Gilbert uses forward-thinking boldness to cultivate big-city economic growth

By Erin Thorburn | AZBigMedia

When someone celebrates a milestone birthday, it’s not unusual to hear phrases like, “Wow, she really looks good for her age,” or, “So-and-so has really come a long way from when I first met him.” This year, as Gilbert celebrates its 100th birthday, anyone who knew the town “way back when” would likely agree that both previously mentioned comments are applicable. After all, once referred to as the “Hay Capital of the World,” Gilbert has evolved into a cutting-edge center of innovation over its first 100 years.

From plenty of hay to Gilbert today

“When one looks back, it’s unavoidable to view Gilbert as a farm community,” says Richard Morrison, water law attorney and co-founder of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, “although it’s certainly not perceived that way now.”

Morrison knows Gilbert’s history intimately. Both sides of his family were farmers who migrated to the town specifically for its agriculture properties during Gilbert’s early days.

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