CDFA board seeks to grow crop appeal at World Ag Expo

As 80% of all almonds grown in the world come from California, Tulare County accounts for 5% of the world's almond production.(vivekFx on AdobeStock)

The California Department of Food and Agriculture advances initiative to increase sales of California crops at World Ag Expo

TULARE – Often hailed as the “fruit basket of the world,” California contributes approximately 20% of the nation’s agricultural production, with the Central Valley housing nine out of the top 10 most productive counties, with Tulare County taking the lead.

And at the World Ag Expo this week the board for the California Department of Food and Ag is looking to take these successes beyond the state’s borders by making California crop production more competitive on the world market.

On Feb. 13, the CDFA will meet to discuss the Specialty Crop Competitiveness initiative, which was approved last November. The initiative seeks to enhance statewide productivity and expand on global marketplaces for crops grown in California.

The World Ag Expo is an opportunity to showcase the future of farming, technology and education for the next generation of farmers who will carry on the historical legacy of the region.

“I’m looking forward to attending the World Ag Expo and hosting the board meeting at the largest agricultural event in the state,” said President Don Cameron, California State Board of Food and Agriculture, via press release. “It is important not only to hear from farmers and ranchers attending the event but also see the technology and equipment that is driving the future of California’s agricultural production forward.”

The World Ag Expo opens on Feb. 13 and runs through Feb. 15. It is the largest agricultural expo in the world and draws more than 100,000 visitors each year. The latest initiative from the CDFA is sure to provide opportunities to continue expanding Tulare County farming and propel the California almond to the international fame of the California Raisin.

The most profitable cash crop in California is almonds. Almonds have gotten a bad reputation in the last several years as a crop that takes much more water than any other comparable crop. At the same time, 80% of all of the almonds grown in the world come from California. The reason is fairly simple; almond trees require a specific climate to grow, and there are just five places on Earth that offer the right climate for almonds. Tulare County accounts for 5% of the world’s almond production and is ideally suited for bumper crops, even in years when the climate challenges farmers.

The University of California, Agriculture Issues Center, claims that almond production in the state accounts for 110,000 jobs and generates $9.2 billion for the state.

California almond growers even recently partnered with former NFL star Dion Sanders to promote the health and nutritional benefits of the California almond. Sanders and the Almond Growers Association declared the day after the Super Bowl as “National Recovery Day,” touting the elements of eating almonds as a “Prime” way to get back to real life after the big game.

“You need to know the importance of putting in the work all year round so you can own your ‘PRIME’,” said Sanders. “That’s why California Almonds and I are declaring the day after the Big Game ‘National Recover Day’, so everyone can take their offseason to the next level. As soon as the clock stops, it’s time to get ready for the next game, which is why I recover with almonds. The grind doesn’t stop.”

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