Assemblymember Marie Waldron
California is the country’s leading agricultural state, followed by Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and Kansas. This year, March 21 was declared AG Day in the State Capitol to help recognize the vital contributions of agriculture to the state’s economy.
According to the Department of Agriculture, California has 69,000 farms. Those farms lead the nation in production of avocados, grapes, lemons, melons, peaches and strawberries, and only Florida produces more oranges. After Texas, we are the second-largest producer of livestock products.
Much of that bounty lies right here in the 75th Assembly District, which I am proud to represent in Sacramento. According to the San Diego County Farm Bureau, our farm economy is the 19th largest out of more than 3,000 U.S. counties.
We are number 1 in nursery crops and avocados, number 2 in guavas, pomegranates, limes and macadamias. We’re fifth in lemons, ninth in strawberries and 10th in egg laying hens. Our 5,000 farmers tend over 250,000 acres, and we have more small farms (under 10 acres) than any county in the nation. We also rank second in farms with women as the principal operator.
According to the 2021 Crop Report, California’s worldwide farm exports are valued at $22.5 billion. Top state exports include dairy products, almonds, pistachios, wine and walnuts. In 2021, California farmers and ranchers received $51.1 billion for their output, a 3.6% increase over the previous year. California’s AG industry is a source of food for the nation and world – it’s a vital part the state’s overall economy.
Since agriculture is so important to California, we must do all we can to keep it flourishing, including providing reliable and affordable sources of water. I am a member of the Bipartisan Rural Caucus, a group of legislators working to achieve consensus on issues facing California’s rural/agricultural areas. I will continue to do everything possible to support our irreplaceable agriculture industry.