Agricultural Business

Turlock, in the heart of Stanislaus County, ranks as one of the nation’s top 10 agricultural counties, producing in excess of $3.2 billion in gross farm income and one-third of the county’s jobs. The area is known for its agricultural productivity and crop diversity, which can be attributed to a unique combination of factors:

• Highest-quality farmland in the world
• Clean air
• Affordable and adequate water supplies
• Climate

Stanislaus County is one of California’s top almond producing counties with more than 155,000 acres, 20 percent of the acres in the state. Stanislaus County currently has more than 1,200 almond growers and yields regularly exceed 2,000 pounds per acre. More than 30 local export companies shipped over 235 million pounds of almonds to international markets in 2012.

The Stanislaus County is considered one of the richest in the world because of its food processing and related industries; generating economic activity in processing, packaging, marketing and retailing agricultural commodities. Many agricultural products are grown and processed for export to European and Pacific Rim markets. The value of agricultural commodities produced last year in Stanislaus County increased almost 7 percent to $3,277,843,000.

Things to Do in Turlock

Turlock attracts thousands of visitors each year to explore numerous landmarks and events.

(209) 667-5812
5236 Geer Rd, Hughson
Tasting Room,
(209) 669-6323

A five-generation-old farm/apiary on Geer Road, located just outside of Turlock. Taste the unique flavors of pure varietal honeys and the wine that premium honey can create. Open February–December, the tasting room’s hours are Saturday 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.–5 p.m.; closed on holidays.

(209) 632-5761
250 N. Broadway St.

The city of Turlock recently restored and expanded the original Carnegie Library, built in 1916, to house two large exhibition galleries, a multi-use performing arts space, kitchen and dramatic lobby, as well as outdoor gathering areas. They offer a state-of-the-art visual arts center and programs that include classes, performances, lectures and more.

(209) 667-3122
One University Circle

The CSU Stanislaus campus is a delightful venue for weddings, open-air concerts, and arts and entertainment activities. The Bernell and Flora Snider Music Recital Hall features a number of theatre productions, recitals and art exhibits that are open to the public. The University Art Gallery is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and from noon to 4 p.m. all other weekdays. Admission is free.

HILMAR CHEESE COMPANY (209) 656-1196, 9001 Lander Ave, Hilmar

Just a few miles south of Turlock is Hilmar Cheese Company. Learn how cheese is made and taste free samples! An “edutaining” movie and hands-on exhibits help you learn about dairy farming, cheese and whey processing, and you can dress like a cheesemaker! The visitor center features a gift shop, ice cream, espresso counter and a café. Open Monday–Saturday 7 a.m.–7 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m.–5 p.m. (except major holidays); admission is free. Free self-guided tours are available anytime and guided visits are offered Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 11a.m. Summer tours include an ice cream activity.

(209) 634-6459

Historic downtown Turlock offers something for everyone! Antique shops, home furnishings and décor, cafés and clothiers coupled with a charming pedestrian atmosphere provides a true “Main Street” experience.

(209) 632-5052
11573 Golf Link Rd., Turlock

Located just south of Turlock on Golf Link Road, Pageo is an excellent place to relax with a cup of coffee or ice-cold lavender lemonade while enjoying a fresh lavender scone. Lavender boxed lunches are available with 24-hour advance notice. The gift shop features unique specialty soaps and lotions made with lavender, yarrow and other herbs. This pesticide-free and eco-friendly farm uses reclaimed wood and metal in many of the handmade gifts. Open Lavender Season: May–July, Thursday and Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Off Season: August–Mid October, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Open for three weeks in December for holiday shopping.

(209) 664-3620
2323 W. Main St.

First-run motion pictures on 14 separate screens, located just west of the intersection with Highway 99.

(209) 668-7386,
108 S. Center St.

In the heart of historical downtown Turlock, this unique museum is open Tuesday and Thursday 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and Saturday 1 p.m.–4 p.m. Admission is free.

(209) 634-2870
900 N. Broadway Ave. Gate on Soderquist Rd

Live via satellite, up to 13 tracks per day are broadcast at the Turlock Turf Club, featuring horse racing from selected county fairs every June–October.

(209) 668-1169
1574 E. Canal Dr.

Top-name entertainers regularly perform in this beautifully refurbished high school auditorium. Every seat in the house is like sitting in the front row.

(209) 668-1010
2321 W. Main St.

