From the Archives

Wheat: Galt’s first cash crop

Galt has been a farming community for 150 years. The cash crop has changed several times, and in the beginning, it was wheat. This four-man harvesting crew from 1880 is working on one of the many large ranches west of Galt, possibly McFarland Ranch. One of the main staples on a supper table was bread in California’s infancy, but flour had to come from the Mid-West. Entrepreneurs like John McFarland and Obed Harvey saw the need for wheat to send to newly built grain mills in Sacramento or Stockton. They dedicated thousands of their acreage to wheat, which brought in a great market price. An eventual overabundance of wheat brought prices down, so the cash crop would switch to dairy.