Califonia Bountiful

Look who’s reading California Country!

July/Aug. 2009 California Country magazine

Young farmers and ranchers across the nation learn about the bounty of the Golden State from California Country.

Steve McShane has a passion for agriculture—especially when it comes to California agriculture. So when he had the opportunity to share his passion with a national audience, he ran with it.

McShane is owner and general manager of McShane’s Nursery & Landscape Supply in Salinas ( He’s also a member of the Young Farmers and Ranchers organization (, which provides training, support and resources for young men and women to become leaders in agriculture.

In the spring of 2007 McShane was named to the Young Farmers and Ranchers’ national committee, connecting with similarly enthusiastic agriculturalists from across America.

“It could not have been a more exciting experience,” McShane said. “Almost immediately, I came to find out that most of the country was not well acquainted with the diversity of California agriculture. I found myself a continuous ambassador on everything from artichokes and dates to olive oil.”

While agricultural production can be fairly limited in some states, California’s farmers and ranchers grow an astounding 350 different commodities. And, McShane figured, what better way to teach his fellow committee members about the bounty of the Golden State than to arrange for complimentary subscriptions to California Country magazine?

“Almost immediately they were hooked, as the feedback was fantastic. Soon they came to love California more and more,” he said.

And then the fun began. One farmer from South Dakota found it amusing to pose for a photo during spring snowstorm. Before long, other committee members followed suit in a variety of situations—with locations ranging from a Utah cattle ranch and an Iowa hog farm to a Maine sugarhouse.

Newborn Hadley Jean Hill of Greenfield, Ind., is most likely California Country's youngest reader. She and proud dad Marc Hill, a hog farmer, pose for a photo that is one of about a dozen submitted by members of Young Farmers and Ranchers.


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