Originally from South Carolina, grandfather to the current owners of Kern Machinery, Bill Camp, working for USDA, moved to California to introduce cotton production to the region in 1917.
He started his own cotton farm in Kern County in 1936. Development of the California Aqueduct brought water and agriculture to Kern and Tulare Counties, at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley.
In response to the developing agricultural opportunities, Bill’s son, Don, opened a John Deere equipment dealership 1969. Today, the fourth generation is involved in the business.
We sat down with second generation owner Clayton Camp, along with his son Clay Camp and his daughter Katie Camp Panici during World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif.
“It's doing good business today, but with an eye to the future on how do we need to be changing, what are the preparations, and bringing along the next generation whether it's these or others … we need youth. We need brighter ideas and the old guard needs to in some cases, get out of the way,” says Clayton Camp on what lies ahead for Kern Machinery.
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