Traditionally, migrant farm workers have harvested much of our nation's agricultural products. However, recently, crops are rotting in California fields because migrant farm workers are being arrested by Border Patrol agents on their jobs. One farmer whom was interviewed mentioned the shortage of such workers, and Congress' lack of provisions for migrant farm workers. He desperately needs them because this year's has produced bountifully, the lack of workers to pick it is making it all go to waste. He is considering cutting down all his 150 year old trees and planting hay... a crop that doesn't need hands.
...in 2004 contributed $32 billion in direct farm sales
...is the world's 5th largest food supplier
...produces 99% of America's supply of
- 2)clingstone peaches,
- 6)sweet rice,
- 8)dried plums,
- 12) seed & ladino clover
...livestock & poultry account for $8.62 billion (27% of California's Gross Cash Income in '04
...fruits & nuts $9.66 billion - 30%
...vegetables & melons - $7.28 billion - 23%
...nursery & floriculture - $3.31 billion - 11%
...has 77,000 farms & ranches (less than 4% of national total, but accounts for 13% of value from direct farm sales)
...top CA commodities -
- 1)milk & cream,
- 5)cattle & calves,
Fresno county alone, if compared with the value of commodities in other states, would rank above 22 other states.
...exports agricultural products to 150 countries, with the European Union, Canada, Japan & Mexico accounting for 66% of the total
...employs 450,000 migrant farm workers
(facts from California Department of Food and Agriculture)
Using less than one percent of the world’s agricultural workforce, U.S. farmers and ranchers now produce nearly one-quarter of the world’s food supply. Agricultural research is an exceptional investment: the U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated a 20 percent annual rate of return on public investment in agricultural research and, at the University of California, researchers generate an additional $4 for every $1 in state funding. California is home to more than one-quarter of the biotechnology industry in the U.S. One in four U.S. biotech firms is within 35 miles of a University of California campus, and one in six was started by a UC scientist. Within the state, one in three biotech companies was founded by a UC scientist; of these, 85% employ UC graduates with advanced degrees.
(from address to China Agricultural Univeristy by University of California System Chancellor France A. Córdova)