By Lindsey Mebane
Kern County Young Farmers & Ranchers
As I sit here writing my final article as the Kern Young Farmers and Ranchers President, I can’t help but be thankful. I am overwhelmingly thankful for being in this industry. Being a fifth-generation cattle rancher, agriculture is in my blood, and I couldn’t imagine life any other way. If COVID-19 taught me anything, it is that I am so glad to be a part of an essential industry. Besides masks and social distancing, life at my home continued as usual. There were still potatoes to grow, cattle to raise, and people to feed. This industry has provided me with so many great opportunities, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. YF&R and Farm Bureau truly have so many great leadership opportunities for people to take part in.
Next, I am thankful for all of you. Thank you for reading my articles. To see people at events and outings who stop to tell me how much they enjoy my article means so much to me. You have all been so encouraging and that means a lot from a small-town girl from rural San Diego county. I am by no means a writer (which I am sure you all figured out early on) but this column has helped me inform people as to what our group is up to and given me a platform to share my voice and advocate for farmers and ranchers. I hope that through my articles I was able to share our YF&R story, give you a glimpse of my life, educate, advocate, and humor you occasionally.
I am tremendously grateful and thankful to say that Proposition 15 failed on the November ballot. If you recall from my article two months ago this was going to put a lot of farmers and ranchers in a financial strain or even out of business with a major tax increase. This proposition was threatening the next generation of my family ranch, along with many others, and now we can all sleep a little better at night knowing that we will make it through. I thank everyone that voted no. It took a great effort but we as farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and so many more came out on top. So, thank you.
COVID-19 changed the way we operate this year–that’s for sure. I think it opened my eyes as to how important it is to support local businesses. Don’t get me wrong, I will still be a Costco regular but being able to go to the local bakery, restaurant, coffee shop, and boutiques has been so important in 2020. So many businesses suffered and are still struggling with this pandemic. It is my hope that this year while you are doing your holiday shopping you will think of the local shops and support them. I plan to do most of, if not all my holiday shopping supporting the local and small businesses.
As for the Kern YF&R group we saw some challenges in 2020. Meetings couldn’t be held as usual, fundraisers were cancelled and modified, and we battled with how to still be involved. We adapted, and here we are still standing. By the time the next article is released there will be a new officer team for the 2021 term. I am so excited for the future of the Kern County YF&R because we have a solid group of people. If you are interested in joining the group and are between the ages of 18-35 please let us know. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, or just email us at email@example.com.
With the end of 2020 upon us and the start of the new year it is my hope that each one of you enjoy the holiday season and have a happy and healthy new year. Let’s hope 2021 looks a little better and brighter than 2020. Cheers and thank you again for all your support of the YF&R group.