Ed Kee: Iowa Vs California Agriculture

When dealing in the field of agriculture, it is always important to understand how each part of the United States goes about handling their respective farming. A great example of this is the contrast between the Iowa, in the Midwest and California, on the West Coast. During his lecture the other day, Ed Kee explained in detail the different ways that these two states contribute to the country’s agriculture industry. For Iowa, their main exports are eggs, soybean, and hogs. Iowa alone owns 21 million hogs, which makes up 32% of the nation’s pork production. For eggs, Iowa exports 12.5 billion eggs a year. As for produce, they have 9.8 million acres of soybeans and own 13% of the US corn acreage. To add to this,  they produce enough where it is feasible for them to directly export 20-30% pork products to countries outside of the US. Their excellent export percentages are made possible by Iowa’s river transportation, the Missouri river. Another great this is that Iowa is one of the few states that uses ethanol in their diesel and also experiments with soy-diesel, which according to Ed Kee, smells like popcorn.

However, California ranks highest in milk and cream, almonds, grapes, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, walnuts, and wines, among countless produce products. As for historical context, Cesar Chavez formed  the United Farm workers Union in California and protest for better pay for the workers. At the time,  farm workers were underappreciated, and were at most times taken advantage of, especially migrant worker due to their lack of English speaking skills. As of now, minimum wage has increased to  $15/hour, proving that Chaves fight made an impact.  Another interesting fact that was shared was, California is the 10th largest general economy in the world.  On of their most highest grossing business in the Ag field is processing tomatoes. 95% of the U.S. Tomato products come from California. Luckily for the workers, the tedious task of handpicking tomatoes is no longer a necessity. The advancement of technology has allowed for makin g the process smoother and more efficient. Another great thing about California’s agriculture is that, it iseasier to grow organic plants in California. Due to hot and dry climate California and Iowa’s perfect amount of rainfall, these two states have become the Agricultural giants of their respective parts of the country.





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