"Young migratory mother, originally from Texas. On the day before the photograph was made she and her husband traveled 35 miles each way to pick peas. They worked 5 hours each and together earned $2.25. They have two young children . . . Live in auto camp." - at Edison in Kern County California - April 11, 1940
Credit Dorothea Lange / National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics
A group of artists is gearing up for a cross-country road trip that will end in California. It's part of a project to mark the 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath." Steve Milne reports.
The trip starts Friday in Oklahoma, retracing the path the Joad family took along Route 66 in "The Grapes of Wrath" with stops in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.
California lawmakers are taking a closer look at two new water bond proposals that would replace the measure currently set for next November’s ballot. Ben Adler has more from Sacramento on Tuesday’s committee hearing at the Capitol.
One of the two alternative water bond proposals comes from Senator Lois Wolk and focuses on restoring the area she represents: the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
In the small Kern County community of Tupman, the 2013 pistachio harvest is well underway.
Chris Romanini's family has been farming this land, just west of Interstate 5, where the valley's fields meet the Elk Hills for decades.
It's probably not the first place you'd think of when it comes to the effort to reduce CO2 emissions and combat global warming. But just a few hundred yards away from this orchard, plans for a $4 billion power plant and fertilizer factory could soon make the Tupman area known for a lot more than those pistachios.
Throughout Central California those who work in the citrus industry are on edge. A tiny insect, no larger than an aphid, is threatening the future of the state’s billion dollar citrus crop.
It’s known as the Asian Citrus Psyllid.
“It looks kind of like an aphid, only with a harder body, and a little bit browner," says Beth Grafton-Cardwell, an entomology specialist with the University of California at the Lindcove Research Center just west of Visalia.
Cattle rustling or crop raiding might seem like a relic of the Wild West, but in the San Joaquin Valley surrounding foothills, cattle theft is on the rise. So much so that it's inspired a new bill by a local legislator that passed the Senate earlier this week. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra Romero reports on the Livestock Theft Prevention Act.
A bill that would beef up fines for stealing livestock passed through the Senate Tuesday with unanimous, bi-partisan support. The bill would establish a $5,000 fine for anyone convicted of livestock theft.
As the House and Senate continue to struggle to find common ground on the issue of immigration reform, one University of California, Berkeley professor is working to bring new insights into a significant group of undocumented immigrants here in California and throughout the west – those who pick the food we eat every day.
Farmers in the San Joaquin Valley are embracing a nationwide trend: America's newfound love affair with food culture.
You see it everyday on television, at the farmers market, and on thousands of “foodie” blogs online. There are heirloom tomatoes at the local store, artisanal cheeses, and grass-fed beef, all with a focus on quality over quantity.
And in the process, something interesting is happening - farming is actually becoming cool.
This week on Valley Edition we take a look at what we are calling "Alt. Farmers."
In a region where big agriculture is big business, a new generation of farmers is challenging our notion of what life on the farm is all about. These socially conscious, technology savvy boutique growers and ranchers are going beyond organic to embrace the latest trends in food and popular culture.
The California Assembly has approved a bill that would make it easier for farm workers to obtain union contracts with their employers. As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the measure passed Monday with the bare minimum votes needed – despite strong opposition from growers.
It’s not just farmers who are taking part in this new trend that is reshaping agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley. It’s also consumers. From pop-up “farm to fork” meals to acclaimed local chefs perusing the goods at a rapidly increasing number of local farmers markets, our relationships, our food and those who grow it are changing. And even in an area where fast food and chain restaurants are king, eating local is proving to be more than just a trend for many Valley residents.
Chris Shakelford is on a quest for perfect produce.
A new generation of farmers is challenging our idea of what it means to work in agriculture in the Central Valley. Two special Valley Edition reports examine who these modern farmers are, and how they're connecting with the burgeoning, nationwide interest in boutique culture.
In this audio postcard, 30-year-old Allen Mesick introduces us to Eureka Mohair Farm in Tollhouse, where he and his partner Randy Shumaker raise Angora goats for mohair.
Kerman farmer Paul Betancourt says it's time to Californians to abandon that idea that a healthy environment and a healthy agriculture economy can't co-exist. His new book "Ten Reasons: Finding Balance on Environmental Issues" seeks to find solutions that are both economically practical and environmentally beneficial.
Dole Food, which operates several packing and storage facilities in the San Joaquin Valley has agreed to a buyout offer from its CEO David Murdock. Dole's Packaged Foods division operates a plant in Atwater. The company also has facilities in Terra Bella and Bakersfield.
Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images Dole Food Company Inc. has evolved from a Hawaiian pineapple purveyor into the world's largest producer of fresh fruit and vegetables. Dole's board has accepted an offer from CEO David Murdock and his family are offering to buy the business and take it private.
Bakersfield-based produce grower and packer Sun World International has been acquired by Renewable Resources Group, a Los Angeles-based asset management firm.
Terms of the sale, which closed on August 9, were not disclosed. Sun World grows, packs and markets a variety of agricultural products ranging from grapes and stonefruit to vegetables.
Sun World began operation in 1976, and had been owned since 2005 by Black Diamond Capital Management, a Connecticut-based investment firm. Black Diamond purchased Sun World assets at a bankruptcy auction for $127.8 million.
For the second year in a row, California farmers are complaining of a worker shortage. Ben Adler reports from Sacramento on how the state’s $43.5 billion agriculture industry is feeling the squeeze – and how consumers might, too.
Last year, nearly two-thirds of farmers in a California Farm Bureau Federation survey said they didn’t have enough workers to pick their crops. This year, says the Farm Bureau’s Brian Little, it’s a problem again. For farmers, that means…
For decades, millions of fish have been diverted from pumping facilities at state and federal water projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Fish -- including endangered species like the Delta smelt-- are put in holding tanks then trucked to other parts of the Delta and released. From there, little is known about their fate. But most scientists agree it’s not good. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, predator fish often wait for what amounts to a daily feeding.