A different take on the High-Speed Rail

 

It is no surprise to those of us that live in the Central Valley that Agriculture is what drives our economy. Consider these facts:

-Agriculture supports 1 in every 10 CA jobs

-In the San Joaquin Valley, 1 in every 5 jobs are directly related to Agriculture

-Fresno County leads the Nation in Agriculture production

-followed by Tulare County

 

The below article was published in The Business Journal:

California Dairy
Industry creates 3% of states jobs

Feb. 8th, 2010    

A study released by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) highlights the dairy industry’s impact on California’s economy, including the number of jobs and revenue generated from a typical dairy farm in one year.

In 2008, the latest year for which figures are available, California’s largest agriculture commodity was responsible for creating a total of 443,574 jobs and $63 billion in economic activity for the state.

The typical California dairy cow and farm stimulates a positive ripple effect throughout the state, according to the research conducted by J/D/G Consulting Inc., an independent dairy industry research firm based in Florida.

Specifically, a typical dairy farm in California generates $33.1 million in economic activity and 232 jobs in the state, including ‘on-the-farm’ and ‘beyond-the-farm’ jobs like milk tanker drivers, grocery store clerks, feed farmers and employees at milk processing and cheese plants, among others.

When compared to the impact of other notable California industries, the dairy industry provides more economic stimulus and jobs to the state yearly than either the iconic motion picture/television or wine industries. The most recent statistics available for these industries show that the motion picture/television industry contributes $35 billion and 208,230 jobs (2007) and the wine industry provides $59 billion and 330,000 jobs (2008).

“This research offers a perspective on how vital the dairy industry is to California with every dollar from production and sales of California milk contributing to the economy,” said Stan G. Andre, CEO of the CMAB. “In addition to providing one of the four food groups that feeds our local communities, a typical dairy cow generates more than $34,000 in economic activity and a herd of 100 cows creates 25 jobs for California residents each year.”

 

So why did we bring all this up? Because agriculture plays a vital role in not only the Central Valley’s economy but in CA’s economy and we need to remember this.

Because of the importance of agriculture we oppose the high-speed rail cutting through farm land. It runs the risk of destroying businesses; businesses that are already contributing to the San Joaquin Valley’s economy. The High-Speed Rail has yet to be able to show a solid argument that it will generate revenue for the state. Besides all this, the rail authority hasn’t been able to show a) how they will get the money (can’t rely heavily on Feds) to fund this project and b) it doesn’t seem that they’re committed to actually completing the rail.

Until California has a balanced budget and paid off its debts and the Rail Authority can prove that the High-Speed Rail won’t be a drain on the tax-payers it needs to be put on hold. There is no sense destroying businesses that are already generating jobs and revenue for the
state.

 

Here are a few of our resources:

http://www.tulcofb.org/index.php?page=agfacts

http://kcfb.org/ag_facts/

http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/agriculture/3861-california-dairy-industry-creates-3-of-states-jobs-