Sep 14, 2022 | Blog

Op Ed: Time To Stop Crop Shaming Western Farmers

Arizona Faces Massive Water Cuts:
How Will Farmers Adapt?


Another round of water cuts is coming to the U.S. Southwest, already forced to cut usage amid a 20+ year megadrought.

Arizona could see the largest cuts, and as a state with a heavy interest in agriculture, farmers’ livelihoods are at stake as they attempt to adapt.

Chris Udall, the executive director of the Agribusiness and Water Council of Arizona, is interviewed in this segment, which recently ran on China Global Television Network (CGTN). Mr. Udall serves on the Family Farm Alliance Advisory Committee and his organization has been a long-time supporting member of the Alliance.

Alasdair Baverstock from CGTN – state-run English-language news channel based in Beijing, China – reports HERE.

It’s Time to Stop Crop-Shaming Farmers


In order to dispel the consistent claim that farmers ought to do more to combat drought, we joined with the California Farm Water Coalition (CFWC) to pen a guest opinion exclusively for The Desert Sun newspaper. The piece, cowritten by Alliance executive director Dan Keppen and CFWC executive director Mike Wade, urges “working together” for the protection of the domestic food supply.

“What is not helping is the relentless finger-pointing by non-agricultural water agencies and critics of agriculture, saying that farmers aren’t doing enough,” the authors write. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The piece underscores the importance of Western irrigated agriculture and includes specific examples of farmers and water agencies in the Lower Colorado River Basin who are conserving and curtailing water use, often at great cost.

The Desert Sun ran the opinion piece, which you can read by clicking HERE.

Our write-up concludes with an abbreviated quote from Imperial Irrigation District General Manager Enrique Martinez, who was interviewed for a comprehensive story that ran last month in The Desert Sun, titled “California drought 2022: Two water districts eye hefty Colorado River cuts” which can be found HERE.

“When you start cutting back, be careful what you ask for,” Mr. Martinez told The Desert Sun, “IID’s water, 97% of that is for agriculture, that’s creating food for people, for cattle, you’ve got dairy and other products being created for many parts of the state and nation. You’ve got to keep that in mind, and keep listening to the farmers, because ultimately, you don’t want to get to the point of creating a food crisis to solve a water crisis.”

Please feel free to share this guest column with your social media network.

At Family Farm Alliance, we’ll continue to advocate for the important role Western farmers and ranchers play to provide safe and reliable food to Americans and the world.

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