By Regina Pozzi

Sonoma-Marin Young Farmers and Ranchers held their May Meeting at the Crane Ranch on Wednesday, May 17th. The meeting was a huge success, touring the collection of historical agricultural items was a joy for all the YF&Rs. Implements, paraphernalia, tools, and memorabilia from all industries and decades of local agriculture could be found. Richard, Cindy, and their daughter Jennifer Crane have done a great job of preserving old tools and curating remnants of agribusinesses that used to operate in the region. YF&Rs were impressed by items that touched every commodity produced in Sonoma or Marin. YF&Rs enjoyed dinner in the big red barn, thanks to the YF&R BBQ committee for preparing a delicious tri-tip meal. Sonoma County Ag Commissioner Andrew Smith stopped by to thank YF&Rs for their work at the SRJC Agstravaganza.

During dinner, YF&Rs heard from Ron Crane about Crane Ranch Hops and tasted some Old Caz beers, a brewery that uses Crane’s hops. YF&Rs learned about growing hops, special harvest and drying procedures, barley, and other grains. It was interesting to learn more about the industry, how Ron started with hops, and direct marketing. YF&Rs also learned about sheep and direct marketing lamb. YF&R thanks the Crane family for their hospitality and readiness to share knowledge with the Young Farmers and Ranchers! Many insights about agriculture history and diversifying an operation were gained.

In May, Sonoma-Marin YF&Rs also joined Napa for their May Meeting, a cornhole tournament at a Beckstoffer vineyard. Sonoma-Marin YF&Rs had a great time getting to know members from Napa and are looking forward to hosting Napa YF&R at a July softball game.

The June Sonoma-Marin YF&R meeting will be on Wednesday, June 21st at 6:30pm in Healdsburg where YF&Rs will hear from Bevill Vineyard Management and celebrate summer solstice. Please RSVP at The Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee is a program for agriculturalists between the ages of 18-35 involved in production, banking, business, and many other areas of the industry. YF&R provides opportunities to develop leadership skills through involvement in Farm Bureau at the county, state, and national levels. YF&R members are a vital part of the organization. Each member’s efforts help Farm Bureau to effectively represent the diversity of farmers and ranchers across the state.