Members of the strawberry industry came together Wednesday night to celebrate its contributions to the Central Coast economy.
The Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce hosted a dinner for local companies and people who produce, package and sell strawberries.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture report said that the average American eats approximately 10.3 pounds of strawberries in a year, which is more than ever.
"I think the people in the community need to remember that strawberries and agriculture in general are making this town what it is," said Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce CEO Glenn Morris. "They continue to be the foundation that allows everything else that happens here to happen."
The USDA report also said that the Santa Maria Valley is second only to the Salinas Valley in number of acreage for strawberry production.