Tulare, California said goodbye to their mayor this week – a move the ag community is applauding. The Tulare City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to replace Carlton Jones after public outcry over his anti-agriculture comments on Facebook.
Last month, Jones posted these comments to a friend on Facebook:
“You’re having a conversation with some in your head. Ag depends on the people. Ag strips the natural resources and contaminates our groundwater and air. Ag causes asthma and valley fever, cancer and kills bees. You can’t educate me. You’re trained. You can share with me what you’ve been trained to think. We can debate the difference between what you think and what I think.”
An admin of the Facebook group My Job Depends on Ag ended up being tagged in the post and Jones’ comments went viral from there.
On Tuesday, ag showed up in full force. Around 40 people, mainly from the farming community, spoke out against Jones at the city council meeting. Outside, Gar Tootelian, Inc. hosted a tailgate for ag supporters attending the meeting. During the event, GAR distributed fresh fruits and vegetables, FREE BBQ Sandwiches prepared by Tulare’s own Happy Cookers, and “My Job Depends on Ag” (MJDOA) GAR-den yard signs.
The council has named David Macedo as their new mayor.
Tulare County leads the nation in dairy production. The county also ranks in the top 3 of all farm counties in the U.S. Agriculture is the largest private employer in the county with farm employment accounting for nearly a quarter of all jobs. Tulare is also home to the World Ag Expo every February. This year the world’s largest annual agricultural exposition celebrated its 51st anniversary and hosted 106,700 attendees representing 49 states and 63 countries.