Governor Katie Hobbs has appointed a fourth-generation farmer, Ed Curry, to the Governor’s Water Policy Council after the Arizona Farm Bureau and Republican Sen. Sine Kerr withdrew from the council, accusing it of pushing a “radical” environmental agenda and disregarding agricultural interests. The council, which focuses on protecting groundwater, has been criticized by the farming community, which uses a significant portion of the state’s water supply, for its perceived harm to agricultural practices. Curry has expressed his understanding of the importance of water management and conservation and readiness to contribute to the process.
Gov. Katie Hobbs Appoints Chile Farmer to Water Policy Council
Gov. Katie Hobbs adds a fresh perspective to her water policy council by appointing chile farmer Ed Curry. This move comes in the wake of resignations from past council members, including the Arizona Farm Bureau and Republican Sen. Sine Kerr (R-Buckeye), who felt the council overlooked the agricultural sector’s interests.
Christian Slater, the communications director for Hobbs, confirmed Curry’s appointment but remained silent on whether Kerr’s spot would also be filled. The resignation of Kerr and the Farm Bureau was due to their perception that the council was promoting a “radical” agenda inspired by environmental groups.
The farming community, a major consumer of the state’s water supply, has long been concerned that water conservation efforts could adversely affect their agricultural practices. The Governor’s Water Policy Council focuses on safeguarding groundwater, regulations of which vary significantly across the state.
Farm Bureau President Stephanie Smallhouse voiced her displeasure at the time of her group’s withdrawal, claiming that the council seemed to have a premeditated outcome, neglecting essential agricultural interests. She added that any imposed rural groundwater regulatory framework would directly affect farm and ranch families.
Ed Curry, however, expressed his readiness to bring his understanding of water management and conservation to the council, acknowledging the direct impact of these issues on farming practices.