FEATURED Grower - Segundo and miguel diaz
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Segundo Diaz was born and raised in Cajamarca, Peru, where in 1978, he met Leroy Salazar and they became good friends. Segundo came to the United States courtesy of Leroy in 1983 to attend Utah State University pursuing a Masters Degree in agriculture engineering. He became employed with Agro Engineering, again courtesy of Leroy Salazar. While working with Agro he met Margie Martinez, daughter of Mr. Phil Martinez, owner of Martinez Farms, and they married in 1984. Segundo never thought about being a farmer, as he was going into his last semester of school and he had been accepted to CSU to get his PhD. That fall Margie’s brother passed away and Phil didn’t want to sell the farm, so Segundo took over the responsibilities and his schooling was put on hold. Margie and Segundo had four children Miguel, Mario, Martin, and Marcos. They hoped that someday one of the boys would take over and Segundo would continue his schooling.
Segundo farmed for 26 years when his oldest son Miguel decided to return to the farm and help out. After one summer of intense learning Miguel realized that he liked farming. Segundo turned much of the responsibilities over to his son so he could finish his schooling that he had started so long ago. Segundo is now going to school at Adam State College to get his MBA and hopes to start his own business someday.
Miguel is one of the youngest farmers in the San Luis Valley. A graduate from Arizona Mechanics Universal Tech. Institution, he never thought he would return home to farm with his Dad. At first he felt very overwhelmed with all the duties of the farm, but his Dad has been by his side, or is only a phone call away, showing him or helping him with his needs. Miguel attended the NPC Leadership program and is a member of the CPAC Marketing sub-committee. Miguel wants to make a big difference in the industry by bringing in fresh ideas. He enjoys farming and says there is never a dull moment for him. He loves the summers here, especially early morning before sunrise while going out to spray the fields, the views are breath taking. He adds that he hates how cold it gets during the winter. A unique thing about Martinez Farm is that it’s a certified seed farm and they go through a process of micropropagation. Miguel says that his biggest challenge is being such a young farmer but knows that with time and practice he will become a great farmer like his Dad.