May 2013 - Irrigation Technology

It was a remarkable scene as WG President and CEO Tom Nassif sat in front of news cameras with United Farm Worker President Arturo Rodriguez, as well as other members of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition on April 18, and touted the compromise the ag leaders had reached on the agricultural guest worker component of comprehensive immigration reform.

Tim Linden

“Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there.” ~Virginia Burden, author


The mission statement of Western Growers is ever-present in my mind and in the minds of everyone who works on behalf of our members.  Our mission:  “To enhance the competitiveness and profitability of our members and to lead our members and the fresh produce industry toward a healthy, sustainable and profitable future.

QUINTESSENTIAL AGRICULTURAL FIRM: There may not be a better example of what modern agriculture is all about than Gilroy’s own Christopher Ranch.  Ask most farmers for a description of themselves and their profession and the same concepts turn up over and over again: Traditional.  Unassuming.  Modest.  Philanthropic.  Community. Understated.  These are the same words that come to mind when discussing the world’s largest family-owned garlic operation.

Tim Linden

What if irrigation was an exact science?  It may not be that far off thanks to evolving technology and teams of dedicated researchers working toward that and other water solutions.

Early in 2010, Western Growers joined NASA Ames Research Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Marshall Space Flight Center, California State University (CSU) Monterey Bay, and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to work on a joint project, “Water Supply and Management in California.”

Wendy Fink-Weber

The simple truth that people need both food and water, and plants need water to produce food has long been recognized in California.  Water Code section 106 provides “the use of water for domestic purposes is the highest use of water and that the next highest use is for irrigation.”

Wendy Fink-Weber

On a rainy day in late March, Drew and Chelsea (McClarty) Ketelsen of HMC Farms and I made a whirlwind tour around Oakland, Calif.  The McClartys had donated $10,000 to the Foundation and, after a rigorous application process, Western Growers Foundation awarded several Oakland schools $1,000 each to grow and sustain their fruit and vegetable garden.

Western Growers Assurance Trust hosted a successful round of executive forums on Health Care Reform throughout California and Arizona in March and April to educate members about the 2014 Affordable Care Act mandates and to provide solutions for agricultural businesses.

Wendy Fink-Weber

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