Directors of the Imperial Valley’s Three Farming Organizations See a Positive Future For Agriculture Despite Current and Future Challenges

Pictured from left to right are Cherie Watte, executive director of Imperial Valley Water (IVH20), Rachel Magos, executive director of the Imperial County Farm Bureau, and Shelby Trimm, executive director of both the Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association and the Coalition of Labor Agriculture and Business. All three took time from their busy schedules to discuss their role and the role of their organizations in supporting Imperial Valley agriculture.

With 500,000 acres of farmland in the Imperial Valley, agriculture continues to not only be vital to the economy of the Valley, but now perhaps more than ever the crops grown on that land are critical to the entire country and a world that is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Considering just how essential Imperial Valley agriculture is, strong voices ready to advocate on behalf of the farming community are pivotal—especially considering the ongoing challenges farmers face, like increasing costs of

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One El Centro Nurse’s Story of Serving His Community During the Pandemic

Charlie Ridaura, a registered nurse at El Centro Regional Medical Center, is pictured in the hospital’s E.R. Ridaura shared his experience of serving as an emergency room nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic for this Community Spotlight feature.
Photo provided by ECRMC.

You could say that for much of Charlie Ridaura’s life, he’s known he wanted to work in the medical field. His older brother is a paramedic, and Ridaura first planned to follow in his brothers’ footsteps by becoming a firefighter.

But the Calexico, California native changed his path while working as an emergency medical technician at El Centro Regional Medical Center.

“I started to like working in the hospital,” he said. “I was exposed to what nurses do, and I decided this is where I wanted to be.”

Today, the 28-year-old, who holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Grand Canyon University, is coming off the hardest year of

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  • How To Nominate

    To nominate a deserving community member, fill out the attached form, which will be sent electronically to Water Authority staff member Darren Simon.


    The Water Authority looks forward to featuring the person you have suggested for the Community Feature page. Should there be a backlog of nominations, it may take time to for your nomination to be highlighted, but we will strive to have a story done in a timely manner.

Imperial County Ag Commissioner distributes more than half a million face masks to ag industry; efforts ongoing

Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner Carlos Ortiz (right) delivers face mask to an agricultural company in the Imperial Valley. Since May, the County Ag Commissioner’s Office has led the distribution of more than half a million masks to the ag community as part of a coordinated statewide effort.
Photo Courtesy of Imperial County

With agriculture recognized as an essential service, the Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office has taken the lead in distributing more than half a million face masks to all sectors of the agricultural industry in the Valley since May and the efforts to provide the masks are continuing.

“This
was a positive result of the state understanding our need,” said Imperial
County Agricultural Commissioner Carlos Ortiz. “They heard us.”

The
distribution of face masks to the ag community was part of a joint statewide
effort of the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association
together with the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the
Department

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  • How To Nominate

    To nominate a deserving community member, fill out the attached form, which will be sent electronically to Water Authority staff member Darren Simon.


    The Water Authority looks forward to featuring the person you have suggested for the Community Feature page. Should there be a backlog of nominations, it may take time to for your nomination to be highlighted, but we will strive to have a story done in a timely manner.