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"I would rather attempt something great and fail. Than to do nothing at all and succeed"

Thursday, April 7, 2011

California - The Salad Bowl of the US

Hey All, Sorry bout the break in blogs, here's what I have been up to.

Well we said goodbye to Mexico after a terrific three-hour drive from Obregon to Hermissilo. We then flew into LAX's and transferred to a smaller aircraft and connected to Fresno, California.  We visited with numerous farming operations throughout California's salad bowl.  We started with an overview of the Westlands Water District and discussed some of the issues affecting irrigation.  Our next stop was the perfect example of an extensively intergrated farming operation at the Terranova Ranch; It generates produce from more than 25 different trees and crops, as well as having a dairy and a chicken farm; which receives the majority of the propertys' bioproduct and waste.  We also checked out the Harris Woolf Almond processing facility which is the industry leader in almond production. 
Almonds are California's largest agricultural industry; in area and dollar value.  We had lunch with John Harris who is part owner of Harris Woolf almonds and after a short drive down the road from the processing facility it was clear John hasn't limited himself just to almonds. He also owns a 100,000 head feedlot and he owns a resort and also a resturant with a service station and RV hook up on the edge of one of his many properties.  The majority of the food on the menu is sourced from his many farming operations. 

Next we drove through the Tulare Lake Bed and visited with JG Boswell companies manager Gary Lindley.  Gary gave us a running commentary of the history surrounding the "lake bed" and the vision JG Boswell had so many years ago in turning the bottom of a massive lake into one of the richest farming districts in California. 
Above is a photo of one of three lay down areas for equipment on the Corcoran Ranch. The JG Boswell company are still facing challenges with the capture, control and distribution of the water throughout their irrgation channels. 

We drove the Salinas Valley to Marina visiting with Rabo Bank, the Monterey Co Water Treatment Plant and an owner operated Dairy Farm. Owner Mike van der Husen gave us a guided tour of his operation.
5000 head of cows are milked twice a day running a 24/7 operation.

Then onto Sacramento where I had some wheelchair issues; but it didn't take us long to source a mobility  supplier to get me on the road again.  From there, onto another plane with a direct flight from San Francisco to Toronto Canada along the way we caught a glimpse of the remarkable Rocky Mountains.
Califormia truely is the salad bowl of the US and to compliment the level of production in all forms of agriculture is their ability to add value to their businesses by utilising all waste products and the intense research behind their water resources. 

Catch You Later - Rob

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