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Serving: West
Produce workshop Fresh Produce Association of the Americas
A workshop on fresh produce production is held in Arizona in 2019.

Arizona continues to be hot spot for growth

In 2019, the net loss to California's population was 39,500.

A short documentary called "Fleeing California" paints a rather grim picture of what has long been known as The Golden State.

The 13-minute documentary by PragerU, touted as "an online video resource promoting knowledge and clarity on life's biggest and most interesting topics," shares much of why folks are fleeing California.

An Associated Press story from late 2019 said that when births and deaths were tallied for the 12-month period ending July 1, 2019, the state added 180,000 people. When those leaving the state were included in the figure, the net loss to the state's population was 39,500.

Nevada and Texas were two of the biggest destinations, according to the story, though anecdotally, states like Idaho, Montana and Arizona are gaining former Californians, including yours truly.

Western Farm Press prides itself on serving agricultural producers with timely information on both sides of the Colorado River. Arizona and California are two of the nation's critical farm states, accounting for a combined $50 billion in cash receipts, or over 12% of the U.S. total. While much smaller in comparison to California, Arizona's agricultural production is interesting given the relatively limited amount of real estate devoted to it when compared to its West Coast neighbor.

Though largely a desert state, Arizona is not all sand and saguaros. Some of the more scenic parts of the United States can be found in and around the Grand Canyon in the northern half of the state, and points east of there where the earth turns to a reddish color and large mesas make for great movie backdrops.

As a landscape photographer there are two locations in the West that I find most fascinating to record with a camera. The Eastern Sierra of California and the 10,000-foot near-vertical climb of the Sierra Nevada from the floor of the Owens Valley; and, northeastern Arizona where during the winter snow, ice, and clearing storm clouds convert an already-interesting landscape into a land of amazing textures and shadows rank high on my list.

By the time you read this I will have changed my venue to an area of Arizona bordered by Mexico and California. Also dubbed the "sunniest city in the world," farmers in and around Yuma produce about 90% of the leafy vegetables grown in the United States between November and March. According to the Yuma Chamber of Commerce, the region is home to nine salad processing plants and 23 cooling plants. During peak production, those plants process more than two million pounds of lettuce per day.

Aside from growing about 175 different crops year-round, Yuma County tops Arizona in the production of lemons, tangelos, tangerines, watermelons, and cantaloupes.

Feel free to contact me for story ideas in both states. My phone number of 559-467-9358 remains the same, but my mailing address will change to: PO Box 1988, Yuma, AZ 85366.

I'll see you around.

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