Sep 7, 2022 | Blog

Family Farm Alliance Leaders In The News

Alliance Leaders in the News


The Family Farm Alliance board of directors consists of farmers and ranchers with a passion for their work and a love for the rural communities they live in. The Alliance Advisory Committee is made up of Western men and women who are water professionals, such as irrigation district managers, attorneys, association executives, and engineers.

Several of these outstanding individuals are making news, in their own neighborhoods and across the nation.

‘It’s a scary time;’ Central Valley farmer threatened by drought

Family Farm Alliance director Cannon Michael and his family have deep roots farming the fertile fields of the Central Valley, but the worsening California drought has him on edge.

“It keeps you up at night and you wonder what the future is going to hold. It’s a scary time,” Mr. Michael told KPIX (CBS, San Francisco).

He manages the Bowles Farming Company – 11,000 acres of farmland located outside of Los Banos in Merced County – and he takes pride in his yearly harvest.

“I’m really humbled and proud to see what the land can produce,” he told KPIX during a recent visit to his farm.

His family has farmed the fields for 6 generations and there’s a good chance that you’ve enjoyed some of their bounties.

Check out the full (2 m, 43 s) segment, which was the lead story on the KPIX evening news on August 30.

Preserving the California Food Supply with Sound Solutions

Alliance Director William Bourdeau is Vice President of Harris Farms, a Director of Westlands Water District, and Chairman of the Board of the California Water Alliance.

He speaks about preserving the California food supply for the future in this two-part podcast series produced by California Ag Today.

The Future of the American West is in Central Oregon

Wow. It’s not often that the Washington Post carries a story that is complementary of Western irrigated agriculture. But they got it right this time, in this Bloomberg story that the Post ran in the last Sunday edition in August: “The Future of the American West is in Central Oregon”

Alliance Director Marc Thalacker is the protagonist in this true-life story, which explains how his Three Sisters Irrigation District (TSID), by converting open ditches to pressurized pipe, was able to increase the water supply, extend the growing season and reduce water use by a third or more. The saved water now finds its way back to the creek, which both federal and state agencies encourage in return for their support. It also reduces the stress on groundwater.

Way to go, Mr. Thalacker, and Alliance members TSID, Arnold Irrigation District, and Farmers Conservation Alliance! 

Success in Washington State’s Yakima River Basiin Holds Lessons for Others

A decade ago, the water managers of the Yakima Basin tried something different. Tired of spending more time in courtrooms than at conference tables and faced with studies showing the situation would only get worse, they hashed out a plan to manage the Yakima River and its tributaries for the next 30 years to ensure a stable supply of water.

Alliance Advisory Committee Member Urban Eberhart and other Alliance members are highlighted in this story, which ran in the New York Times over the past weekend:

Climate Change Is Ravaging the Colorado River. There’s a Model to Avert the Worst. Success in the Yakima River Basin in Washington holds lessons for the seven states at war over water in the American West.” 

The success of the Family Farm Alliance is rooted in the passionate and creative work of our members. We’ll continue to share examples of their good work with you.

We will continue to keep you informed on this and other developments impacting Western irrigated agriculture.
If you’re not a member, join us!