San Mateo County may be best known for growing top companies in social media, finance and biotechnology, but Brussels sprouts, leeks and flowers play a significant role in the local economy.
According to the 2011 Agricultural Crop Report, which was accepted today by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, total agricultural production topped $137 million for the year. The value was down 4.7 percent from 2010.
This commodity group represents more than half of San Mateo County’s agricultural production value, or $111 million, so any reduction has a considerable impact on the overall agricultural production value for the county, according to Fred Crowder, Agricultural Commissioner.
Brussels sprouts topped the list of vegetable crops, with 655 acres planted with a value of $8.8 million in 2011, up from $7.9 million the prior year. The value for all vegetable crops rose 4.3 percent for the year. Leeks ($1.5 million) and peas ($738,000) rounded out the top three vegetable crops.
Crowder said the values do not reflect the overall economic contribution of agricultural production to the community – harvesting, processing and distribution result in an economic multiplier of between $1.62 to $3.5 for every dollar in agricultural production.
“Not only does agricultural production provide an important economic engine for San Mateo County’s coast, but residents also get direct benefits from having agriculture in our back yard. Access to fresh local food and beautiful plants and flowers can improve our health and outlook on life,” said Supervisor Don Horsley, who’s District 3 encompasses much of the county’s farmland.
“I encourage all our residents to buy local when possible – from our flower growers, ranchers, and farmers.” Horsley said.
San Mateo County is the third smallest county in California by land area but in 2010 (the latest year statewide figures are available) ranked 34 out of the state’s 58 counties in terms of agricultural production, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The 2011 Crop Report also contains useful information such as the location and hours for 26 Certified Farmers Markets in San Mateo County.
Contact: Fred Crowder, 650-363-4700, email@example.com