The Central Valley’s largest satellite to the World Series of Poker, the Turlock Poker Room is “The Biggest Little Card Room in California.” Fourteen tables are in action with Ultimate Hold ‘em, Fortune Pai Gow Poker, 3 Card Poker, Blackjack and Omaha. With a Las Vegas style atmosphere, it’s a great venue for beginning, intermediate and professional players. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Free classes for beginners every Thursday and Friday from 7 p.m.–9 p.m. The Turlock Poker Room is conveniently located off Highway 99.

(209) 723-2178
5050 Santa Fe Dr., Atwater

One of the largest aviation museums on the West Coast, Castle Air Museum features more than 55 military airplanes, ranging from World War II bombers to an SR-71 Blackbird. Stop by the gift shop and indoor museum. The museum is open daily, except select holidays, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. October 1–March 31, winter hours, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

(209) 848-2100 or (800) 866-1690
330 S. Sierra Ave., Oakdale

The Sierra Railroad was formed in 1897 to connect the Central Valley to the Gold Country. As the third-oldest railroad in North America, the Sierra continues to haul freight, carry passengers, make Hollywood movies and play an important role in California. A variety of scenic and entertaining trains ride every week of the year from Oakdale to the foothills. The most popular is the sunset dinner train every Saturday.

(209) 854-1040
32053 McCabe Rd., Santa Nella

The nearby San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery is the sixth National Cemetery in the state. Located at the cemetery is the California Korean War Veterans Memorial, a composition of 16 granite slabs etched with the names of 2,495 Californians who gave their lives fighting in the Korean War. The cemetery is open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. daily.

900 N. Broadway Ave.

In addition to awarding more than 30,000 ribbons each year, the Stanislaus County Fair is an award-winning fair itself. In fact, in January 2012, the Western Fairs Association presented the Stanislaus County Fair with four first place awards for Community Outreach Program, Social Media Campaign, Best Featured Exhibit and Our Best New Idea This Year, Marketing.The fair opens in mid-July on a Friday for a 10-day run. More than 230,000 visitors will pass through our turnstiles for award-winning fun at the largest family centered event in Stanislaus County. Stroll through our tree-shaded grounds where you’ll find:

• Nightly celebrity concerts included with fair admission!
• Entertainment on four stages!
• More than 1,750 animals!
• A “zone” especially for kids!
• More than 35 exhilarating carnival rides!
• And more!

To receive future fair concert announcements by text message, text the word “FAIR” to 99299. Fair enthusiasts can also follow the 2013 fair on Facebook or Twitter.

The mission of the Stanislaus County Fair is to provide a family and community oriented experience promoting agriculture, entertainment and technology. For more information about the Stanislaus County Fair log on to its website at

Business and Industry

The Westside Industrial Specific Plan includes 2,600 acres that will accommodate and nurture the development of a major industrial/commercial center in Turlock’s industrial west side. The city of Turlock has prepared WISP to facilitate economic and job development through orderly growth and development. The plan was prepared during a time of significant change in the structure of the national economy. The plan was adopted in 2006. A Certified Environmental Impact Report has also been adopted, saving significant time and money for those that want to develop.

Many types of manufacturing jobs have declined nationally or have been transferred elsewhere.

However, the essential need for food and agricultural products indicate an opportunity to create a center for an enduring and sustainable economy based on agricultural products and related processes and services. It is anticipated that the benefits available from WISP and the Enterprise Zone will stimulate industrial development.

In addition to the development of WISP, the city has invested $15 million in backbone infrastructure improvements to provide “shovel ready” sites for industrial development.

A significant portion of the Greater Turlock Area, including the entire WISP area, is located in Stanislaus County’s Enterprise Zone. The Enterprise Zone is a state-sponsored tax benefit program designed to reduce the cost of doing business.

There are several areas in Turlock designated for retail and office use, including a recently renovated and viable downtown area property along Hwy. 99 and areas near Emanuel Medical Center, as well as commercial areas on Geer Rd., Golden State Blvd. and Countryside Plaza. The downtown area has several multi-story buildings with upper stories zoned for commercial, office and residential use.

California Enterprise Zones were established to stimulate economic development in certain areas of the state. Location 40 affords businesses a number of beneficial tax credits, deductions and incentives that reduce the cost of hiring new employees and investing in equipment in the Stanislaus Enterprise Zone. For more information please visit Stanislaus Alliance,

Business Startup

Starting a new business can be a daunting task. The following list, while not comprehensive, aims to hit many of the high points in the startup process.

