Celebrating California Agriculture

California is the country’s leading agricultural state. In recognition of the importance of agriculture to our economy, ceremonies recognizing Ag Day were held at the State Capitol March 19th.

California has over 83,000 farms and ranches, 4 percent of the nation’s total. But we produce over one third of the country’s vegetables and almost three-quarters of the country’s fruits and nuts. San Diego County plays a big part. From cattle grazing on East County hillsides, to avocado and citrus groves in Pauma Valley and Fallbrook, much of that agriculture is located right here in the 75th Assembly District. According to the San Diego County Farm Bureau, San Diego’s farm economy is the 13th largest in California. We rank 1st in nursery crops, 5th in horticulture, 9th in strawberries and 10th in egg-laying hens. We also have the largest number of part-time farmers and the second largest number of farms run by women.

Agriculture has other benefits as well. These include Agritourism, a growing industry throughout the state (click here). San Diego County is home to 2 American Viticultural Areas, located in the San Pasqual Valley and Ramona. Wineries scattered across much of the county draw tourists and locals alike, a major boost for our local economy.

As I learned while serving on the Escondido City Council, agriculture contributes to public safety. The city’s northern and eastern perimeter is ringed with well-irrigated citrus and avocado groves, which over the years have helped limit the spread of wildfires. And since locally grown food can be a healthy lifestyle choice, we’re fortunate to have farmer’s markets throughout the region (click here). Agriculture also benefits the environment, with millions of plants and trees that help clean the air.

We must do all we can to ensure that California agriculture flourishes. As your Assembly representative, I will do everything possible to support our irreplaceable agriculture industry.