How to Support Agriculture in the Central Valley
If you’ve lived the Central Valley for any amount of time, you know that the bread and butter of the Valley is agriculture. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the Central Valley produces 8% of our nation’s agricultural output and California is the nation’s sole exporter of many crops including almonds, raisins and walnuts. Our local economy and culture are wrapped around agriculture, whether it be dairies, farms or ranches, so it’s important to come together as a community in support.
Probably the most obvious way to support agriculture in the Valley would be to buy local! Farmer’s markets or locally-owned grocery stores are great ways to buy local. Be friendly and ask about their business and what they produce. Also, be adventurous and buy fruits and vegetables that you might not normally try.
Attend ag-related events.
There are always ag-related events happening across the Central Valley, the most popular being the World Ag Expo in Tulare. This is a great event to attend as a starting point to learn more about farming and agriculture. Your local county fair also has lots of opportunities to learn about agriculture and what local farmers are doing and growing in your county.
Support your local FFA or 4-H.
Future Farmers of America and 4-H builds leadership skills in students, all while teaching them about different aspects of agriculture. You can support local students who are involved in these organizations by attending fairs or other events where they are showing animals or participating in competitions. You can also even donate financially to FFA or 4-H.
Teach your kids about agriculture.
Start ‘em young! When you are driving on the 99 and smell a dairy or see farmland, use it as an opportunity to talk to your kids about agriculture and farming. Explain that food that is grown right here feeds people around the world. Take them to the farmers market, county fair or even the World Ag Expo to see the farming equipment, animals and the different fruits and vegetables that are grown right in their backyard! As they get older, if they show interest in farming and agriculture, encourage them to get involved in 4-H or FFA.
Start gardening in your backyard.
Get a taste of what it’s like to be a farmer by starting a small garden in your backyard. Some easy things to start with are lettuce, tomatoes and carrots…you can grow your own salad!
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