Livingston is a city in Merced County, California, United States. Livingston is located 7 miles (11 km) west-northwest of Atwater, at an elevation of 131 feet (40 m). According to the 2010 census, the city population was 13,058, up from 10,473 in 2000. Livingston’s total area is 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2), including undeveloped farmland annexed in anticipation of future growth. The Livingston post office opened in 1873, closed in 1882, and re-opened in 1883. The town was named for Dr. David Livingstone, a British explorer of Africa who was an international celebrity in the late 1800s. An error on the town’s Post Office application resulted in the difference in spelling between his name and the town’s.
Livingston lies in the fertile San Joaquin Valley. Like the rest of the valley, it has long, dry summers and depends on irrigation water. The winters are mild, alternating between fog, rain, and sun, with occasional frost. The growing season is long, and there is a low risk of mold, drought, or bad weather interfering with crops. Due to deposits from the Merced River, Livingston’s soil is unusually sandy, distinguishing it from the clay-based soils predominant in most of the valley.Livingston and Merced County are a center of the agriculture industry. Livingston’s largest businesses are agriculture-related. Among these are the largest poultry producer in the western United States, Foster Farms, and a dairy, Joseph Gallo Farms, which owns the largest dairy herd in the United States.
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