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