Escondido Economy Rich in Agriculture and Ripe in Technology

City hosts AgTech Startup Hackathon as a kickoff to bring the AgTech community together 

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Escondido’s rich agricultural history has cemented its position as a key farming community in San Diego County. But its agricultural make-up goes far beyond the traditional citrus, avocado, and grape crops that have colored the city hills since the early 1900s. Today, Escondido’s agricultural industry has evolved to include specialty crops, sustainable farming systems, and technology that saves water, increases output, and conserves energy. This diverse ecosystem has made Escondido a unique and bustling location to support AgTech efforts in Southern California.

Residents and Escondido neighbors can get involved in growing the local AgTech scene at the AgTech Startup Hackathon event weekend. Taking place October 21-23, the event will bring together farmers, technologists, community leaders, engineers, and more to enjoy a jam-packed agenda that focuses on food system problems and innovative solutions. 

Secure your ticket here, and in the meantime, read more about the agriculture and AgTech companies and efforts already making an impact in Escondido and beyond.

Escondido Companies and Organizations Supporting AgTech 

San Diego County Farm Bureau

San Diego County contributes $1.8 billion annually to the local economy, with many of those dollars coming from Escondido’s agricultural impact. The San Diego County Farm Bureau – located in Escondido – helps farmers navigate a complex regulatory environment and advocates for farmers so they can remain economically viable in San Diego County. 

San Diego County Farm Bureau offices are in the AGHub building in Escondido.

Escondido’s MFRO Water Filtration Facility

In 2012, Escondido officials were faced with the reality that the City needed a new and innovative solution to deal with its wastewater. Last year, the City broke ground on a new Membrane Filtration Reverse Osmosis (MFRO) Facility, which will treat Escondido’s recycled wastewater so that it is usable for agriculture. Instead of wasting usable water and sending it through a pipeline into the ocean, this water will now be directed back into the City and used by farmers to water their crops.

Computer rendering of the MFRO facility to be completed in 2023.

Aquacycl’s Wastewater Regeneration

Headquartered in Escondido, Aquacycl is a woman-owned and woman-run wastewater treatment technology company. Aquacycl’s BioElectrochemical Treatment Technology offers an onsite water treatment technology that breaks down 80-90% of wastewater and converts some into energy, which fuels the system, and safely disposes into our waterways.

Aquacycl’s BioElectrochemical Treatment Technology wastewater systems in use on a site.

Past, Present, and Future of Farming in Escondido

Tucked away in foothills, Escondido may be the “hidden” valley of San Diego County, but its agriculture footprint is no secret. For centuries, Escondido’s reputation as a grower’s haven drew in farmers far and wide to plant their roots in the city. Many of these growers still operate in the City today, and many new faces have joined, introducing more techniques and products in the region.

The beautiful avocado farms in Escondido.

Escondido Tackles Drought with Novel Solutions

Escondido understands the importance of conservation and regenerative practices, and was recently ranked No. 1 in the County for its performance and progress on its Climate Action Plan (CAP). Through diversified water sources, conservation, and a nationally renowned desalination plant, San Diego County has been able to stave off water supply issues for the foreseeable future thanks to the efforts spearheaded by Escondido.

In 1889, the Escondido Irrigation District was formed in order to augment local agricultural water supplies.



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