The Kern County Farm Bureau (KCFB) recently announced that Kern County has earned the number one spot in terms of agricultural production for the very first time with a value of $7.19 billion. Tulare County, which is frequently the top performing county, came in at $6.37 billion, followed by Fresno County at $6.18 billion.
Kern County growers are responsible for the production of more than 300 different commodities. Three of the top ten private companies for job production, who provide job opportunities in food processing plants, also call Kern County home.
The most lucrative commodities for Kern County this year are grapes, almonds, citrus, pistachios, and dairy. When combined, these products represent 60 percent of the total value. Pistachios are a new addition to the Top Five list, climbing from the number 7 spot to the number 4 this year. Cherries saw the biggest improvement overall from last year, moving up from number 19 to number 9.
Taking the top spot for the first time this year is especially meaningful for an area in which one in five jobs is directly or indirectly linked to agriculture. When the region’s ag industry thrives, the entire community is impacted by that success.
KCFB hopes to use the time in the spotlight as a means to better advocate on behalf of agriculture and bring awareness to farm issues, particularly the cost of production. Being the biggest agricultural producer in the country is quite an achievement, but KCFB notes that it also comes with a responsibility to those who contributed to that accomplishment.