here, I see them all as potential employers.”

Networking is so important in Kern County and especially in the local ag community. While talking to a member of the ag community recently, I found we both had similar stories of growing up without a close family member working in ag locally. Both of us wanted to avoid being stuck in an office, and we found the local members of the ag community another reason to make a career in agriculture.

Joining the Kern County Young Farmers and Ranchers is one of the best ways for 18-35-year-olds working or interested in agriculture to get involved.

Email: KernYFR@KernCFB.com
Instagram: @Kern YFR
Facebook: KernYoungFarmersAndRanchers

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