This week’s Couch’s Corner will focus on another positive asset in District 4. While others focus on the negative, it has been a delight to focus on the many positive things going on in Kern County. Today let’s talk about Grimmway’s 50th anniversary and the Farm-to-Fork Tour and Celebration our office got to be a part of earlier this month in Arvin.

I guarantee you, you’ve never seen this many carrots! The plant tour shows how farming, automation and industrialization go hand in hand. The carrots process through several conveyor lines to be washed, peeled, sized and packaged for sale. Grimmway Farms’ systems are so efficient its total waste product is less than 1 percent of input. A large portion of its business now is in organics, so the use of insecticides, pesticides and herbicides is virtually eliminated. And it’s not just carrots. The farm grows more than 65 seasonal and year-round organic vegetables. Now try to imagine this: 40,000 acres of carrots are processed and sold by Grimmway annually! No matter how you peel it, that’s a lot of carrots!

And when you consider growers like Grimmway have the responsibility to feed eight billion people on this planet, it makes sense that these agricultural processes become automated and industrialized. Lest you think automation has eliminated jobs, more than 7,000 jobs depend on Grimmway Farms, making it one of the largest private employers in Kern County. We’re sitting in the breadbasket of the world, and we’re witnesses to environmentally friendly organic processes that make it possible to sustain unimaginable populations. Thank you, Grimmway!

Lunch was homegrown, and, of course, for dessert we had carrot cake. Afterwards, the Grimm family and several key personnel spoke of Grimmway’s history and allegiance to the land and the Kern County community that they call home. I am so thankful that I can call these people, that are so important to our community, my neighbors and friends.

I also consider the folks who work in the fields and at the processing plant my friends, too. I regularly meet and work with the Central Valley Farmworkers Foundation, the United Farmworkers Foundation and anybody else that wants to make Kern County a better place. Grimmway’s corporate policy — to take care of its employees and the community — is compatible with the farmworkers who call Kern County their home.

We are all in this salad bowl together, and I think it’s important to emphasize that it’s through cooperation and understanding that the farmworker and the farmer, the foreman and the lineman, the seller and the buyer, the grower and the consumer, can all succeed. As your Kern County supervisor, that’s the climate I want to help create.

Got any questions? Feel free to call our office at 661-868-3680 or email us at district4@kerncounty.com. Have a great week!

David Couch represents Kern County's Fourth District.

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