Eye on Ag: Local Students Push Bill for Official State Nut

MERCED, Calif. - California is making history. The Assembly Governmental Organization Committee voted on a bill to give California an Official State Nut and it's all thanks to a class of fourth graders at one Merced school.

Students at Margaret Sheehy Elementary School in Merced stated the school year learning all about California and it's symbols. When they noticed we didn't have a State Nut, they put pen to paper. The students wrote letters to their Assemblymember, explaining why California needed a State Nut and why it should be the California Almond.

"It will make history for California," said a 4th grade student.

Marc Medefind's 4th grade class at Margaret Sheehy Elementary School, in Merced, learned a lot about over the school year about California and Almonds.

"80 percent of almonds are grown in California," said a student.
"Almonds could prevent diabetes which is a good thing," said another Sheehy Elementary School 4th grade student.

On Wednesday, the students had the chance to speak in front of the Governmental Organization Committee in Sacramento.
They presented a bill with Assemblymember Adam Gray, to make the almond, California's Official State Nut.

"Almonds have amazing heart and health benefits and they can even prevent cancer," said Alexander Oldham, student.
"I really think we should make almond the state nut because they are delicious and healthy," said Hennessy Sotelo, student.
"You can make lots of stuff with almonds like coffee, hot chocolate, cake and lots more," said Karina Patu, student.

The Modesto Nuts Baseball Team mascots were on hand for moral support. Assemblymember Gray said California grows the world's largest supply of nuts, so it's great that the kids helped shine light on it.

"We have such a great agricultural industry here in California, it means so much to the central valley, where we're from, where these kids are from, it means so much to our economy and our culture," said Assemblymember Adam Gray, (D-Merced).

A memorable moment for  Central Valley students, going nuts, over using their voice to make a difference.

Assemblymember Gray said the bill passed with the committee but we won't just have the almond as our State Nut. The students compromised, after talking with other members involved in the nut industry, California will have four State Nuts, the Almond, Walnut, Pistachio and Pecan.

The bill will now go to the Assembly Floor and then the State Senate.


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