Voice: Local farmers are barely getting by with almost nothing to ‘skim'

October 21, 2001

John Garcia, please do not include me when you write farmers no longer deserve our support.

My livelihood as well as the majority of the people of the Imperial Valley depends on the success of farmers, directly or indirectly.

Inefficiency within the Imperial Irrigation District should not be ignored. If you were to have your vehicle serviced and were charged labor for five mechanics when one could do the job, would you be concerned?

My business is to sell the finished product of the farmer. I know what the returns to the grower have been. Believe me, there has been no funds left to "skim." As a matter of fact, most of the proceeds have been "skimmed" by growing costs, harvesting costs and shipping costs before they reach the farmer. In the meantime, jobs have been created that fuel the economy of the Imperial Valley.


I do not know of any farmers who "maintain expensive lifestyles." If they exist, more power to them. If moneys invested in crops over the years were put into the stock market the profits would outmatch farming. Meanwhile, no forms of employment would have been produced.

The farmers are constantly looking for new crops to make their business profitable. One landowner in Holtville is willing to rent you, Mr. Garcia, 80 acres of land for half the normal rate in order to see if you can turn a profit even with "the cheapest water in California."

The farmers I know are hard-working, community-minded citizens that are second- and third-generation landowners who are raising third- and fourth- generation children and grandchildren. The well-being of the Valley does matter to them, for this is their legacy.

Overall your letter has a divisive tone. Now more than ever, divisiveness is contrary to the mood of our country. Let's unite to continue to make the Imperial Valley our home together.



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