Event draws thousands to Tulare tractor company in solidarity of local agriculture

Event came in response to derogatory comments made in social media by Tulare Mayor Carlton Jones

Thousands of yard signs were given away and a similar number of stickers sold at a noontime event on Friday in Tulare, Calif., held in response to derogatory comments the town’s mayor made about agriculture on social media.

The comments set an immediate fire-storm of backlash on the popular social media platform as Mayor Carlton Jones claimed his comments were “taken out of context.”

Held at Garton Tractor in Tulare, the event was co-sponsored by GAR Tootelian of Reedley, which teamed up over a year ago with the nonprofit group “My Job Depends on Ag,” to provide yard signs to help people show local politicians how many people derive their living from agriculture.

The outpouring of community support pleased Gar Tootelian President Greg Musson, who donned a reflective vest and stood along a busy street at the south end of Tulare waving cars into Garton Tractor where people were offered yard signs, free baseball caps, free barbecue sandwiches, and given a chance to purchase “My Job Depends on Ag” stickers. Money from the sticker sales goes to fund scholarships.

“It’s important that our politicians in California understand how important agriculture is to all of us, not just the 1 percent of us who farm,” said Musson. “It’s tragic that people don’t understand this. For the mayor to say the things he said is even more troubling.”

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