John El­more hon­ored as the Jim Kuhn Memo­rial Farmer of the Year.

Imperial Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - BY WIL­LIAM ROLLER Staff Writer

BRAW­LEY — The 13th an­nual Farmer of the Year ban­quet here Thurs­day evening cel­e­brated the late John El­more as the Jim Kuhn Memo­rial Farmer of the Year. Dur­ing the an­nual meet­ing of the Im­pe­rial County Farm Bu­reau at the Stock­man’s Club here, El­more was pre­sented the award posthu­mously, as he passed away at 91-year­sold on Aug. 29.

El­more raised mel­ons, grapes, as­para­gus and let­tuce, re­called Don Emanuelli, al­falfa and seed grower. El­more worked his al­lot­ment of the fam­ily farm at Desert Ranch said Emanuelli.

“He did a lot for the com­mu­nity, a huge sup­porter by putting a lot of kids into col­lege through schol­ar­ships he spon­sored,” said Emanuelli. El­more was an in­no­va­tor who started sub­sur­face drainage with plas­tic pipe. It changed the sys­tem of how agri­cul­ture was pro­duced. The fields could be drained faster and more eco­nom­i­cally and many young farm­ers fol­lowed his foot­steps.

“What I loved about him, he had the abil­ity to ask you about some­thing he was sure you knew about, then chal­lenge your ac­cu­racy on the sub­ject,” said Emanuelli. “He was Braw­ley’s big­gest sup­porter. When he was asked how he could live in Braw­ley, he’d an­swer, how could you not. He felt sorry for any­body who didn’t live here.”

It’s a great event to rec­og­nize those in the agri­cul­ture com­mu­nity re­marked Mark McB­room, owner of Bloom to Box Crop Care, Inc., past pres­i­dent of the ICFB and who led the evenings in­vo­ca­tion.

“This is a cel­e­bra­tion of those who ex­cel above and beyond in our in­dus­try,” said McB­room. “It’s good to get to­gether with the north- and south-end to praise our achieve­ments and the Farmer of the Year.” Jimmy Abatti, of the Abatti Fam­ily Farms, said it is good to rec­og­nize the Farmer of the Year be­cause some have been in the com­mu­nity 50 years and sup­ported the Val­ley in many dif­fer­ent ways. He re­called Jim Kuhn, who passed from an un­timely death, brought a new vi­sion. “It’s nice to keep the mem­ory of Jim Kuhn alive and the im­por­tance of agri­cul­ture to the lo­cal econ­omy and to the world,” he said. Jeff Plourd, sec­ond vice pres­i­dent of ICFB, pre­sented the Friend of The Farmer Award to Eric Natwick, en­to­mol­ogy ad­vi­sor at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion. He re­marked Natwick has been a crit­i­cal re­source for pest man­age­ment in al­falfa and veg­etable crops.

“He’s helped de­velop ir­ri­ga­tion man­age­ment prac­tices help­ful to famers in the field,” said Plourd. “He was on the Holtville City Coun­cil two terms and then mayor in 1988/1989. He’s a very con­ge­nial guy and easy to work with.”

The late John Jameson El­more of El Cen­tro hon­ored as the Jim Kuhn Memo­rial Farmer of the Year.

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