It may be hard to believe but ranching is the number-one land use in the state of California. Teresa O’Connor, assistant editor of UC Food Observer, was surprised to learn this fact, and she’s certainly not alone.
This complex connection of California ranching to food production is a mystery for many. The public rarely understands the ecological benefits of livestock grazing, nor the tough economic returns, according to Sheila Barry, Livestock Advisor and Director of Santa Clara County for University of California Cooperative Extension.
“Working ranches occupy roughly 40 million acres in California,” says Barry. “Whether these working ranches are public land or privately owned, many ranchers represent the fourth or fifth generations stewarding the land and their livestock. The fact that the most prevalent land use in California goes largely unnoticed by much of the public puts ranching at risk.”
Source: Teresa O’Connor, UC Food Observer, January 23, 2017