Valley Farmer Speaks About Tour with President Obama

Valley Farmer Speaks About Tour with President Obama

One day after President Obama's historic visit to the Valley, people are still processing the events and more importantly, the relief offered to fight the severe drought.

The man who showed Obama the devastation first hand says the visit appears to have been a success.

Joe Del Bosque had many emotions when he found out he was the chosen one, and after meeting with the president, his hope now is that a lasting impression was made.

It was a quick trip for President Obama.  From the time he landed at FYI on Air Force One and took off again, he only spent about three hours total on the ground.  It was long enough, however for long time Los Banos farmer Joe Del Bosque to score some one on one time.

Del Bosque says, "I felt that honor to be able to talk for all of us."

It all started with a tweet, last Friday; the day President Obama's  visit to the Valley was announced.  Del Bosque sent out a simple invitation and days later he was told the president would be touring his farm.

"I was just nervous all week long," says Del Bosque.

But, he was also excited to finally share the impacts of the drought.  Friday, as he kicked up dirt with the president in land that may soon be fallow, Del Bosque shed some light on the struggles.

"I think he heard the message.  I was able to also explain how important agriculture is; what we do."

Mario Santoyo, executive director of California's Latino Water Coalition, also had a chance to chat with the Commander in Chief.

Santoyo says, "I explained to him how much water has gone into the ocean, where had we reserved it, we wouldn't be in this crisis today.  He was listening to that."

There is criticism that Obama's drought relief package doesn't bring in more water, but Santoyo says farmers are glad something is being addressed.

"The farm worker who gets unemployed, he'd like to see a little bit of assistance than no assistance," says Santoyo.

Now that the president is gone, farmers say the goal is to keep him engaged and to keep this issue in the spotlight.  The Latino Water Coalition is planning a trip to Washington D.C. and will request a to meet with President Obama once again to talk water.

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