Pinal farmer and optimist plans a future without CAP water

Kelly Anderson stands next to a canal near his farm. It belongs to the Maricopa-Stanfield Irrigation and Drainage District and is currently delivering groundwater. The district has used its CAP allocation for the year. / Photo by Bill Coates / PinalCentral


By Bill Coates | Pinal Central

Clinton Anderson moved to Arizona in the 1920s. He farmed a rural stretch, then south of Phoenix.

It was along Southern and 19th avenues. It’s no longer rural. It’s given way to houses and strip malls. It’s now inside the city.

Clinton didn’t stay, in any case. He decided cotton was the way to go. And the best place for cotton was Pinal County. He moved the family in 1949 and began farming some 1,600 acres not far from Murphy Road.

His son, Oliver Anderson, took over from there. He’s 88 and still farms.

He handed off a lot of the work to son Kelly, 61, the third and possibly last generation of Anderson farmers. Kelly’s two brothers and one sister have gone into other lines of work. His children have seen firsthand that farming’s a hard way to earn a living.


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September 2018