Recently, I entertained for the Tulare County Farm Bureau in the Central Valley area of California. I highly recommend people-watching at LAX airport. These people make fun of us for county fairs?
I saw one guy with so many piercings I ate an entire bag of popcorn watching him go back and forth through the metal detector. While I was leaving the airport, I ran into one of the Kardashians – with my rental car. I’m not sure which one it was, but it’s the one who now walks with a limp.
Tulare County is the largest dairy-producing county in the U.S. From cows to figs, from black-eyed peas to nuts, this area has more than 400 different types of agriculture. I know – black-eyed peas? Like most people, I didn’t know anybody actually grew black-eyed peas. I just thought they came from a can. I figured chickpeas aged in the can on the shelf and fermented into black-eyed peas.
California is known for their wine vineyards, and I know why. If I was farming in California and had to put up with the regulations and special interest groups out there, I’d grow something to get me drunk too. Just writing that sentence, I think I broke two regulations.
Right now, California is in a man-made drought to save a fish called the Delta smelt. I’m not sure exactly what a Delta smelt is, but as a youngster I learned, “Whoever smelt it, dealt it.”
Environmentalists have already dumped 87 trillion gallons of water, which was supposed to be used for farming, back into the ocean to save this fish from extinction. You wanna know how to save this fish? Make it a new pizza topping. It worked for pepperoni. Seriously, who eats that when it’s not on pizza?
Another issue California farmers are dealing with is the state’s idea of building a high-speed train from San Francisco south to Los Angeles through the Central Valley farming area.
Now, I’m not a civil engineer or even a good train engineer; let’s be honest, I wasn’t even good at Legos, but who thinks it would be a good idea to put high-speed rail on the San Andreas Fault in earthquake country? No problems there. Maybe next year they can put a zip line at the San Francisco Zoo over the crocodile pit.
My idea to deal with these issues may not be professional. I only charge a consulting fee when it comes to fair foods and sausage making. So, issue No. 1: the Delta smelt. Put out a press release that this tiny little fish is causing climate change. Done. It now becomes the enemy of every hipster.
Second issue: high-speed train. Make the last four cars on this train water tankers. Somewhere around Bakersfield, have a skeet-shooting contest to shoot some holes in the water tanks. I’m not sure of the trip schedule, but I’m positive it will be the fastest portable irrigation system ever made.
The final option would be for every farmer to dig a small pond and stock it with two Delta smelt. Now they have to give you water.
I should run for office. PD
Tim is a Florida dairy farmer and comedian. See him at Tim Moffett - agricultural comedian, speaker and farmer.