UC Cooperative Extension specialist Jeff Mitchell's daily drive to work down Elkhorn Avenue inspired him to write an op-ed about what the roadway represents to San Joaquin Valley agriculture. The story was published Saturday in the Fresno Bee.
Elkhorn Avenue represents the very best of our Valley and it provides a lot that we might all be proud of," Mitchell wrote.
He comments on the color of soils along the route, ranging from light sandy soils derived from the Sierra Nevada to the dark, finely textured clay that formed as alluvial fans from the Coast Range. Along the 30-mile stretch he has noticed 30 different crops growing and different innovative irrigation systems - drip, micro-sprinklers and overhead systems.
Mitchell says the trip also opens his mind to innovative farmers that produce crops not far from the Elkhorn throughway, such as Dino Giacomazzi, a Kings County dairy operator, and John Diener, a Fresno County innovator in biofuel production and conservation tillage, who have both won the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award.
"The future of Elkhorn Avenue's dynamic innovation thus rests with all of us. May we act wisely," Mitchell wrote.