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Irrigation district names new manager as Esslinger retires


Elephant Butte Irrigation District’s Board of Directors have hired Patrick Sullivan, Ph.D. as EBID’s new treasurer-manager.

Sullivan replaces Gary Esslinger, who retired after many years of service.

“Dr. Sullivan brings years of agriculture related knowledge and management experience to the role with a background in the private, government and institutional sectors covering issues relating primarily to fiscal management and policy development,” EBID said in a news release.

Sullivan begins his new position June 1, with the start of the 2022 irrigation season, EBID said. 

“I’m excited about the opportunity to lead EBID and continue to build on its legacy of service to its members,” Sullivan said. “I look forward to working with the EBID Board of Directors, staff and other stakeholders to ensure the efficient operation of the district, with a special focus on delivery of water.” 

“This is an historic moment EBID is experiencing in transitioning to a new manager after a long, successful run with our outgoing manager, Gary Esslinger,” said EBIC Board President Mike McNamee. “We are also doing this at a time that is extremely difficult for farmers given the drought and economic issues we’re facing daily. We are hopeful that our choice will take us in the right direction and continue to help steer EBID in the most positive direction available at every turn.”

 “I want to thank the EBID Board of Directors, EBID Staff and all employees, past and present, for the honor of serving alongside you for the last 44 years,” Esslinger said. “I want to express my deepest gratitude to the agriculture community, though I cannot adequately express in words how much it has meant for me to lead this organization with the willingness and commitment of the farmers within EBID to allow me to do so. I strongly believe that EBID will continue to hold tight to its commitment to serve the farmers and withstand the constant onslaught of enormous challenges we’re faced with every day. With the appointment of a new treasurer-manager, a fresh set of goals and a vision for the future, I’m confident EBID will rise to any challenge it is faced with. My heart is truly with this District, and it always will be.”

The hoped-for late season precipitation has not developed in the Rio Grande’s watershed and the snowmelt has begun early as predicted by Phil King, Ph.D., EBID’s hydrology and engineering consultant, the news release said. The spring runoff is expected to be very low due to the ongoing drought and the 2022 irrigation season outlook continues to remain poor.

EBID is a quasi-government agency managing and delivering irrigation surface water for 90,640 water- righted acres of the Rio Grande Project in New Mexico, EBID said on its Facebook page.

EBID is located at 530 S. Melendres St. in Las Cruces. The office is open 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Call 575-526-6671.

Visit www.ebid-nm.org and ww.facebook.com/ElephantButteIrrigationDistrict.