More than 14 percent of the nation’s agricultural exports come from California. The state produces over one-third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the fruits and nuts. Contrary to what many people in Northern California may think much of California’s abundance originates from Southern California.
The farms and farmers here are unique in many ways. First of all, this area has the second highest number of farms in the entire United States with women as the principal operator.
According to Julie Walker, past president of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, current board member and adviser to the executive committee, “30 percent of all San Diego County farms are operated by women.”
From vegetables supplied to local restaurants, to growing cut flowers, managing groves and vineyards, women are involved at all levels of local agriculture. California’s 40,000 women farmers have an economic impact of $1.6 billion, generated by farms covering 9.5 million acres.
San Diego also has more small family farms and more part-time farmers than any other county in the nation, with the county’s crops ranked 12th in total value among the nation’s 3,000 counties. San Diego County is the No. 1 producer of avocados and nursery crops. The county ranks third in honey production, fifth in lemons, ninth in strawberries and 10th in egg-laying hens.
In order to make sure California agriculture continues to thrive, I have written several bills to provide reliable and affordable supplies of water, including bills for construction and expansion of water storage facilities and the use of treated wastewater for irrigation. As an elected representative from one of this state’s leading farm regions, I will continue to do all I can to support this important sector of the economy.
Minority Floor Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.