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Farm & Ranch • Wednesday, March 21, 2018 — 15

Nine Farm Bureau Members Participate In Leadership Program

Young California Farmers, Ranchers Earn Recognition

A rticle Prov ided Cour t e s y Ca l i f or ni a F a r m B ur e a u F e d e r a t i o n

Ar t i cl e P r o v i d e d C o ur t es y Cal ifo r nia Far m Bur eau Fed er at io n

Intensive training on agricultural issues and leadership methods has begun for the nine members of the Leadership Farm Bureau Class of 2018. The class was formally introduced during the annual California Farm Bureau Federation Leaders Conference in Sacramento earlier this month. Participants in the Leadership Farm Bureau program receive personal-development, teambuilding and communications training, and advocate on behalf of Farm Bureau in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Participants will learn about agricultural issues and make field-studies trips to both Northern and Southern California. Sponsored by CFBF, the program includes seven sessions that involve more than 250 hours of training. The LFB Class of 2018 includes: • Joseph Alexandre of Ferndale, a dairy farmer, CEO of the family dairy-products business and second vice president of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau; • Brittney Blankenship of Visalia, program coordinator for the Tulare County Farm Bureau; • Joe Ferrari of Linden, a walnut farmer and member of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation board of directors; • Rachael Fleming of Lodi, a program director for the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation; • Brad Fowler of Penn Valley, a cattle rancher and president of the Nevada County Farm Bureau; • Jason Gianelli of Bakersfield, a farm manager specializing in almonds and row crops, and a member of the Kern County Farm Bureau board of directors; • Erin Johnson of Anderson, executive director of the Shasta County Farm Bureau; • Jessica Sweeten of Hilmar, a sales representative for an agricultural products company who is active in the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee; • Taylor Zumstein of Fallbrook, owner of a breeding-sheep business and event and marketing coordinator for the San Diego County Farm Bureau. The program of activities for the 2018 Leadership Farm Bureau class will culminate in December with graduation during the 100th CFBF Annual Meeting in San Diego. For further information about the program, see The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 40,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 5.5 million Farm Bureau members.

Service to community and Farm Bureau earned awards for participants in the California Young Farmers and Ranchers program, and a student from Fresno State University won the national Collegiate Discussion Meet, during the recent annual American Farm Bureau Federation YF&R conference in Reno. California Young Farmers and Ranchers earned three national awards related to food donations through the Harvest for All program – a partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. California earned first place in the number of volunteer hours donated, at more than 10,000 hours; placed second in the number of pounds of food donated, at 15 million pounds; and was among three national winners of the Most Innovative Award. That honor was awarded to California for a food donation partnership between the Kern County YF&R Committee and the Kern County Fair, which led to the collection of 100,000 pounds of meat and 54,120 pounds of other food. Each award included a monetary prize from sponsor Nationwide. Tim Truax of Turlock, who majors in agricultural education at Fresno State, emerged as the winner of the national Collegiate Discussion Meet, which simulates a committee meeting with active participation and discussion. As national winner, Truax earned a $2,200 prize sponsored by the CSH Foundation. The California YF&R Committee also distributed statewide awards during the Reno conference. San Joaquin Farm Bureau member Katie Veenstra of Escalon received the Star YF&R Award, which recognizes an outstanding young farmer or rancher in California who goes above and beyond in service to agriculture. The Kern County YF&R Committee earned the YF&R Committee of the Year Award for its activities during 2017. Composed of 50 members, the committee volunteered at many Farm Bureau and agricultural events. It raised money for people in need, such as for local food banks and the homeless, spent volunteer hours gleaning and developed the partnership with the Kern County Fair for food donations. The Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers program works with active agriculturists between the ages of 18 and 35 who are involved in production, business and many other areas of agriculture. For more information, see

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Farm and Ranch 2018  
Farm and Ranch 2018