By Allie Cushnyr, Chair, Kern County Young Farmers & Ranchers
A new year, a new officer team, and we are looking forward to starting off 2021 strong. I am now in the chair position after having been involved with Kern County Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) since summer of 2015, after graduating from Cal Poly SLO. Currently, I work for Syngenta Crop Protection as their AgriEdge Specialist locally. During my time with this group, it’s been amazing how it has evolved and changed. Fundraisers grew larger, participation in the group has increased, and we continue to strive to do more for our community by giving back with grants, building gardens, and educating our community about where their food comes from.
The torch has been passed to me to help lead the 2021 Kern County YF&R group and I am proud to say that Lindsey Mebane, our past chair, has moved up and become the California State YF&R Chair. She has led this group for the last two years in many successful meetings, events, and fundraisers and I know the California YF&R program is in good hands with her leading the way. One last event that we did to wrap up the 2020 year was donating toys to the Bakersfield Homeless Center in December. We purchased toys for all different ages and areas of interest. This is something that I look forward to continuing in the future so that all local children, regardless of their current situation, can wake up Christmas morning to a present just for them.
I would love to take a moment to put the spotlight on our new officer team, they have continued to stay involved this last year, even when it has been difficult for YF&R to meet. In the Vice Chair seat is Tim Collins, who was also on our officer team in 2020. Tim is currently an Ag Diesel Mechanics Instructor at the Regional Occupational Center for the Kern High School District. Our Treasurer is Amy Mebane, works an Account Executive at JSC Agricultural Supply. Emily Lopez, our Secretary, is an Agricultural Biologist with the Kern County Ag Commissioner’s Office. Activities Chair has been filled by Katie Verhoef who works for AC Foods in their AC Brands division as the GAP and Sustainability Supervisor. We are very lucky to keep Lindsey Mebane on the team as past chair, she works at Tasteful Selections as their Food Safety Manager. As you can see, we have a very diverse and talented team for this next year. We look forward to finding new and innovative ways to host meetings in 2021.
Be on the lookout for 2021 Kern County YF&R events by following us on Instagram @kern_yfr or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KernYoungFarmersAndRanchers
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