America's Agricultural Capitol
"Agricultural-Industrial City in Central California"
Few Americans realize the power and influence that Fresno has within their daily dietary world. While Salinas, California reigns supreme for lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, and other such green vegetables, Fresno County, of which the city of Fresno is the seat, rules #1 in the nation for virtually all the other products in the grocery--virtually anything not produced in Salinas--some 250 crops and meat products. Poultry, beef, and dairy production are larger in production here than most people realize. Grapes, tomatoes, and cotton are also billion dollar exports from the area. Practically one of this are family farms but is huge corporate agriculture. The city of Fresno is the center of a huge meat packing, fruit and vegetable canning industry, but also is a leader in agricultural chemicals and farm equipment. The origins of this power is the wealth of water found in the San Joaquin and other rivers of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, as it is used to irrigate the incredibly flat and fertile soils of California's Great Central Valley. The name Fresno comes from the ash trees that early Spanish explorers found in the area. The current size and influence of the city began with establishment of a Central Pacific railroad station in 1872.
"Fresno is a Cultural Giant"
The agricultural setting of Fresno has produced a significant number of atheletes, novelists, actors, and musicians. The city is a cornucopia of ethnic immigrants. Today, Mexican-American influences are obvious everywhere, but there are also significant Armenian, Southeast Asian, Filippino, and Portuguese influences.