I'd like to know more about the economy in the region, but let me first show what I think I know...
The San Joaquin Valley was a desert at one time. Snowfall melt in Spring caused a short growing season in small areas and occasional flood. That is, until we found ways to reservoir and channel the water.The Valley may be the most productive region in the US, occasional shortage or over snow can wreck havoc. Farming is inherently unpredictable, but this adds another layer of risk. The migrant workers never stopped despite the talk of closing our southern border but occasional shortage during harvest...
I am in agreement that food production may become more important in the future. That is long term trend none the less. On the other hand, long term water shortage also post enormous challenge.
Central Valley Bank operates on the northern end of the Valley. My casual reading is that its customer base is heavily agricultural. The fortune of the bank is closely tied to that of the region.
Ag business experienced a surge in mid to late 2000's. It has been bumpy ever since.
The RE value saw huge increases in that period, but nowhere near the explosive rise in Southern California. I'd guess the reversal did not sting quite as badly.
I have never been there. Reading is no substitute for experience. So please add your observations. I'd appreciate it.
You asked for info re. The Central Valley. It is a very large area, sort of unofficially split between the San Joaquin Valley in the central part, around Fresno, and the Sacramento Valley, around Sacramento. Perhaps one might also consider a southern section, towards Bakersfield.
The economy in the area served by the CVCY has three primary drivers. Ag, Medical and Building. Of the three, building is in great distress. There is considerable unemployment, primarily in that industry. Fresno has first class medical facilities, with a number of large hospitals, and serves as a medical center for much of the surrounding area. Ag has it's ups and downs. There is always high unemployment in the ag industy, due to seasonality, and that skews regional statistics. The eastern side of the valley gets more water, from snowmelt in the mountains, which rise to around 14,000 feet. There is a remarkable irrigation system, with numerous reservoirs feeding into a hundreds of mile long canal system. The western side of the valley is suffering more water problems due to a cut-back of water supplies to protect small fish in the Sacramento Delta.
Cental Valley Community Bank is a class organization. I dealt with them over a period of years, although not at the present. I am not currently investing there, but would consider it.