The Agribusiness industry cluster includes establishments primarily engaged in growing crops, raising animals, and manufacturing food and beverages, as well as support activities for crop and animal production. Tulare County lists in the top 3 of the nation’s top ten agricultural producing counties and located in the highest producing region in the country for agricultural production. The Agribusiness sector distinguishes three basic activities: Agricultural production, agricultural support activities, and value-added agriculture.
- Agricultural production includes establishments performing the complete farm or ranch operation, such as farm owner-operators and tenant farm operators.
- Agricultural support activities include establishments that perform one or more activities associated with farm operation, such as soil preparation, planting, harvesting, and management, on a contract or fee basis.
- Value-added agriculture is defined as the transformation of agricultural products to a higher value for the end consumer, examples can be seen when milk is processed into cheese, butter or ice cream or when oranges are used in the production of juice or flavorings and grapes are turned into wine.
There is a very high degree of cross-over between value-added agriculture and advanced manufacturing. Clean-label ingredients are driving the market from growing to packaging, all done locally. 1 in every 5 jobs in the central California region is related to agriculture: 337,000 in Ag Production and 222,500 in Ag Processing. Examples of in demand entry-level and middle skills jobs include agriculture and food processing technicians, maintenance mechanics, quality control inspectors, farm machinery mechanics and bi-lingual supervisors. There is a very high degree of cross-over between value-added agriculture and advanced manufacturing.
- Regional job concentration for Food Processing is 3.94 times the national job concentration. In other words, there are 294% more jobs in Food Processing in this region than we would expect to find in the average region.
- Cost of food processing labor in the region is $70,000, which is below the state average.
- On average each year, community colleges in the region confer 125 certificates and 233 degrees related to agriculture, water and food processing
Tulare County 2019 Crop Report
Tulare County’s agricultural strength is based on the diversity of the crops produced. The 2019 crop report covers more than 120 different commodities, 44 of which have a gross value in excess of $1,000,000. Tulare County continues to produce high-quality crops that provide food and fiber to more than 96 countries throughout the world.
- Tulare County’s total gross production value for 2019 is $7.5 Billion. This represents an increase of 4.0% above 2018’s value of $7.2 Billion.
- Milk continues to be the leading agricultural commodity in Tulare County; with a gross value of $1.6 Billion. Milk represents 21.5% of the total crop and livestock value for 2019.
- Oranges – Navels & Valencia’s, rank #2 in total value at $919 Million followed by Grapes at $802 Million in 2019.