- Author: Jeffrey P Mitchell
Two CASI farmer members, Darrell Cordova of Denair and Jesse Sanchez of Firebaugh, along with minimum till equipment entrepreneurs Alan Wilcox and Juan Trujillo of Walnut Grove, were recently called upon to provide some local San Joaquin Valley hospitality to international visitor groups from Mexico and Afghanistan.
The visit with Darrell was specifically held to showcase ways in which individual farmers like Darrell work with groups like NRCS and CASI to achieve both economically viable production with tangible conservation benefits. Darrel's work to improve his production system efficiencies has involved other CASI partners including CSU Fresno weed ecologist, Anil Shrestha and Valley Irrigation's Terry Ioerger, and evolved into a continuous no-till winter forage mix followed by corn, - both irrigated by a center pivot irrigation system now for about four years.
Following the farm visit with Cordova, the group made their way to the Walnut Grove manufacturing facility of Wilcox Agriproducts where they met with Alan Wilcox and Juan Trujillo, two founding CASI members and minimum tillage equipment designers and providers. In the meeting with Wilcox and Trujillo, the Mexican delegation learned about the success Wilcox Agriproducts has had in developing reduced pass tillage implements that save fuel and cut costs in a wide range of highly efficient crop production context, both here in California and also in Arizona. They also learned about the private-public partnership that Wilcox Agriproducts has had with CASI and how the two efforts have worked together over the years to develop and disseminate information on conservation agriculture systems here in California.
The post-tour evaluation summaries we have received from each of these tour groups reveals that they very much appreciated and greatly benefited from the very kind, generous and helpful information that they received from each of these CASI hosts. Their willingness to give of their time and to step up in such gracious ways accomplished very tangible measures of SJV hospitality and broader reach that CASI is now beginning to have.