It all started when I was reading a Congressional Research Service report on members of the 114th Congress of the United States of America.
I had to know who the two almond orchard owners were, and I was determined to do so.
After learning that California is the only state in the United States with a climate suitable for the growth of almonds, I focused my efforts on Representatives from that state. After many Google searches, I found a challenger candidate named Michael Eggman running in California's 10th District who happened to be an almond farmer. He is running against incumbent Republican Jeff Denham.
I realized that there was most likely going to be a direct correlation (and possibly causation) between how many acres of almonds were in the congressional district and whether or not the corresponding Representative had partaken in the farming of almonds.
Looking at the two maps above, I determined that the three Congressional Districts with the most almonds were California's 10th, 16th, and the 23rd. Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority leader, was determined by myself to not be an almond farmer. However, Jeff Denham, the Representative I mentioned earlier as being the incumbent challenged by an almond farmer, is also a former almond farmer. According to Wikipedia, he farms the nut on his ranch in Merced county with his family. In this election, California's 10th District is seeing a matchup between two almond formers-- which means that the House will still have at least one almond farmer come next session.
The other District, the 16th, is represented by Jim Costa, a Democrat. Reading a 2009 Hill article on his new aides, I learned that, he too, was an almond farmer at some point in his life. He has an orchard outside of Fresno.