November kicks off Arizona lettuce and leafy greens harvest
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has proclaimed November 2021 as Arizona Leafy Greens Month. Through this proclamation he called upon all residents to recognize the Arizona leafy greens industry during the month of November for consistently producing an abundance of nutritious and safe leafy greens.
Arizona is known as the winter lettuce capital of the U.S., providing Americans with an abundance of lettuce and leafy greens from November to March. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, Arizona farmers grow approximately 25 percent of the total U.S. lettuce supply each year. The mild desert climate allows for leafy greens farming in Arizona for only five months out of the year, making their contribution to the nation’s lettuce supply substantial in the winter months.
Leafy greens farming in Arizona is big business that involves the work of many family farms. On an annual basis the leafy greens farming community in Arizona generates a $2 billion impact. Perhaps most importantly, Arizona farmers are committed to growing and harvesting safe lettuce and leafy greens through the Arizona LGMA food-safety certification program.
During the month of November, the leafy greens farming community will be celebrating through a variety of outreach activity on social media. Food influencer Diana Brandt, aka the Arizona Foodie, will visit a lettuce farm to highlight the contributions of Arizona agriculture for her more than 150,000 followers. Farmer influencer Jon Dinsmore will take over Arizona LGMA’s social feeds to help people see the farming aspect of Arizona leafy greens. And throughout the month there will be contests and giveaways on the organization’s Instagram and Facebook channels.
The Arizona LGMA is a food-safety program for lettuce and leafy greens grown in Arizona. Arizona LGMA members are shippers of Arizona leafy greens who utilize strict food-safety best practices to ensure the integrity of leafy greens grown, harvested and shipped from Arizona. The program aims to mitigate potential food safety issues through an intricate system of checks and balances and is administered by the Arizona Department of Agriculture.
Photo courtesy of Jon Dinsmore