girl feeds a horse sitting outdoors in the tall grass
A teenager girl tenderly feeds a horse sitting outdoors in the tall grass (Photo by Helen Sushitskaya / Shutterstock.com)

By Lindsey Mebane, President, Kern County Young Farmers & Ranchers

Lindsey Mebane
Lindsey Mebane

Fall is upon us and busy seasons seem to be the norm around Kern County. Calves are being weaned and shipped across the country and through sale yards so ranchers can get that once-a-year paycheck. Row crops are planting for the fall crop, and I can hear the sounds close by of almond farmers starting to shake their trees to begin the process of harvest. School is coming back in session (whatever that looks like this year), and the youth are in the thick of prepping for the Kern County Fair.

Last year, the Kern County Young Farmers and Ranchers created an Ag Grant and we are now in the second year of the program. It’s a pretty simple process. First, you must be a youth in 4-H or FFA exhibiting livestock at the Kern County Fair and be willing to fill out an application, write an essay, and submit a budget. Then, all applications are reviewed by our committee and winners are chosen. With the decision to move the livestock show virtual this year, that did not change anything on our end. Youth still have animals to show and we wanted to make sure that they were supported.

I am pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Kern YF&R Ag. Grant! We would like to congratulate Malana Unsell of North FFA, Presley Reed of Rio Del Norte 4-H, Savanah Downs of Bakersfield Christian FFA, and Tyler Strange of Kern Valley FFA. All these exhibitors have their animals, are prepping daily, and are ready to compete.

 I grew up in the 4-H and FFA programs showing mostly cattle and hogs in San Diego county, so I personally hold this grant near and dear to my heart. I know the amount of blood, sweat, and tears these kids pour into their projects year in and year out. I couldn’t imagine not being able to show my livestock at a fair after all the hours put in, but I know they will all make the best of the situation and persevere. I feel like the grant money means more this year with the uncertainty of how the livestock auction is going to go for these exhibitors. To all the exhibitors who submitted applications, we thank you and encourage more applications next year!

We hope to have a virtual meeting in September, but dates have not been set yet. Fall activities are also up in the air, but to keep up to date please follow our Facebook and Instagram pages by searching for Kern Young Farmers and Ranchers. If you have any questions about the group please e-mail us at kernyfr@kerncfb.com. As always, thank you for reading my little slice of an article. Stay cool in this heat and we will catch you next month!