Fresno County has now officially become the top agricultural county in California and the U.S. for the first since 2013 after the release of Tulare County’s 2018 Crop and Livestock Report. Kern County had led the country at the top agricultural county for agricultural sales in 2017, with Fresno County coming in third in terms of production. Although Tulare County ag sales increased 2.5 percent from 2017, both Kern and Fresno counties had even larger sales numbers.
“While Fresno County jubilantly celebrates regaining the honor as the nation’s number one agricultural county, the major takeaway is that we are once again reminded that this region is exceptional when it comes to food production,” said Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen. “Fresno County lies in the heart of this production and proudly serves as the food capital of the nation.”
Fresno County had more than $7.88 billion in ag sales for 2018, followed by Kern County at $7.46 billion, with Tulare County coming in third with $7.21 billion. While not all of the 2018 data has been officially tallied for agricultural sales throughout the U.S., Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties have traditionally led the nation in ag production. California as a whole has nearly all of the top ten agricultural counties in the U.S.
“A significant amount of the nation’s plate originates right here in our backyard,” said Jacobsen. “My job, as well as hundreds of thousands throughout the Valley and state, depends on agriculture. California’s farmers and ranchers are amazingly productive, as well as the caretakers of over 24.5 million acres in the state.”
Fresno County was routinely the most successful county for agricultural production until 2014. Since then, Tulare and Kern counties have rotated at the top ag producing county. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, one-third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts are produced in California.