Agriculture is a major industry for the Golden State. With 81,700 farms and ranches, California agriculture is nearly a $37.5 billion dollar industry that generates $100 billion in related economic activity.
This enormous achievement is possible through a combination of tradition and innovation that has secured California’s status as the most productive agricultural state for more than 50 years. Farmers and ranchers blend old-fashioned notions of patience and perseverance with cutting-edge technologies and advanced agricultural practices. The result is a highly adaptable and diverse industry encompassing more than 400 plant and animal commodities.
California's agricultural abundance is a reflection of the people who made the Golden State their home. In the process, they brought their agricultural heritage with them. Early California farmers and ranchers were the Spanish missionaries, followed by Mexicans, Japanese, Chinese and Russians. Today, nearly every nationality is represented in California agriculture.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture strives to support this tradition of innovation and agricultural diversity by working with private industry, academia and public sector agencies. These partnerships allow the department to adapt public policy to a rapidly changing industry – California agriculture.