We Grow the Country’s Carrots, but Ours Come in Bags

Kern County's Food Policy Council Tries to Confront the Unique Paradoxes of Its Food System

Kern County is home to two seemingly opposite realities.

First, it’s famous for producing food. In 2014, it grew $7.5 billion worth of grapes, almonds, milk, citrus, and beef. The county’s carrots alone were worth $288 million.

Secondly, in a national survey by the Food Research and Action Center, the county seat of Bakersfield consistently comes in as the hungriest city in America, with about a quarter of families saying they struggle to pay for food.

In 2013, 13 organizations in Kern County came together as the Food Policy …

No City Is Immune From an Identity Crisis

Beware, Hollywood and Silicon Valley: If Bakersfield Can Lose Its Signature Industry, So Can You

Can you imagine Southern California without Hollywood? Or the Bay Area without Silicon Valley?

No? History suggests that the identities of cities and regions are more fragile, and their central industries …

Musician Matt Munoz

No Cheese Rolls off the Tongue Quite Like Gorgonzola

Matt Munoz is a musician, entertainment writer, and director of marketing at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Before participating in a discussion of what Bakersfield sounds like today, he talked …

Bakersfield Californian Executive Editor Robert Price

I Look Good in Red Leotards

Robert Price is executive editor of The Bakersfield Californian, where he has held practically every job in the newsroom since joining the paper in 1988. Before moderating a discussion of …

Singer and Economic Development Official Jennifer Keel Faughn

I’m Either Selling a Song or a Community

Jennifer Keel Faughn is a Bakersfield-based singer and economic development official. Before participating in a discussion of what Bakersfield sounds like today, she talked in the Zócalo green room about …

Buckaroos Music Engineer and Keyboardist Jim Shaw

My Midlife Crisis Is in the Garage

Jim Shaw was country music legend Buck Owens’ longtime business manager, music engineer, and keyboard player for his band, the Buckaroos. Before participating in a discussion about what Bakersfield sounds …