San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation

By Craig W. Anderson

Katie Veenstra, a San Joaquin Farm Bureau member from Escalon, won another major award from a Farm Bureau competition, this time the Star YF&R Award during the annual California Farm Bureau Federation YF&R conference in Reno. The award recognizes an outstanding young farmer or rancher in California who goes above and beyond in service to agriculture, community, YF&R and Farm Bureau. Veenstra, who won the YF&R’s Open Discussion Meet at the CFBF Annual Meeting in Garden Grove, said of her win, "I was very humbled and honored to have been nominated and then to have received this Star Award. I was definitely surprised, as I hadn’t known our YF&R had submitted me."

She also said, "Our YF&R is a very active committee and it’s an honor to be involved with such a great organization. Any time you win an award from your peers, it’s special. Our committee is a team effort and even though I won, a number of people are worthy of receiving this award." Veenstra said she didn’t do anything particularly specific for the Star Award and that it was "very different from the Discussion Meet competition, where the competitors can research the topics and search for information they might need." Veenstra made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the National Discussion Meet at the AFBF conference and competing at such an event was "a great experience."  

For receiving a Star Award she enjoyed the usual hearty handclasp winners usually get when honored by such an award, Veenstra also collected a certificate and a $100 Visa gift card.

The local YF&R committee is an active group and Veenstra said she’ll continue to be involved and will encourage young members to take their place at the table because, "we want fresh faces in leadership. Over the past four or five years we’ve had a member resurgence. It’s a cyclical situation and we’ve been at the peak of that cycle for awhile."

She said, "I’m still interested in being involved in agriculture, its challenges and issues. We’re in a difficult state for agriculture because of regulations, water and other issues."

Veenstra pointed out that the San Joaquin Farm Bureau’s board of directors has "12 or 13 YF&R members. The SJFB board is very accepting of us and youth in general and we have direct input into Farm Bureau and agriculture."

Veenstra said these experiences and positive participation in various competitions serve her well as marketing director of GloriAnn Farms of Tracy, a sweet corn grower and processor. While she isn’t a farmer per se she is an active agriculturist between the ages of 18 and 35 who is "involved in production, business and many other areas of agriculture," according to the YF&R.

In some business areas, Veenstra would probably be considered the exception but in agriculture, the county YF&R and in the California Farm Bureau Federation, she’s considered to be the norm and that in itself is a great honor.

By Craig W. Anderson

Katie Veenstra, a San Joaquin Farm Bureau member from Escalon, won another major award from a Farm Bureau competition, this time the Star YF&R Award during the annual California Farm Bureau Federation YF&R conference in Reno.

The award recognizes an outstanding young farmer or rancher in California who goes above and beyond in service to agriculture, community, YF&R and Farm Bureau. Veenstra, who won the YF&R’s Open Discussion Meet at the CFBF Annual Meeting in Garden Grove, said of her win, "I was very humbled and honored to have been nominated and then to have received this Star Award. I was definitely surprised, as I hadn’t known our YF&R had submitted me."

She also said, "Our YF&R is a very active committee and it’s an honor to be involved with such a great organization. Any time you win an award from your peers, it’s special. Our committee is a team effort and even though I won, a number of people are worthy of receiving this award."

Veenstra said she didn’t do anything particularly specific for the Star Award and that it was "very different from the Discussion Meet competition, where the competitors can research the topics and search for information they might need." Veenstra made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the National Discussion Meet at the AFBF conference and competing at such an event was "a great experience."  

For receiving a Star Award she enjoyed the usual hearty handclasp winners usually get when honored by such an award, Veenstra also collected a certificate and a $100 Visa gift card.

The local YF&R committee is an active group and Veenstra said she’ll continue to be involved and will encourage young members to take their place at the table because, "we want fresh faces in leadership. Over the past four or five years we’ve had a member resurgence. It’s a cyclical situation and we’ve been at the peak of that cycle for awhile."

She said, "I’m still interested in being involved in agriculture, its challenges and issues. We’re in a difficult state for agriculture because of regulations, water and other issues."

Veenstra pointed out that the San Joaquin Farm Bureau’s board of directors has "12 or 13 YF&R members. The SJFB board is very accepting of us and youth in general and we have direct input into Farm Bureau and agriculture."

Veenstra said these experiences and positive participation in various competitions serve her well as marketing director of GloriAnn Farms of Tracy, a sweet corn grower and processor. While she isn’t a farmer per se she is an active agriculturist between the ages of 18 and 35 who is "involved in production, business and many other areas of agriculture," according to the YF&R.

In some business areas, Veenstra would probably be considered the exception but in agriculture, the county YF&R and in the California Farm Bureau Federation, she’s considered to be the norm and that in itself is a great honor.