Oxnard's roots in agriculture date back to founder Henry T. Oxnard's sugar beet enterprise. Farming persists to this day.
You can’t come to Oxnard without noticing the farmland throughout this coastal town. Agriculture has played a significant role in the development of Oxnard’s diverse community. In the 1870s, groups of Germans, Irish, French, and other Europeans arrived in the area. Portuguese, Mexican, and Filipino workers followed during the two World Wars. When strawberries took over as the top harvest, the demand for a larger workforce led to a flourishing Latino community that continues to this day.
In this Oxnard Agriculture and Farming Guide, we'll explore
At the end of the 19th century, Oxnard was well on its way to becoming an agricultural powerhouse. With the development of the sugar beat factory, this area started to grow.
Here’s how it all started:
In 1897, local ranchers Albert Maulhardt and Johannes Borchard started planting sugar beets throughout the region. Two years later, Henry T. Oxnard invested $2 million to build the American Sugar Beet Factory, one of the largest sugar refineries in the continental U.S. Migrants from Mexico, China and Japan flocked to the area to work at the factory. The Southern Pacific Railroad built a station near the factory, bringing in more business and more workers.
In 1958, the factory closed down, but Oxnard still produces avocados, lemons, and strawberries shipped across California and worldwide.
Want to know how Oxnard got its name? The City of Oxnard was developed to accommodate the growing population of factory workers and their families and was named after Henry T. Oxnard.
In the 1800s, Christian Borchard and his son, John Edward “Ed” Borchard, planted the first 30 acres of wheat and 30 acres of barley in Oxnard - the first commercial crop on the Oxnard plain. Ed Borchard planted various sugar beets and partnered with Albert F. Maulhardt. The factory was developed in 1898.
Over a century ago, the McGrath family settled in Ventura County. The family farming legacy dates back to February 1876. The McGrath Family Farm in Camarillo is a sustainable farm that grows organic fruits and vegetables.
Sample some of Oxnard’s locally grown fruits and veggies, nuts, and honey at Oxnard’s Farmers Markets. The Channel Islands Harbor Farmers Market is held every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm. Listen to live music and soak in the harbor views. On Thursdays, visit the Downtown Oxnard Farmers Market from 9 am to 1:30 pm on “B” Street.
The Oxnard Historic Farm Park dates back to the 1870s and offers a slice of local history. The site is located on one acre of land containing vintage farm implements and historic crop samples. Stop by for a tour on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
(Source: Oxnard Chamber of Commerce)
Crop protection and fertilizer
751 S. Rose Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93030
Food Testing Lab
2451 Eastman Avenue, Suite 1, Oxnard, CA 93030
Premium soils, composts, and mulches
201 Kinetic Drive, Oxnard, CA 93030
Beardsley & Son, Inc.
Dry and liquid fertilizers
2473 Camino Del Sol, Oxnard, CA 93030
Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc.
Fruits and Vegetables
860 Pacific Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93033
Gills Onions, LLC
1051 S. Pacific Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93030
2500 Vineyard Avenue, Suite 300, Oxnard, CA 93036
Nutrien Ag Solutions
Crop inputs and services
2150 Eastman Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93030
Southland Sod Farms
PO Box 579, Port Hueneme, CA 93044
Ventura Pacific Company
245 E. Colonia Road, Oxnard, CA 93030
4300 Etting Road, Oxnard, CA 93033
1901 Eastman Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93036
Yara North America
Oxnard Harbor District, Dock 1, Building 582, Port Hueneme, CA 93041
Whether you’re traveling on a road trip, visiting the Channel Islands or exploring art and culture in Downtown Oxnard, now you know more about Oxnard’s rich agricultural and farming history.
For the best things to do, places to stay, and top spots to wine and dine in Oxnard, download our Visitor’s Guide. Whether you’re visiting for the day or planning a weekend getaway, there’s something fun to do in Oxnard for families, couples, and adventure travelers.
How to Travel Responsibly
More to Explore: