Jorge Artee, the outgoing president of the Agricultural Research and Experimentation Board of the State of Sonora (Patronato), was honored on 30 October at a special dinner in Obregón organized by CIMMYT, along with Manuel Valenzuela, Patronato’s manager. Patronato is a group of private farmers that have significantly contributed to CIMMYT’s research through resources and financial support. Hans Braun, director of the Global Wheat Program, gave a speech on behalf of CIMMYT praising and thanking Artee for his support and contributions to CIMMYT and agriculture in general over the years.
He also read out a card from CIMMYT DG Tom Lumpkin. Before the honored guests, some of the former presidents of Patronato, Braun presented Artee with a figure of a Yaqui Indian that he said the figure was “… a symbol that we in the wheat program have chosen to honor our employees and colleagues, and as a way to show how close we feel to Obregón.” The Yaqui Valley Indian is a symbol of pride for Sonorans, and Artee is the first non-CIMMYT employee to receive this important recognition.
Among the guests were Homero Melis, president of the Asociación de Organismos de Agricultores del Sur de Sonora (AOASS) which is the umbrella institution for farmer unions in the South of Sonora; Erasmo Valenzuela, northeast regional director of the Mexican National Institute of Forestry, Agriculture, and Livestock Research (INIFAP); and the presidents of all the farmer unions that make up AOASS.