Fields of carrots are watered near where the California Aqueduct flows through Kern County.

California farmers have long had an uneasy relationship with water, but that hasn’t stopped crops like almonds, grapes and pistachios from spreading across Kern County. Stewart Resnick, a self-described East Coast Jew, turned himself into America’s largest farmer – despite never having driven a tractor in his life. We’ll explore Resnick and the land and water use issues surrounding his farming empire with journalist Mark Arak, who profiled Resnick for February’s issue of California Sunday Magazine.

Related Links:
A Kingdom from Dust

How One Farmer Shaped America’s Appetite and Influenced California Water Policy 5 February,2018Michael Krasny

Mark Arax, journalist; author "A Kingdom from Dust" in the California Sunday Magazine February 2018 edition

  • Noelle

    Has this family given donations to Jerry Brown? Doesn’t Brown’s water project benefit the Resnicks?

  • Mary Kay Benson

    The Resnick’s privately own 58% of the public water that flows from the north of CA where we have water to the south desert, where they don’t, through dirty secret deals called the “Monterey Agreement.” What the article doesn’t address is the huge amount of Chevron and other oil/gas corporations toxic-chemical laden wastewater from the oil/gas field operations. The Resnicks are the biggest buyers of this “produced” water, grow their “Food crops” with it, and market it to children as healthy! Please add this to your book. #OilMoneyOut of CA politics. #PeoplePowerIn to prioritize the health of the public and planet.


Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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