Comstock's magazine 1117 - November 2017 - Page 45

and Englehardt says revenues are forecasted to quadruple in the next year. A map by the Woodland Food & Ag Business Cluster shows 124 food and ag companies that call Woodland home, including Pacific International Rice Mills (which operates the oldest continually-operating rice mill in California), AgSeeds Unlimited, Sun Foods, SeedTec, Hilleby Interna- tional, Turold International and Wilkinson International. A VIBRANT TOWN The drive to lure major agricultural business to Woodland is purposeful, a concerted effort by city leaders that began in 2014 — after an assessment of Woodland’s economic strengths revealed a diverse and growing food and ag indus- try, says Ken Hiatt, Woodland assistant city manager and community development director. The City updated its general plan to streamline the ap- proval process for new development; invested in a $280 million-project to shift its water supply from groundwater to the cleaner, more reliable Sacramento River; created a food and ag advisory council with leadership from Woodland’s industry cluster; and developed a branding and marketing campaign to promote Woodland as an epicenter of food and agriculture. This momentum celebrates what Mayor Angel Bara- jas  describes as the city’s historic agricultural roots and provides a progressive, pro-business climate that yields a thriving tax base. “We know it as an ag community, but we also know cit- ies develop,” says Barajas, who grew up in Woodland and returned after college. A former chairman of the Parks & Recreation Commission, and trustee of the Woodland Joint Unified School District, Barajas was elected to the City Council in 2014 and now serves as mayor. “We’re finding the fine line between growth and protecting our historic roots.” Walk through the downtown and you’ll find restored 100-year houses, big shady trees lining the streets and a revitalized Main Street that, unlike many Central Valley towns, doesn’t have shuttered, empty storefronts. Wood- land’s downtown is on the National Historic Places registry. The choice in dining alone along Main Street tells the story of success: a wine bar with a patio across from the restored Woodland Opera House, a sushi restaurant, a ta- queria, an Irish pub, a brew house, an Afghan eatery and a burger restaurant that serves the mayor’s favorite —  a ja- lapeno burger. Bands and musicians often set up in front of the Opera House on the weekends. The 1937 theater has WE LOVE CLOSING ESCROWS Over the years, Placer Title has played a key role in the Sacramen- to real estate community. Our escrow teams have extensively handled residential, commercial and development transactions throughout the Sacramento Region. We are proud to be your lo- cally owned title company. Our title searches are conducted local- ly, never outsourced. Our superior escrow teams have a solid rep- utation for customer service excellence. Placer Title is very excited to be working the real estate professionals who are transforming our region into an extraordinary place to live, work and play. SEARCHING FOR THE BEST OF LOCAL? Choose Placer Title Company VAL BALDO President Sacramento Division PHOTO BY: CLAYTON BLAKLEY MATT HARGON Vice President Sacramento Division November 2017 | 45