YF&R profile: Dan and Meghan Dresselhaus
YF&R provides 'a great support system' for young family
For Dan and Meghan Dresselhaus of Lake Arrowhead, careers that support agriculture and protect open space sustain their ultimate plans to work in production agriculture while raising their family.
To reach their goals for a successful future, the San Bernardino County couple stays active in the California Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers program, to network with others facing the same challenges and opportunities.
"YF&R is a great support system. A lot of people are in the same spot as Dan and I. Maybe they want to eventually get back into production agriculture, but at this point it just isn't possible," Meghan Dresselhaus said. "We can't wait for an opportunity. We are going to take what we have and go with it, and it is nice to see that we aren't alone in that."
Dan and Meghan Dresselhaus hold sons Wes and Carver near their Lake Arrowhead home.
While her family's Kern County cattle ranch remains in operation, at the moment there is not sufficient income to sustain another family, so the Dresselhauses are taking charge of their own destiny, while connecting with their fellow YF&R members.
"YF&R represents far more than agriculture, but a set of values and ideals, which are family, friends, honesty, integrity, independence and hard work," Dan Dresselhaus said. "These are universals that all people can share in, regardless of their background. While agriculture is what brings everyone together, the quality of people is what keeps everyone together."
Meghan, who serves on this year's YF&R State Committee, first joined YF&R to participate in the group's Discussion Meet for a chance at winning the top prize: the Dodge pickup truck. Her performance earned her a spot among the final four on four separate occasions and in 2009, she won.
After four years of placing high in the California Farm Bureau Federation YF&R Discussion Meet, Meghan Dresselhaus won the competition at the 2009 CFBF Annual Meeting in Anaheim, and was presented the keys to a new truck by Dodge representative Eric Munk.
Though not raised on a farm, Dan grew up in a rural community in San Diego County, where he participated in 4-H and FFA. He later attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he met Meghan. He now works as a forester for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, after having earned a bachelor's degree in Forestry and Natural Resources.
Meghan, who handles membership support for Master Nursery Garden Centers, holds a master's degree in Agricultural Science and Animal Science. Now married for three years, the Dresselhauses work to balance their careers while caring for their two sons—Carver, 2, and Wes, 6 months.
"There are only so many hours in a day, so you have to prioritize what's important. There is a certain set of values that we hold and share, and we pursue it," Dan Dresselhaus said. "We work hard to provide for our family, without losing sight of the ultimate goal—family. The other and most important factor is finding a partner that not only shares that view, but helps you achieve it."