Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agribusiness




Sean Hurley


In 1978, Stanislaus County took a proactive approach to food processing byproduct waste and established the Food Processing Byproduct Use Program. It allows processors to transport byproduct to local producers, where it serves as an alternative input. There is concern that the program negatively impacts local groundwater. The Regional Water Quality Control Board proposed that the County institute water monitoring which would increase program expenses. In response to this proposal, participants investigated the impact of the cost increase and some have concluded that this increase would preclude their continued involvement. They believe the program has allowed them to maintain their competitiveness and has kept them from relocating.

This study investigates the economic impact of the food processors leaving the region due to a modification of the current program. Four economic impacts were studied—output, value-added, taxes, and employment. A sensitivity analysis was run to establish a range of possible value and the analysis yielded significantly higher results.

It was estimated that program modification would result in significant fiscal and employment effects for Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. This study determined that both Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties have a vested interest in ensuring that the program remains viable for processors.