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In this ranking, Modesto ranked 8th in housing affordability and travel time but also ranked 86th in job forecast growth and 99th in foreclosures.The City of Modesto was originally a stop on the railroad connecting Sacramento to Los Angeles.Led by milk, almonds, chickens, walnuts, and corn silage, the county grossed nearly .1 billion in agricultural production in 2011.The farm-to-table movement plays a central role in Modesto living as in the Central Valley.Modesto also will be served by the future California High Speed Rail.
Irrigation water came from dams installed in the foothills, and irrigated fields of vegetables and fruit and nut trees flourished. During World War II, the area provided canned goods, powdered milk, and eggs for the US armed forces and Allied forces.
The airport is used for manufacturing and the shipping industries throughout California and the United States.
Interstate 5 and California State Route 99 provide major highway access to Modesto.
Filmmaker George Lucas, who was born in Modesto, graduated from Thomas Downey High School in 1962 and attended Modesto Junior College, immortalized the city in his award-winning 1973 film American Graffiti.
Although it was not actually shot in Modesto, the film portrayed the spirit of cruising and friendship on Modesto's 10th and 11th Streets in 1962, and inspired a revival of interest in 1950s pop culture, including the TV show Happy Days and its spin-offs.
The city's annual Architectural Festival honors Modesto's history as a testing ground for mid-century modern architecture during the 1940s and '50s.