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Open Access Publications from the University of California

J. J. Crosetti: Pajaro Valley Agriculture, 1927 to 1977


.J. Crosetti was the founder of the J.J. Crosetti lettuce growing company in the Pajaro Valley, California, which is still in operation today under his son, J.J. Crosetti, Jr. Crosetti began his career in California agriculture as a contract buyer for the T.J. Horgan Company during the late 1920s and early 1930s, and then worked as a buyer for A. Levy and Sentner Distributors in San Francisco. In 1936 Crosetti founded his own company, growing and shipping lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, apples and other crops primarily in the Pajaro Valley, but also in Arizona and the Imperial Valley of California. Crosetti describes labor operations and packing and shipping methods, including the details of the development of vacuum cooling. He discusses the Bracero Program and ethnic changes in the agricultural labor force from the 1930s to the 1970s. He describes the development of labor organizing in Central California and his own involvement in union contract negotiations. Crosetti was also active in the Grower Shipper Vegetable Association of Central California for many years, and served on the State Board of Agriculture as an appointee of Governor Edmund G. Brown from 1962-1969. He concludes the volume with a discussion of economic and technological changes in California agriculture and the increasing trend away from family farmers towards conglomerates.

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