Having just returned from an ultra mega destination wedding in North Carolina, people (many from the south) attending the wedding festivities really did not understand why some relatives could not attend. I told them it was due to the importance of agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley. And that many in our family depend on agriculture for a living, and could not break away to attend this big event. Ag helped our family through college even though our Father was not a farmer.
So, let’s take a look at the statistics for 2018.
For the first time since 2013, Fresno County leads the nation in agricultural production. The county produces $7.9 billion worth of agriculture just ahead of our neighbors to the south, Kern County with $7.47 billion.
In other words, over ONE THIRD of our country’s vegetables, and TWO THIRDS of our country’s fruits and nuts are grown here in California! So, the Valley proudly serves as the food capital of the nation.
The largest money crop was almonds at $1.18 billion, followed by grapes at $1.1 billion. This was followed by pistachios ($862 million), poultry ($596 million), and garlic ($435 million). Crop diversity is also important, with over 300 different crops. Year after year, the Valley produces the highest quality food and fiber, both for our nation as well as 95 countries around the world!
Our family, mostly our Uncle and Grandfather, raised many crops, including grapes, peaches, plums, melons, strawberries, oranges, and nectarines.
So, whatever you do for a living, I know you need to eat. And chances are, you are eating food from the great central valley, our home.