By Assemblymember Marie Waldron
With its $46 billion agricultural economy, California is the most productive farm state in the nation. Agriculture is vital for California, and women farmers are central to the continued viability of this critical sector of our economy, including within this region. California’s 40,000 women farmers manage 9.5 million acres with an economic impact of $1.6 billion.
According to Julie Walker, the San Diego County Farm Bureau’s Farmer of the Year for 2017, 30% of all San Diego County farms are operated by women, and with over 14% of the nation’s agricultural exports originating in this state, their impact extends worldwide.
Organizations like California Women for Agriculture (CWA), established in 1975 in the Coachella Valley, support California agriculture through public education and advocacy. Having 20 chapters and more than 1,600 members statewide, CWA, one of the most active all-volunteer agricultural organizations in California, actively engages with the Legislature.
In their own words, the San Diego Chapter of CWA “is a diverse group of women working to protect our local farms. We believe in the economic vitality of agriculture, the food security and freshness that local agriculture provides…”.
Our local San Diego County Farm Bureau, CA Farm Bureau and California Women in Agriculture are important advocates when contentious issues that significantly impact agriculture, including statewide water policies, natural resource conservation, transportation, labor, energy costs, etc. are discussed by policymakers in Sacramento.
California’s agriculture industry must be supported and sustained. As an elected representative from one of the state’s major farm regions, I continue to work with organizations like California Women for Agriculture, and the San Diego, Riverside and California Farm Bureaus as the Legislature develops policies impacting this critical industry. To learn more about CA Women for Agriculture, visit their website at http://cawomen4ag.com/
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.