#ThankAFarmer Today and Every Day
Amid a pandemic not seen in modern history, the federal Coronavirus Task Force in a memorandum and Governor Gavin Newsom in an executive order recognized agriculture as a critical part of the nation’s infrastructure, and a matter of national security.
On March 23, 2020, President Donald Trump celebrated the nation’s farmers, officially proclaiming March 24 National Agriculture Day. “As our Nation continues to face the unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, we pay tribute to the unbeatable strength of America’s agricultural producers as they once again answer the call to feed our country and the world,” stated the Presidential Proclamation. “On this National Agriculture Day, and now more than ever, we salute and honor the men and women who contribute daily to our national prosperity.”
Fortunately for Americans, the San Joaquin Valley of California has just the right combination of climate and soil for food production. Thanks to a thriving domestic agricultural industry, a strong supply chain, and dedicated farmers, we can rest easy knowing abundant, nutritious crops are possible, even during a global crisis. Just like farmers and workers who support farming across the nation, the agricultural community in Westlands is hard at work planting, tilling, irrigating and harvesting to bring crops to grocery store shelves.
March and April are prime planting months for our favorite summer crops like tomatoes, cantaloupes and peppers. Blossoms for almonds, cherries and apricots have gently fallen to the ground, pistachios closely behind, exposing new buds for nuts and fruit that will be used for almond milk, cherry pies and pistachio ice cream on hot July nights.
Garlic, another westside staple, is in its irrigation phase and will be ready to harvest by the end of summer. Garbanzo beans, a crop that has seen a surge in acreage planted the last few years, is growing steadily and will be harvested in July to make food staples, like hummus.
Lettuce planted in January and February is now being harvested and will continue through April. Tall stalks of asparagus, a perennial crop, have also entered the harvesting phase and will be in season through June.
As we band together during this time of uncertainty, one thing remains certain and unchanged – abundant, nutritious crops will continue to grow domestically thanks to our nation’s farmers and workers. Farmers in Westlands know the American people rely on them for health and a secure source of food. Westlands is proud to serve the agricultural community, who proudly serve all of us, and we thank them.