Sunday, June 20, 2021

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The California You May Not Know

July-2013-Food-For-Thought

I might be biased, but I just LOVE California.  My 25 minute drive to work passes at least a dozen different agriculture crops.  The best part is that I get to watch the complete life cycle of these crops as the seasons change.

MELISSA GREEN Thought for the day: Livestock grazing converts plants that we cannot eat into a nutrient-dense food source.
MELISSA GREEN
Colusa County is ranked 16, out of 58, in California for the value of its agricultural production.

I will freely admit that I am partial to California.  But I have lived in another state, so that makes my stance stronger.  Right?  I love to brag about our great state.  Through my travels,I was always disappointed to find that few people knew about California’s vast agriculture industry.  So, I started to arm myself with CA fun facts to blow them away.  After all, we are not just about beaches, perfect tans and Hollywood.  Here are some fun facts in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation. 

Did you know that California produces more than 400 crops?  Way to go farmers!  In fact, some of our crops are ONLY produced in California.  Now that’s impressive.  Can you guess what some of those ‘only in CA’ products are?  USDA reports almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, raisins, olives, pistachios, and walnuts, just to name a few!

California is the nation’s top agricultural state.  It has been #1 for over 50 years!  Have any guesses as to what our top five commodities are?  Milk and cream, shelled almonds, grapes, cattle, and nursery plants are at the top of California’s list.  With all that milk and cream production, California is also the #1 dairy state.  Hence the “Happy Cows Come from California” commercials.  How about the fact that half of the nation’s fruits, vegetables and nuts are grown in our Golden State. 

As much as I love my agriculture producing state, I am extra partial to Northern California.  While on a drive with my dad, he points out all of the different crops.  We’ve been doing this for years, and I take pride in being able to identify our local crops.  Would you be able to identify the top crops in Colusa County?  Most of these products are currently in harvest.  The county’s top five crops are rice, almonds, vegetable seeds, processing tomatoes, and rice seed. 

When I tell strangers that I am from California, they occasionally ask if I surf to school.  True story.  I hope you are equally as proud of California’s agriculture industry.  And now we all know some fun agriculture facts.  Share your California ag pride by striking up a conversation on the bus, at dinner or over coffee. 

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