1 IS RUNNING A BUSINESS FOR YOU? Becoming a business owner is extremely demanding and is not something to be entered into lightly. At the following website, find an article that includes a brief personality test designed to see if running a business could be right for you. landing.220369.

2 DO YOU HAVE A BUSINESS IDEA? You may already have a specific business idea that you feel strongly about. If not, reviewing your work history, hobbies and interests could help in identifying your ideal business. Look for something you feel passionately about and that has the potential to generate profits. The next site, although written with college students in mind, offers a useful template for anyone interested in coming up with business concepts. resources/Idea%20Exercise.pdf.

3 LOOK OBJECTIVELY AT YOUR SKILL SET. Operating a business requires a range of talents. Some of the major talents needed include:

a. Technical to produce your product or service. If you are planning to open a restaurant, are you well qualified as a chef? Similarly, for a consulting business, expertise in the targeted field is necessary.

b. Managerial to plan, prioritize tasks, set timelines, measure progress and motivate employees.

c. Financial to stay on top of your firm’s books, monitor cash flow and budget prudently.

d. Marketing to develop a strategy, generate customer leads, maximize customer service and close sales.

Rarely is an entrepreneur strong in all these areas. Carefully evaluate your current skills to determine training needs. You will need experts, either employees or outside professionals, to fill in any remaining skills gaps.

4 EXPAND YOUR SKILL SET. Frequently, the best way to develop the technical abilities required in your chosen business is to work as an employee for a company in the same field. Taking classes, which are available from a range of training providers, can enhance management and marketing skills. Start by checking out the upcoming workshops hosted by your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). In Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa and Tuolumne counties, the SBDC website is:

5 CONFER WITH A BUSINESS CONSULTANT. In addition to workshops on a range of topics (including starting with business), the Alliance SBDC offers one-on-one business counseling. Visit the website for more information, or call (209) 567-4910.

6 DEVELOP A BUSINESS PLAN. If your business idea seems promising and you plan to proceed, it is important to develop a business plan. The plan should spell out your goals for the business and how you will reach them. Many items can be included in a plan, starting with an executive summary. Some other elements include:

a. Product or Service describes what you will bring to the marketplace.

b. Structure identifies the business’ form: corporation, partnership, limited partnership.

c. Operations is a review of the daily functions of the business, supply sources, hours of business, etc.

d. Accounting describes your bookkeeping and financial tracking system.

e. Insurance categorizes the policies you will need for the business.

f. Management covers the talents of the business owner(s) and team.

g. Location identifies where you plan to locate the business.

h. Market Analysis reviews the opportunity you see, competition and more.

i. Marketing Strategy deals with your approach to attracting customers.

j. Financial shows how much money the business needs to start up, what the sources of funds are, and goes on to project what the fiscal future of the enterprise is expected to look like.

The business plan is an essential tool that will save you both time and money down the road. It is instrumental in helping you determining your state of readiness for launching your business and the viability of your concept. The Alliance SBDC has assisted hundreds of entrepreneurs with their planning process at no cost. Visit the SBDC website to view a variety of the documents related to business planning. business-planning.

Another Alliance department, the Business Resource Center (BRC), can assist you with industry reports and other research in support of your business planning efforts. index-brc.php.

7 REGISTER THE BUSINESS AND OBTAIN NEEDED PERMITS. If you have done your homework and established the viability of the concept, it may be time to launch your business. If so, you will need to register with a variety of governmental agencies. Some of the steps in this process include registering your business name, getting a business license, obtaining any special permitting (if needed) and much more.

The Alliance BRC can help guide you through this process. Other resources include:

Business Registration Process flowchart publications/2008/BusRegProcess2.pdf.

CalGold is a state of California site that lists licensing agencies by business type.

*Source: Alliance,

Chairman Message

I appreciate the opportunity to serve the business community as the Chairman of the Turlock Chamber of Commerce Board for the upcoming year. I look forward to working with this year’s Board of Directors as well as other leaders in this community to ensure that we continue to provide high-quality business programs and services that help to promote our local economy, the success of our member companies and a strong community.

While our region is seeing a number of promising economic trends, for many this continues to be a time of business and financial uncertainty. The Turlock Chamber of Commerce is working as a catalyst to support our local economy. It is our mission to promote a positive business environment in the greater Turlock area. Your Chamber continues to be a business advocate by focusing on member services, educational programs, cooperative partnerships and legislative advocacy. We work with the local business community, local and state government, the City of Turlock, CSUS, and other public and private organizations to make sure our members have all of the resources available to them in order to prosper. In doing so, we can continue to realize the opportunities and the history that surrounds us.

