Mr. Bush was the keynote speaker at the Ag Warriors Gala in Tulare. His visit comes just one day after Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich stopped by the World Ag Expo.
George W. Bush stepped off his plane in Visalia Wednesday night, and arrived to a round of applause inside the World Ag Expo's Entertainment Pavilion.
Thousands of people waited in line to hear Mr. Bush speak. Tickets ranged from $50.00 for a seat in the back, to $25 thousand dollars for a table of ten up front.
Joyce Glenn said, "Oh, I think it's incredible. I think it's absolutely wonderful that he's here. It's kinda surprising."
During his thirty minute speech, the former President cracked jokes and talked about how much he's enjoying his time out of office. He also took part in a question and answer period, where he touched on 9/11 and the decisions he made following the attack.
Jason Meadows said, "I'm a teacher and I tell my kids all the time that you know you have to look ahead and sometimes make those decision, and that's something he really addressed here tonight."
While attendees were fascinated with his star presence, the real reason Mr. Bush visited Tulare was to raise money and awareness for the Ag Warriors Program.
Five colleges and universities have already signed up to help train veterans and put them into permanent agriculture jobs.
U.S. Army veteran and Armona native Adam Sabourin helped launch the program. He was honored on stage during Wednesday's event.
Army veteran Anthony Graves says that's exactly what drew him to the Ag Warriors Gala.
Anthony Graves said, "Integrating just back into society is a difficult job within itself, let alone getting back into something like Ag business."
As for organizers, they say the gala and its keynote speaker were unlike anything they've ever had at the World Ag Expo.
Some of the ticket holders had a chance to actually meet the former president and take a picture with him. The entire event lasted nearly three hours.