unWired Community Spotlight: Livingston, CA
unWired Community Spotlight is a series highlighting the communities that make Central California a great place to live. unWired is proud to provide fast and reliable Internet to homes and businesses in Livingston and the surrounding areas.
Located in the northern San Joaquin Valley, Livingston was named after British explorer Dr. David Livingstone. However, an error caused the “e” to be left off, leaving the town named Livingston instead. The town was officially incorporated in 1922, which means Livingston is celebrating their centennial this year! Their plans to commemorate include a time capsule, a centennial homecoming and more.
Agriculture is the leading industry in Livingston. Dairy is a major export, with Merced County coming in as the 2nd largest dairy producing county in California. The world headquarters for poultry manufacturer, Foster Farms, is also located in Livingston. Top crops grown in Livingston include almonds, grapes (wine, table and raisin) and sweet potatoes. In fact, 90% of the sweet potatoes grown west of the Rockies are grown and packed in and around Livingston, thanks to John Buttencourt Avila, “the father of sweet potatoes”, settling in the area. Sweet potatoes are so significant in the area that a Sweet Potato Festival is held annually in September.
Livingston and the surrounding communities are heavily influenced by the Gallo family, who have been operating in and around Livingston for three generations. Brothers Julio and Ernesto founded the renowned E & J Gallo Winery, which is the largest exporter of California wines and the largest family-owned winery in the US. E & J Gallo Winery remains one of the largest employers in Merced County, with a grape-pressing facility located right outside of Livingston. Their younger brother Joseph also founded Joseph Gallo Farms in Livingston, a prominent dairy operation that owns the largest dairy herd in the US.
*Photo courtesy of cityoflivingston.org
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