Woodland's origins trace back to 1850 when California gained its statehood and Yolo County was established. Since the town started growing in population and resources, it has not stopped. The area was well irrigated due to the efforts of James Moore, and this drew people out to try their hand at farming. The endeavour was successful as people found the soil in the area very fertile. The city gained a federal post office and the next year the county seat was moved to Woodland. The addition of a railroad line, the close proximity to Sacramento, and the more recent addition of Interstate 5, helped create a thriving city.
Economy Woodland and the immediate surrounding area's economy has largely been based on agriculture. To this day, Yolo County is one of the largest crop producers in the state. Similarly, the transportation industry has played a large part in Woodland's economy. With heavy agricultural production comes the need to transport it. While maintaining the large role that agriculture and transportation still play in the town's activities, over the years Woodland has branched out into other sectors as well.
The industrial sector has grown in Woodland as is seen by the numerous manufacturing and warehouse centers. Modular homes are one of the largest manufactured goods in town. Several major retail stores have warehouses in Woodland or just outside the city limits. When the price of homes rose in California during the first half of the decade, Woodland was near the front of the wave due to many factors including proximity to Sacramento and its maintenance of a small community feeling. As a result, in 2002 Woodland had the highest percentage increase in property value in the nation.
Ease of access to the city provided by the close proximity of I-5 and I-80 as well as the Sierra Northern Railway and the California Northern Railroad are most likely why businesses have done so well in Woodland. Woodland's proximity to the Sacramento and San Francisco metro areas also provide businesses another reason to set up shop in town. Top employers According to ta recent Financial Report, the top employers in the city include: 1 Yolo County; 2 Dayton Hudson (Target); 3 Woodland Joint Unified School District; 4 Target Distribution Center; 5 Woodland Healthcare (Dignity Health); 6 Raley's /Bel Air; 7 Rite Aid Distribution Center; 8 Nugget Markets /Food 4 Less; 9 Walgreens; 10 City of Woodland.