Major Industries & Employers
The Agribusiness industry cluster includes establishments primarily engaged in growing crops, raising animals, and manufacturing food and beverages, as well as support activities for crop and animal production. Tulare County lists in the top 3 of the nation’s top ten agricultural producing counties and located in the highest producing region in the country for agricultural production. The Agribusiness sector distinguishes three basic activities: Agricultural production, agricultural support activities, and value-added agriculture.
- Agricultural production includes establishments performing the complete farm or ranch operation, such as farm owner-operators and tenant farm operators.
- Agricultural support activities include establishments that perform one or more activities associated with farm operation, such as soil preparation, planting, harvesting, and management, on a contract or fee basis.
- Value-added agriculture is defined as the transformation of agricultural products to a higher value for the end consumer, examples can be seen when milk is processed into cheese, butter or ice cream or when oranges are used in the production of juice or flavorings and grapes are turned into wine.
There is a very high degree of cross-over between value-added agriculture and advanced manufacturing. Clean-label ingredients are driving the market from growing to packaging, all done locally. 1 in every 5 jobs in the central California region is related to agriculture: 337,000 in Ag Production and 222,500 in Ag Processing. Examples of in demand entry-level and middle skills jobs include agriculture and food processing technicians, maintenance mechanics, quality control inspectors, farm machinery mechanics and bi-lingual supervisors. There is a very high degree of cross-over between value-added agriculture and advanced manufacturing.
- Regional job concentration for Food Processing is 3.94 times the national job concentration. In other words, there are 294% more jobs in Food Processing in this region than we would expect to find in the average region.
- Cost of food processing labor in the region is $70,000, which is below the state average.
- On average each year, community colleges in the region confer 125 certificates and 233 degrees related to agriculture, water and food processing
Tulare County 2019 Crop Report
Tulare County’s agricultural strength is based on the diversity of the crops produced. The 2019 crop report covers more than 120 different commodities, 44 of which have a gross value in excess of $1,000,000. Tulare County continues to produce high-quality crops that provide food and fiber to more than 96 countries throughout the world.
- Tulare County’s total gross production value for 2019 is $7.5 Billion. This represents an increase of 4.0% above 2018’s value of $7.2 Billion.
- Milk continues to be the leading agricultural commodity in Tulare County; with a gross value of $1.6 Billion. Milk represents 21.5% of the total crop and livestock value for 2019.
- Oranges – Navels & Valencia’s, rank #2 in total value at $919 Million followed by Grapes at $802 Million in 2019.
Logistics & Distribution
The Logistics & Distribution cluster in Tulare County is made up of interrelated industries such as refrigerated warehousing, self-storage facilities, freight transporting companies, overnight delivery businesses, fulfillment and e-commerce facilities.
A growing number of logistic and distribution companies looking to ship products throughout California and the west coast, have identified Tulare County as a strategic location, because of its available workforce and ability to reach over 90,000 million customers overnight. Reports estimate that U.S. e-commerce sales will double to $1 trillion, growing at six times the rate of all retail transactions.
Tulare County Labor Market Information projects over 16,000 workers will be employed in this industry by 2026, making up almost 6 percent of the local economic market’s workforce population.
Major Logistics/Distribution Facilities
- Best Buy
- Bueno Beverage
- Heilind Electronics
- Hilti USA
- JoAnn Stores
- Millipore-Sigma (Merck)
- MWI Veterinary Supply
- ORS Nasco
- Pacific Stihl
- Patterson Logistics
- Service Spring Corporation
- UPS Super Hub
- VF Corporation
- VWR West Coast DC
Processors typically go where raw commodities grow and where transportation infrastructure allows for efficient goods movement to ports and lucrative foreign markets.
Tulare County lists as one of the Top 3 Counties in the nation for Ag-production. Tulare County’s total gross production value for 2019 garnered $7.5 Billion. This represents an increase of $300 Million or 4.0% above 2018’s value of $7.2 Billion. This bump in wholesale crop production has consistently bolstered growth in its food processing capacity.
Food processors continue to migrate to the Tulare County region — drawn by the proximity to raw commodities and the desire to locate along major transportation routes. Served by State Highway 99 and an adjacent rail freight line, Tulare County is traversed by one of the busiest freight corridors in the nation. Its central location also means that processors can transport commodities to major ports in either southern or northern California in about three hours.
Tulare County’s burgeoning food processing cluster continues to also attract green energy production facilities. A growing market is harvesting methane from dairy facilities by means of anaerobic digesters than can transform unwanted greenhouse gases into clean energy. Tulare is the largest dairy-producing county in the United States and provides economic benefits to the development of new clean energy technologies.
Major Food Processors in Tulare County
- Land O’Lakes
- Saputo Cheese
- Kraft USA
- Ruiz Food Products, Inc.
- California Dairies
- Advanced Food Products
- Foster Farms
- Setton Pistachios
- Horizon Nut
Manufacturing is a cornerstone of Tulare County’s economy. A growing number of manufacturers looking to access California and West Coast markets, have identified Tulare County as a strategic location, because of its available workforce and ability to ship products to customers overnight. Large and small industrial parks, along with land for development can be found throughout the county. Local government policies make it easy to establish operations and quickly begin production.
The South Valley Industrial Collaborative, formed by local manufacturers and processors, is focused on supporting activities aimed at meeting industry needs. Current activities include the development of a Regional Industrial Training Facility providing classes and instruction on new technology and robotics, along with training in industrial trades needed by manufacturers.
The Tulare County Economic Development Corporation works closely with its Workforce Partners to enhance existing efforts and encourage new opportunities to prepare the workforce of the future through collaboration with education partners. We actively promote the use of our local colleges as a resource for corporate and industry training, including customized training and alignment of education programs to the needs of industry.
Major Manufacturers in Tulare County
- Blue Scope Buildings, NA
- Bradford Steel
- Calgren Dairy Fuels
- Country Plastics
- Dryvit Systems
- Fisher Manufacturing
- Green Power Bus
- Hellwig Products
- Hydrite Chemical
- International Paper
- Kaweah Container
- Nutrient Technologies
- rePlanet Packaging
- Tempo Plastics
- US Towers
- Voltage Multipliers
- Waterman USA