Tehama County Agricultural Commissioner Rick Gurrola says, "Agriculture is the number one industry in Tehama County. And a lot of northern California counties for that matter." And this past year has proven it's increasingly becoming more successful.
The 2010 Tehama County Crop Report issued earlier this week, shows the total gross value of agriculture production up nearly 25 percent from the year before. Making this the first time in history, Tehama's production value exceeds 200 million dollars. Tehama County Farm Bureau President and Walnut farmer, Sam Mudd says, "Consumers are realizing that California walnuts are a healthy food. You combine that awareness with a weaker dollar."
Which is what Tehama County Agriculture Commissioner Rick Gurrola says is the largest influential factor to these higher numbers. Commodities like almonds, walnuts, and olives being exported to 51 different countries. Gurrola says, "A lot of products are now marketed globally, so our exports are increasing and it certainly helps our local economy."
In 2010, the value of walnuts increased by about 28 percent, olives rebounded from the year before with a 181 percent increase, and almonds increased roughly 14 percent. And these increases will make a big impact on the local economy as well as production year after year.. "When agriculture does well, we have the resources to develop more land, increase production, hire more people, buy more tractors," Mudd says.
"It's going to fluctuate year to year, so as long as we can keep our larger commodities increasing and exports increasing. Then hopefully we'll continue to grow," Gurrola says.