Young farmers and ranchers win statewide recognition

Young farmers and ranchers in San Luis Obispo County have won statewide recognition for their work in educational, community and political outreach.

The San Luis Obispo Young Farmers and Ranchers organization has been named Committee of the Year by the California Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers program.

The local young farmers and ranchers distributed pumpkin seeds at local farmers' markets, educating consumers about agriculture and encouraging them to participate in a successful Great Pumpkin Contest.

They also promoted “Food Check-Out Week” activities, to promote the affordability of locally grown foods. And they organized a successful “Bounty of the County” fund-raising dinner and auction.

In addition, they spoke about land-use issues before the county Board of Supervisors, and assisted with a variety of farm tours and educational activities.

“Our main goal is to build the leadership skills of our members who will eventually become active members of the Farm Bureau,” said Frost Pauli, chairman of the local group.

“At the same time we work to educate the general public about agriculture, and the difficulties the next generation of farmers will be dealing with,” he said.

Membership in the San Luis Obispo program has more than doubled during the past year, leaders say, and members try to bridge the gap between rural and urban populations.

-Bob Cuddy