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Our Opinion: It's going to happen

June 09, 2001

It is looking more and more like the Imperial Valley will see its dairy industry grow in the next year and years to come. This good news means more jobs, more money moving through the area and economic development that will only strengthen the Valley and improve the quality of life.

The committee of Imperial Valley people working to bring the dairies here, an effort managed by the Imperial County Farm Bureau, deserves credit. The committee has been aggressive, proactive and done what it takes to make sure those in the dairy industry outside the Valley know what we have to offer.

From what we hear, the dairy industry is taking a serious look at the Valley. Local officials say that in the next year at least one dairy could start construction, and we believe them when they say it only takes one or two dairies to attract more. As dairies locate in the Valley, there will be a trickle-down effect as other businesses benefit from the dairies

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We have much to offer the dairies, from open spaces to cheap power, and from water to a ready work force. And there is more. Local officials working on the dairy attraction committee have obtained a permit from the state Regional Water Quality Control Board that will make it easier for each individual dairy to go through the permitting process. A process that would take six months could be cut down to two weeks.

The local effort to attract dairies doesn't end there. Local officials also are working to earn a state designation as an area where those in the dairy industry can receive an allowance to help cover the cost of shipping their products. We wish officials luck in obtaining that designation.

There has been a united effort involving the county Board of Supervisors, the Imperial Irrigation District and the private sector to attract the dairies. A united effort can make a difference and we are confident it will.

There seems to be a lot of people pulling together right now, guided by the idea of expanding economic development efforts. Such efforts do make a difference, and we can prove that through the dairy attraction effort. We will have more dairies in the Valley soon. We will have more jobs to offer, and we will see the economy of the Valley improve.

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