This year, the Chamber will focus on a number of economic development initiatives, establishing a regional consensus on advocacy for business, participating in community-wide efforts to secure and protect water for our communities, building our infrastructure and expanding economic opportunities. As always, the key to our success will be a unified business community working together to keep our economy moving in a positive direction.

Turlock is an amazing city and a great place to raise a family and run a business. It offers an outstanding quality of life and is a welcoming place where people can live, work, learn, shop and play. Our Chamber also is working to make our community healthier. It’s not only the right thing to do, it makes business sense too. While health care reform may improve access to services, we all continue to face escalating health care costs. In order to reduce these external cost pressures, we are working on well-designed, coordinated employee wellness initiatives that help prevent the need for more costly disease management and injury care. The Turlock Chamber of Commerce is leading the way with creative new health care initiatives for member businesses.

Welcome to Turlock! Let us know how we can help your business to grow.


Andrew Wigglesworth
Chairman, Chamber Board President & CEO MedicAlert Foundation

Culture and Arts

(209) 632-5761
250 N. Broadway St.

In 2005, a devastating fire forced the closure of the Carnegie Arts Center. Rebuilt and expanded by the city of Turlock, this state-of-the-art facility now hosts museum-quality exhibitions such as Ansel Adams: CALIFORNIA and Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist, drawing visitors locally and throughout California. As a community arts center, the Carnegie is also grounded in the local community where works by area artists are exhibited continuously. In addition to galleries, the Carnegie boasts a fully equipped loft for performing arts presentations as well as classrooms and outdoor spaces. Its offerings are wide ranging — dance, theater, painting, drawing and photography.

(209) 667-3959
One University Circle

CSU Stanislaus contributes to the artistic and cultural life of the region by presenting a number of live theatre, musical and fine arts events throughout the year. Purchase music and theatre tickets online through the School of the Arts at The University Art Gallery is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and from noon to 4 p.m. all other weekdays. Admission is free.

(209) 667-7332
226 N First St.

Located at 226 N. First St. in Turlock, First Street Gallery offers a wide array of originals and prints.

(209) 664-3620
2323 W. Main St.

First-run motion pictures are shown on 14 separate screens, located just west of the intersection with Highway 99.

(209) 668-1169
1574 E. Canal Dr.

Top-name entertainers regularly perform in this beautifully refurbished high school auditorium. Every seat in the house is like being in the front row.

(209) 632-2221

In 2011 the Turlock Film Commission was launched to aide filmmakers and to help optimize the amount of production required to produce a film in Turlock and the surrounding areas.

(209) 338-2100
1000 I St., Modesto

The mission of the Gallo Center for the Arts is to enrich the quality of life in the Central Valley by providing an inspirational civic gathering place where regional, national and international cultural activities illuminate, educate and entertain. The Gallo Center for the Arts celebrates the diversity of the Central Valley by offering an array of affordable cultural opportunities designed to appeal and be accessible to all.

(209) 664-9514
3908 S Gratton Rd., Denair

The Denair Gaslight Community Conservatory presents a wide variety of community-based theatrical entertainment and education. Home of Starmites and Sparks which are organizations that teach kids 3 to 18 the fundamentals of theater and dance.

(209) 523-6426, 1000
I St., Modesto

The company moved to the larger Mary Stuart Rogers Theater at the Gallo Center for the Arts, offering an ongoing list of performances.

Dining and Culture

Turlock has a variety of fabulous food for just about any appetite. Your dining options are endless in Turlock. Coffee bars, bistros, classic American cuisine, barbeque, Italian, Mexican, sports bars and steakhouses are just a sampling of over 100 popular restaurants and night spots in Turlock. Turlock has it all: the finest examples of cutting-edge California cuisine, authentic flavors from around the world and casual family dining. Diners will find a vast array of eateries ready to please the palate and the budget. Come by any time of the day or evening, and there’ll be a great meal waiting.


The mission of the Turlock Unified School District, a premier progressive educational system, is to ensure all students graduate as self-motivated, responsible citizens equipped to compete successfully in an ever-changing global society by delivering effective instruction that engages all students to reach their individual potential and highest achievements within a safe and caring student-centered environment in partnership with our families and diverse community.

