My Job Depends on Ag Continues Growth
January 17, 2018
Decal Sales Go to Nonprofit
By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director
California Ag Today recently spoke with Steve Malanca, one of the founders of My Job Depends On Ag Facebook group, which he started alongside Erik Wilson. The page was inspired by an economic number that stated that California Agriculture is only two percent of the gross domestic product of the state.
Not want to sit still on what looked like very small contribution to the overall California economy, Malanca, a former equipment salesman, crafted a decal in 2013 with the message My Job Depends on Ag. The idea was to spread the word that agriculture contributes to millions of jobs in the state, including restaurants, banks, clothing stores, supply stores, almond candy manufacturers, tortilla factories and virtually every business in smaller farm communities.
The Facebook page was launched in April 2015.
“It continues to grow,” Malanca said. “It grows in increments of a thousand members every four to six weeks, and we're reaching 78,000 members in the three-year existence, and the message continues to grow.”
“Our California decal sales are now more than 60,000, and for the third year in a row, through the Central Valley Community Foundation, our profits are going to add more than $20,000 to a nonprofit account in order to continue giving out scholarships for kids.
Malanca’s job definitely depends on ag. He now works at West Valley Almond Huller in Mendota. And he told us about research trying to find a way to use of excess almond hulls. It’s called bio-solarization, which targets the use of almond hulls in row crop applications.
“The idea is to add 10 to 12 tons of hulls per acre on row crop beds, which come in various widths of 60 inches to 80 inches,” Malanca said. “By incorporating a huge amount of hulls over the top couple of inches of that soil, they can then cover it with plastic and create an environment that's conducive to fumigant application, which kills soil pathogens. The idea is to substitute a chemical fumigant for hulls and accomplish the same goal."