and keep in mind that I'm in veggie/fruit farming, YMMV with meat/dairy/grain etc, and "east coast" in this instance p much means "everywhere except CA"
West coast: farming is a JOB
California farm regions: FRANTIC ACTIVITY ALL THE TIME. Lots of trucks filled w produce barreling down highway every May-Dec
The funny part is, a lot of veg farmers & orchardists in the rest of the US look down on CA farming for being "corporate."
Elsewhere, all over the US, I've caught farms poisoning their employees, illegally misusing pesticides to where their customers could be affected, all kinds of BS. (All accidentally! Of course!)
And yet... you really don't find that in California.
Like, they deliberately overuse very expensive pesticides. Because ... profit?
IME sloppy farming happens when people are overwhelmed. It's pretty much the farm version of, we all know we're supposed to put laundry away, but when we're overworked it all winds up on the floor.
People are eating more produce now. It's a great time to be in the fruit & veggie business!
Here's the thing though... most of these well-run farms are "corporate farms."
But overall, what I've seen tells me that farming is only successful when it works like a job.
Even if you weren't born on a farm.
How does this relate to east coast vs west coast farming? In most of the US, farming is an inheritance you might luck into. In CA it's a job.
And I thiiiiiink CA's notorious environmental regulations are actually a big part of how that happened.
California does NOT play like that. You wanna farm in California? Get your shit together or get out.
And they left a lot of "regulations put me out of business!" hand-wringing in their wake.
I work with farmers all over the US. Compared to rest of the US, working w farms in CA feels like being on vacation. They know what they're supposed to do and they just ... do it.
Even though they've been federal law since 1994, & every jug comes with a label that tells you what the PHI is. just. god
They beat out Iowa by almost 50%.
"Wait, people really DO that?"
Anyway, that was a long ramble. And again there's way more to say about the people factor in ag. Like, imo the influence of skilled immigrants in CA is HUGE.
And that's east coast vs west coast farming, kids