TUSD has more than 721 certificated and 656 classified employees providing excellent learning opportunities to 13,671 students. TUSD includes nine elementary sites including two magnet schools— Osborn Two-Way Spanish Immersion Academy and Walnut Elementary Education Center’s math/science and visual/performing arts magnet programs— one middle school, one junior high school, two large comprehensive high schools, one continuation high school, a Head Start/State Preschool program, an On-Track program and the newly-opened eCademy Charter at Crane—all following the same traditional calendar year with 180 instructional days. The eCademy Charter at Crane school includes a K-12 Home School program, a 7-12 Independent Study program, a 9-12 Online Distance Learning program and a 9-12 Credit Recovery program. In addition, TUSD provides one of the largest Adult School/ROP programs in the Central Valley. TUSD offers the latest in online education for select students, including a new student netbook pilot program.

Turlock Unified School District K-12 Schools
(Including Turlock Adult School/ROP and Head Start/State Preschool)
Head Start: 4
State Preschool: 2
Set for Success (Ages 3-5): all elementary sites
Elementary Schools: 9 (including 2 magnet schools; Osborn Two-Way Spanish Immersion Academy and Walnut Elementary Education Center’s math/science and visual/performing arts magnet programs)
Middle/Jr. High Schools: 1 each
Comprehensive High Schools: 2
Continuation High School: 1
Adult School: 1
ROP Program: 1
On-Track program: 1
Charter School: 1 (includes a K-12 Home School program, a 7-12 Independent Study program, a 9-12 Online Distance Learning program and a 9-12 Credit Recovery program)

Preschool/Elementary Schools: 10
Middle/Jr. High Schools: 2
High Schools: 4

Preschool/Elementary Schools: 2
Middle/Jr. High Schools: 2
High Schools: 2

Trade Schools: 10

(209) 667-3122, One University Circle
California State University (CSU), Stanislaus, provides exceptional higher education programs for students from all over the world and particularly those from Stanislaus, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin and Tuolumne counties. The university significantly impacts the region by playing an important role in the development of the intellectual, financial, cultural and social life of the residents of our region.

A Tradition of Excellence For the seventh consecutive year, CSU Stanislaus was featured in the Princeton Review’s “The Best 377 Colleges,” recognizing it as one of the country’s top institutions for undergraduate education. The university was also named one of the best in the west by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2013 — the 17th year the university has received this honor. CSU Stanislaus was also recognized by the Princeton Review as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada; the university has been featured in all four annual editions of the “The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges.”

History The campus opened its doors to 765 students at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in 1960 as Stanislaus State College. The college moved to its permanent campus in 1965, and it was awarded university status and renamed California State University, Stanislaus in 1985. Today, the university enrolls nearly 9,000 students and boasts more than 50,000 degreed alumni.

The stunningly beautiful, 228-acre campus features modern classrooms, laboratories, performing arts facilities, residential complexes, athletic and intramural competition facilities and a “one-stop” administration building.

With a faculty-to-student ratio of just 23:1, students are able to get to know their professors, who number more than 450 full-time and part-time faculty. More than 80 percent of full-time faculty members hold doctoral degrees.

The faculty’s commitment to teaching excellence guarantees students a rich and rewarding intellectual environment, and graduates have excelled in fields ranging from business to medicine.

Academic Programs
CSU Stanislaus offers more than 100 majors, minors and areas of concentration, as well as seven post-graduate credentials, in four colleges: Business Administration, Education, Science, and Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Twelve academic programs are nationally accredited — Art, Chemistry, Music, Nursing (B.S. and M.S.), Genetic Counseling, Public Administration, Psychology, Social Work, Theatre and Education (Teacher Education and Teacher Credentialing).

Student Life
Students have the opportunity to participate in vibrant life experiences at CSU Stanislaus. With more than 85 clubs, fraternities and sororities and a number of student leadership programs, there are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved and enjoy a wide range of activities. The nearly 700 students who live on campus enjoy the Residential Life Village’s gated security, privacy and sense of community.

Preparing the Workforce
CSU Stanislaus excels in teacher preparation. Since 1994, more than 13,000 K-12 teachers have received their training here. The liberal studies program, designed to prepare teachers prior to their entry into the graduate-level Education Credential program, is one of the university’s most popular majors. Other popular programs include Business Administration, Nursing, Psychology and Biological Sciences. Moreover, CSU Stanislaus is an economic engine for the Central Valley, generating a total impact of $169 million on the regional economy and nearly $268.6 million on the statewide economy. Even greater, nearly $677 million of the earnings by CSU Stanislaus alumni are attributable to their CSU degrees, which creates an additional $1 billion of industry activity throughout the state.