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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

We're number one!

We're number one, we're number one!!


Every year towards the end of summer, the county Agriculture Commissioner offices release the crop reports for the previous year. The crop report is a compiling of the acreage, yield and gross values for the crops grown within the county. In California, the central valley eagerly awaits these numbers. But why? One reason, to see who is number one.


You have to understand something in California. We grow food to feed the world. The food we grow here, is not only consumed in our backyards and in our state, but the food we grow is shipped across the country and world. Our crop reports show us who grows the most. And because, we grow food for the state, nation and world we want to know who in California is the number one. In the Central Valley we are the heavy producers. Between Kern, Fresno and Tulare County the crop value is over $19 billion!


So when the 2016 Kern County Crop Report came out, everyone wanted to know, who would be number one. Kern County's crop value alone is nearly $7.2 billion. Now that's an impressive number. And between the three counties, Kern was the only county to see an increase from the year before.


Now what do these numbers mean? Well let me tell you, this doesn't mean the farmers in the county took home this much money. This is gross value of agriculture production. This doesn't include the cost of farming; water, labor, equipment, fuel, regulations, fees, fertilizers, etc. There is a lot that goes into making food, and none of that is covered here. We must remember that in California our water, if you have any, is very expensive. We have the highest minimum wage in the country and we are heavily regulated in doing business in this state. All these factors, make it very hard to farm in California, yet we do it. Don't ask me how, that is a whole other topic.


Needless to say though, I am proud to live and farm in a county that has the abilities, besides all its obstacles, to produce so much food. One in five jobs is directly or indirectly linked to agriculture production. I think people lose touch with this number. From the grocery store clerk, the truck driver, the produce broker, the field worker and the farmer there are so many hands that go into getting your food on your table.


So just how does Kern County and the rest of the central valley rank up?




Kern — $7.19 Billion
Tulare — $6.37 Billion
Fresno — $6.18 Billion


For the first time, Kern County is the number one agriculture producing county in the state and nation. We grow 40% of the states pistachios and 20% of the country's almonds. We grow more grapes or almonds than other counties total agriculture production.


I am proud to live and farm in Kern County. For the past several years, we suffered from a detrimental drought that cost us water, land, labor, farms and so much more. To have overcome such a lose and to come out on top shows that we are a strong county. Farmers and ranchers are tough. We know how to make more with less. We have had to grow more with less resources and we have done it well. So well, we are now number one.


Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

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