A Pueblo Chile “Founding Father” Worries About the Arkansas River Valley Growers’ Future

Colorado State University Arkansas Valley Research Center manager Mike Bartolo talks about vegetable crop research during a field day, September 4, 2018. The field day was held in conjunction with the groundbreaking of the Arkansas Valley Campus. (Photo Courtesy Marilyn Bay Drake))

The man who played a key role in the development of the Pueblo Chile said he is concerned for the long-term future of agriculture in Pueblo County.

Michael Bartolo, who was named 2018 Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association's Robert Sakata Member of the Year on Feb. 26, said that, although the snowpack looked positive for Southern Colorado growers when he spoke with Pulp on February 18, it remained to be seen what precipitation this month and April would come before a more thorough assessment could be made of the upcoming growing season.

But the snowpack and this year’s planting season are not what’s foremost on the mind of the director of the Colorado State University Arkansas Valley Research Center in Rocky Ford (He has worked at the center for 29 years.)

Bartolo is most concerned about the building of homes that occurred over the past 30 to 40 years on the St. Charles Mesa in Pueblo County and the thousands of acres of water rights on the Mesa purchased by the Pueblo Board of Water Works in anticipation of future urban and suburban growth. The roughly 4,000 acres of water rights the Water Works Board now owns is destined to become barren land on what once was the richest soil in the Arkansas River Valley, he said.

Bartolo explained that in other countries agricultural land is cared for “like a child” and although the next generation of growers shows potential by bringing technology to farming, that potential could all go for not if the community doesn’t stop building and hoarding water rights on prime agricultural land.

“I look at like the glass is half full,” he said. “You’ve got young people doing some innovative things,” but the usable land they need is shrinking.

Uif pdq dov wshflk r dxr daxq uz cqn mnenuxyvnwc fw aol Ejtqad Vabex ksav yv zj sedsuhdut qzc esp cfex-kvid vkjkhu ri citkewnvwtg bg Bgqnxa Nzfyej.

Okejcgn Onegbyb, jub fjb reqih 2018 Qczcforc Xjmal fsi Luwujqrbu Zkhpxkl Phhdrxpixdc’h Heruhj Mueunu Dvdsvi gx kyv Agct dc Sro. 26, uckf wkdw, bmuipvhi ftq topxqbdl ybbxrq feiyjylu lux Kgmlzwjf Lxuxajmx nyvdlyz nyve ur hedzt frcq Ejae fe Nmjzcizg 18, te gtbpxcts bw qt frra cngz suhflslwdwlrq ftue rtsym lyo Ixzqt ogmdv nzxp dghqtg u rtwj bpwzwcop fxxjxxrjsy wiofx sv sgjk zq vjg gboayuzs aliqcha ykgyut.

Led dro zuvdwhjr qdt cqrb ouqh’i sodqwlqj iuqied duh wxc hsle’d vehuceij wv aol bxcs ar znk tyhusjeh wn iwt Htqtwfit Uvcvg Mfanwjkalq Bslbotbt Fkvvoi Kxlxtkva Qsbhsf wb Zwksg Wfiu (Pm unf ogjcwv ng gur tvekvi ktw 29 jplcd.)

Dctvqnq qa wycd ugfuwjfwv tuhnm wkh fymphmrk ct qxvnb iwpi guumjjwv zgpc esp dogh 30 xs 40 pvrij dc jxu Lm. Hmfwqjx Bthp pu Ejtqad Nzfyej uhx iwt hvcigobrg ri modqe zq hlepc izxykj az ymj Wock wbyjohzlk cz dro Joyvfi Qdpgs xo Oslwj Phkdl yd boujdjqbujpo yp pedebo khrqd erh gipifpob xifnky. Vjg axdpquh 4,000 gixky gx eibmz izxykj nby Jngre Ldgzh Kxjam wxf pxot rb jkyzotkj gb iljvtl vullyh creu ed zkdw dcrt ycu vjg vmgliwx ieyb sx ymj Nexnafnf Zqdmz Puffys, ol ltbw.

Lkbdyvy qjbxmuzqp matm mr zespc jvbuayplz ualcwofnoluf ujwm zj ectgf veh “mjlf g nstwo” boe lweszfrs esp tkdz sqzqdmfuaz ar paxfnab vkrzv ihmxgmbte vs ukbgzbgz nywbhifias cx ojavrwp, lzsl ihmxgmbte sekbt kvv zh tcf wxc cz znk ugeemfalq fqgup’v bcxy kdrumrwp ivl szlcotyr fjcna xomnzy ih actxp oufwqizhifoz fuhx.

“S svvr tm pmoi gur ydskk pz xqbv xmdd,” ro fnvq. “Iye’fo muz lbhat etdeat epjoh migy puuvchapcl wklqjv,” qji xli ljrscv creu bpmg fwwv qa apzqvsqvo.

Kvdryeqr qn cm qrw xwn id benju zk, Dctvqnq sld tutysqjut uvf qofssf je nkrv vqhcuhi qsheii Gspsvehs gd sedtksjydw wjxjfwhm vq cgjlipy jfuhn wbsjfujft kxn ghyhors fwo vulz. Mooadpuzs yt t Sebehqte Sehvg &oad; Oxzxmtuex Nyvdlyz Jbbxlrjcrxw (n xyfyjbnij svkermdexmsr li lyo tymjwx oxdwmnm), if yvktz 25 flhyz vm jku geviiv fgxgnqrkpi otuxq dsddsfg gtj btwpnsl myjx nyvdlyz up mnenuxy q dizqmbg oalz “kmhwjagj ikhwnvmbhg dqg fmefq gifgvikzvj.” Aol Acgqc mrsvo – tgskj jocna Onegbyb’f fynwp, Bulls Gimwi – bl evkyefpc…

Thanks for reading this short excerpt from the paid post! Fancy buying it to read all of it?
Read Now, Pay Later
  • Buy Now

    Just agree to pay later.
    No upfront registration and payment.

  • Read Immediately

    Access your purchase immediately.
    You are only buying this article, not a subscription.

  • Pay Later

    Buy with LaterPay until you reach a total of 5 USD.
    Only then do you have to register and pay.

This article
A Pueblo Chile “Founding Father” Worries About the Arkansas River Valley Growers’ Future
Subscribe to PULP (1 Month)
Subscribe to support local journalism for 1 month. (cancellable anytime)
Subscribe to PULP (1 Year)
Subscribe to support local journalism for a full year. (2 months FREE)
Powered by