Coachella Valley, California
Jose Luis Gomez, known as Chacho to his friends, farms dates in the Coachella Valley of California with his wife, Irma. The Gomez’s planted their first Medjool date tree in Coachella back in 1984 and have continued to grow their operation since. They now grow and pack Yellow Barhi, Barhi and Deglet dates in addition to the original Medjool variety.
There are no short cuts at Alexandria Dates. Reflecting on their methods and philosophies, the Gomezes share, “It is not about the equipment or how many pound/kilos you can pack in a day. It's about the people and their commitment to a quality product inside each and every box on every pallet.”
While dates may not be the type of fruit that most people just grab off the shelf for a snack the way they may eat an apple or banana, they are used in a great variety of foods ranging from pastries to milkshakes to energy bars.
The Gomez’s have been customers of American AgCredit for nearly six years. In his interactions with American AgCredit, Chacho was impressed by the employees’ knowledge of the agriculture industry. “I think that American AgCredit is unique because they help a lot of the farmers where other banks in the valley don’t understand farming.”
Looking to the future, Chacho doesn’t see moving someplace new as a possibility. He loves his farm life. “A life in agriculture for me has been wonderful. I mean, this is what my parents taught me how to do. I don’t see myself working in town or any other kind of work. On the farm, you’re free, there are open spaces and clear air.”