Arizona Agriculture, a Fraternity of Builders
By Harold Payne,
Pat and Pennee Murphree and Harold Payne. They represent the fraternity of Arizona agriculturalists that have helped make this state something special in the desert southwest.
I worked alongside Pat during the years he was employed at Gila River Farms and also did irrigation management consulting for him on the private farms he owned and operated. As a matter of fact, I can remember where I was on his farm the day it officially hit 122 degrees in Phoenix a number of years ago. Your father and mother embody the
Pat’s aviation hobby was always fascinating to me even though I never shared his passion, due most likely to a weak stomach for flying in small planes and never being comfortable with being at such an acute angle to Mother Earth below. I am glad he has continued to fly and has taught your brother, Curt, that unique skill. I was around Pat when he perfected the portable ditch
The specifications to the portable Weir Pat Murphree invented can still be found on the web. The demonstration photos show Pat using the
It is interesting to see how few of the sons and daughters of my and Pat’s generation have continued in their
I come from a large farming family with roots in the Gila River Valley in New Mexico. At a recent family reunion in New Mexico, on the farm that my grandfather broke out of desert back in 1914, my oldest cousin, who was in charge of the reunion, asked any of my 41 first cousins that still derive their livelihood from farming to stand. I looked around and I was the only one standing. I am thinking, “What did I miss out on?” Then I realized that they were the ones that missed out, as my
We in the farming community appreciate your work and the important causes embraced by you and others of the Arizona Farm Bureau. Our message is getting lost between the many competing voices out there now and the educational efforts done by Farm Bureau are badly needed.
Editor’s Note: I came across Mr. Payne’s very gracious and memorable email and felt his overview of our times including the remembrance of my mom and dad – which is a treasure – worthy of sharing with the farm and ranch community because we are a fraternity of primary builders that must never be neglected.