This past week, LA Times Columnist George Skelton wrote a piece on California’s water shortage suggesting that “thirsty” crops, such as almonds, should be regulated, especially in times of drought. Western Grower’s President and CEO Tom Nassif responded with a Letter to the Editor which was published on yesterday.
Here is his submission:
To the editor: Skelton thinks California shouldn't produce almonds for export because they require lots of water. [The Almond industry] generates 97,000 Central Valley jobs and $11 billion for California's economy. We should be proud that America produces something the world wants.
We bemoan America's trade deficit and we celebrate other industries that produce something desired around the globe. Silicon Valley's microchips require a lot of water to make; about 10 gallons for one chip.
In February, President Obama said, "Over the past five years, thanks to the hard work and know-how of America's farmers, the best in the world, we've had the strongest stretch of farm exports in our history," adding, "What we grow here and what we sell is a huge boost to the entire economy, but particularly the rural economy."
Skelton may want to think more about the farmworkers, farmers and communities who created this American success story.
Tom Nassif, Irvine
The writer is president and chief executive of Western Growers.
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