Agriculture has long been at the heart of Kern County’s economy and recently, new emphasis has been placed on the economic benefits of “value-added” agriculture. Defined as the transformation of agricultural products to a higher value for the end consumer, examples can be seen when carrots are processed into smaller, “baby” carrots, or used in the production of vegetable juice. Locally-produced products like POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice, Wonderful Pistachios, Bunny-Luv Baby Carrots, and Halos Mandarins are well-known national brands.
In terms of overall employment, Kern County’s value-added agriculture industry is the largest and most significant sector. Over 55,000 people – 20% of Kern’s total workforce – are employed in this large industry sector.
In 2014, the gross value of all agricultural commodities produced in Kern County was over $7.5 billion. This represents a 12% increase from the 2013 crop value of $6.7 billion. Grapes, almonds, milk, citrus and cattle & calves, alone account for 78% of agriculture’s value, generating more than $5 billion. Value-added agriculture is an expanding industry that is highly specialized and concentrated with overall employment growth that outpaces most competitor counties. Click here for a copy of the 2014 Kern Ag Crop Report.
Support-service companies are an integral link in the value-added agricultural chain. For example, companies that manufacture bags or cartons for food processing would be considered “support service” companies in the value-added agricultural chain.
TOP 10 COMMODITIES IN KERN COUNTY
|Source: 2014 Kern County Agricultural Crop Report, released August 2015|
|2||Almonds, including by-products||$1,488,182,000|
|3||Milk, market & manufacturing||$915,124,000|
|4||Citrus, fresh & processing||$892,874,000|
|5||Cattle & Calves||$428,854,000|
|7||Carrots, fresh & processing||$288,063,000|
|9||Cotton, including processed cottonseed||$117,568,000|
|10||Pomegranates, Fresh & Processing||$87,313,000|
Kern County Agricultural Crops
Total Value Comparisons 2004-2014
Top 10 Countries for Kern County Ag Exports
Note: Destination countries ranked by number of Phytosanitary Certificates issued (listed greatest to least).
Top Commodities Exported from Kern County
Major Agriculture Companies in Kern County
- ASV Wines, Inc.
- Bidart Brothers
- Bolthouse Farms, Inc.
- Califia Farms
- Cal-Organic Farms
- Central Valley Almond Association
- CERTIS USA
- Crystal Geyser
- Delano Growers Grape
- Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream
- Famoso Nut Rio Bravo
- Farmers Cooperative Almond Huller, Inc.
- Frito-Lay, Inc
- Giumarra Vineyards Corporation
- Golden Empire Nut
- Golden State Vintners
- Grimmway Farms
- Johnston Farms
- Kern-Tulare Almond Processing
- Kern Ridge Growers
- Langer’s Juice
- Marko Zaninovich, Inc.
- Pacific Almonds Processing
- Palm LLC
- Pandol & Sons
- Panoche Creek Packing
- Paramount Citrus
- Paramount Farms
- Production Pillsbury
- Primex Farms Pistachios
- Sara Lee Bakery Group
- Shafter – Wasco Ginning and Almond Hulling Co.
- South Family Farms
- Sun Gro Commodities
- Sun Pacific
- Sunny Gem Almond Processing
- The Garlic Company
- Thomson International
- Tomato Company LLC
- Vetch Farms Almond Processing