California Agriculture Absent from State of the State

Brian GermanAgri-Business

state of the state

Governor Gavin Newsom’s State of the State address on Wednesday morning touched on a multitude of topics that need addressing in California, but noticeably absent was any mention of the state’s agriculture industry.  Governor Newsom highlighted several priorities for the state to focus on over the course of the year, with an emphasis on working to reduce homelessness.

The Governor opened his State of the State address highlighting the value of the California economy, saying that the state was “leading the country, inventing the future and inspiring the nation.”    While the California Community Colleges’ Centers of Excellence, in cooperation with the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, conservatively measured California’s working landscapes as accounting for more than $333 billion in earnings and 1.5 million jobs in 2018, the agricultural industry was left out as Newsom touted the strength of the California economy.

“We remain the fifth largest economy in the world, enjoying 118 consecutive months of net job growth, some 3.4 million jobs have been created since the Great Recession,” said Newsom.  “California is the rocket fuel powering America’s resurgence that, let me be clear, began under President Barack Obama.”

Newsom went on to highlight the achievements of developing wildfire initiatives, making healthcare advances, offering family tax credits, and improving air quality programs.  The Governor described California as an “enterprising, modernizing, pluralizing, unionizing nation-state of opportunity,” while only referencing the needs and issues of rural communities in relation to homelessness.  The Central Valley was mentioned as getting “the attention it deserves” in terms of addressing drinking water issues, but nothing about the six counties who are the leading agricultural producers in the entire country.

The address was primarily focused on the initiatives Governor Newsom intended to implement to address the problem of homelessness in California.  There was no mention of how the state intends to regulate or prioritize water supplies.  The address also omitted any discussion on the biological opinions and how those were going to be addressed moving forward.  There was also an absence of any information as to how the Governor’s water portfolio initiative was taking shape.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West