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Seeds of Tomorrow

At 150 , Woodland celebrates its agricultural past and plans for its future
by Bill Sessa

Woodland City Councilmember Tania Garcia- Cadena knows what it ’ s like to grow up in a farm town . Born and raised in Woodland , Garcia-Cadena recalls her grandfather and father working in the fields . Even as her dad moved on to other work , family members continued the tradition .

Two of her uncles still work in the tomato fields in Yolo County . Her husband ’ s family grows almonds . Her 15-year-old daughter picked strawberries before moving on to college and the Peace Corps . “ My father ’ s family grew up here because of agriculture ,” Garcia- Cadena says . “ They worked early mornings and long days . Almost everyone I knew growing up had a tie to agriculture in some way .”
Led by almonds , tomatoes , wine grapes , rice and organic production , the fields around Woodland produce at least 20 different crops worth approximately
$ 675 million a year . One of the world ’ s largest tomato processing plants — which produces 250 different products — sits within a stone ’ s throw of Downtown as a high-profile testament to the town ’ s agricultural economic engine .
“ So much of the reason that Woodland is here is because of food and agriculture ,” says Spencer Bowen , policy analyst and communications manager for the City of Woodland . He says there are approximately 190 ag-related businesses in the city today , which is “ a bunch for a town of 60,000 people .”
In the Beginning
Fertile land , a temperate climate and the proximity to Cache Creek attracted the first settlers in 1852 , some of whom were given land in return for building homes , according to local historian David Wilkinson . In 1859 , town founder Henry Wyckoff ’ s wife suggested the name Woodland as a tribute to the valley oaks along the Capay
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