In agriculture it is important to keep a steady foundation while also valuing innovation and improvement. New practices and technology have improved our efficiency. However, we are still built upon the rocks of hard work, family, tradition, and dedication to success. Multigenerational farms and ranches across our country are figuring out what it looks like to incorporate the next generations and what their roles will be.
Kambell Garrett, Idaho FFA Member and Senior at Homedale High School, shares with us what her role looks like on her family’s fifth-generation operation. Working at The Shed is part of her Agricultural Supervised Experience (SAE) along with selling market hogs at the Owyhee County Fair.
Garrett Ranches is located outside of Homedale, Idaho and often recognized by their beautifully rustic, white fruit-packing house. Kambell shares with us what Garrett Ranches’ foundation was built upon: their iconic shed. “Built in the 1930s, The Shed at Garrett Ranches was originally a fruit packing facility for prunes. It was hand-built with lumber and remodeled in the 40s and again in the 80s. Everyday, people come to visit the fruit stand to tell their stories of them working there and some even making lasting relationships. All fruit bushel baskets were hand-loaded, without a forklift, onto a truck that headed east or was taken to the railroad in Homedale to be shipped. Over the years, the fruit stand expanded its produce selection. We also used to sell fruit from outside on the porch but now people can come in and see the rustic wooden building. Today, we have around 250 acres of orchards and a small 2-acre garden.”
Kambell shares about her memories, “There are always things to do at the farm involving my cousins and I working together.” Overtime Kambell’s role on the farm has changed as she has gained leadership experience and developed her own set of skills. Kambell’s story beautifully orchestrates how supporting small businesses impacts lives. “Ever since I could remember I’ve been involved at the farm. I remember selling lemonade on the porch of The Shed with my sister in hopes to raise money for church camp.” Hands on education is shared between generations, “My grandpa started teaching his granddaughters to graft trees, creating new varieties from differing rootstock. We were constantly trapping gophers and testing new ways to protect trees from birds and bugs. Today, I sell our produce and learn new marketing techniques to advertise our farm’s fruit stand.”
As Kambell has taken on a larger role at The Shed, she has developed skills in marketing and communication, in addition to the importance of sharing how supporting local is important in our economy. “People purchase the fruits and vegetables we grow from my family’s orchards and garden and share it with their own families. Corporate companies distribute food from small businesses like my family’s which is why agriculture is so vital to keeping people fed. Coming to The Shed impacts the community because most people learn where their food is grown. By interacting with people who stop at The Shed, I’ve learned how to inform people about our produce and farming.”
In addition to her strong SAE project, Kambell is also a three-season athlete, actively involved in Tuff Club, National Honor Society, Student Council, Sources of Strength, Game Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 4-H and FFA.
As the last few weeks of harvest wrap up make your way to your local produce stand or visit the farmer market. The Shed will be open for three more weeks. During the upcoming holiday seasons buy local and support the families and companies who are the businesses sponsoring athletic teams, supporting charity events, and giving back in your local community.
You can kind find more information about Kambell’s family’s farm @theshedatgarrettranches on both Facebook and Instagram.