Board Members

Jerry Franzoy
Precinct 1

Jerry Franzoy was born on June 1, 1943, on the family farm in Salem, New Mexico.  

He graduated from Hatch Valley High School in 1961 and went right into farming. He was married in 1966 to Barbara Gay. They have five children: Michelle, Lisa, Denise, Shayne, and Alicia and 16 grandchildren. Jerry and his son Shayne farm together under the name of Chile River, Inc., raising mostly vegetables, some grain, cotton, chile, and alfalfa. However, onions are their main crop. Jerry has been doing all the harvesting, packing, and sales up to this year when Chile River, Inc. and five other growers formed a L.L.C. to machine harvest, pack, and ship onions. Jerry is a firm believer in going to church every Sunday and loves hunting, camping, fishing, and traveling.

Joe Paul Lack
Precinct 2

Joe Paul Lack was born in 1955 in Las Cruces and has been in agriculture ever since.  

He has operated a custom hay business and after marrying his wife Rosie, the couple began farming in Hatch in the late ‘70s. His agriculture degree from NMSU has been put to good use with his extensive farming operations stretching from Caballo down to Rincon. He has branched out from hay to include cotton, corn, chile, pecans and a registered Brangus cow calf operation. He feels water is the lifeline of the Ag community and that’s a large part of why he is serving on the EBID board.

Robert Fabion
Precinct 3, President

Robert Faubion is a 4th generation Mesilla Valley farmer on a farm located north of Las Cruces.

He is a 1980 graduate of NMSU with two Bachelor of Science degrees in Agriculture. Robert and his wife Kathy have two sons, Spencer and Roger. Robert has served on numerous Ag related boards and commissions. He is honored to serve on the EBID Board of Directors and enjoys working with other board members.

Greg Daviet
Precinct 4

Greg Daviet came to Las Cruces in 1994 to run his family’s pecan farm  

and has been in production agriculture for over 20 years now. He earned a degree in Ag Economics in 1996 from NMSU. Greg has been an active leader in the Ag community volunteering in many positions and boards over the years. He is currently a board member of Elephant Butte Irrigation District, Dona Ana County Farm Bureau, and Western Pecan Growers Association. Greg has been a long-time believer that if farmers can get the water right, the rest becomes easier. In keeping with that, he has devoted significant personal time and energy into this topic, including developing his own software program to schedule his pecan irrigations. He strives to continue to learn more every day.

Sam Salopek
Precinct 5

Sam Salopek was born and raised on the farm and is a third generation farmer in the Mesilla Valley. 

He has produced a variety of crops over his long farming career but is now focused primarily on pecans. Recognizing the vital importance of agriculture he wants to do his share to help. He is part of the family owned and operated New Mexico Pecan Company and he and his wife Kathy have two boys.

Bobby Sloan
Precinct 6,

Robert Sloan is a 4th generation farmer in the Mesilla Valley. 

Bobby is a graduate from New Mexico State University with a degree in Agronomy and is married with two children.

James Salopek
Precinct 7

James Salopek has been a resident of Las Cruces, New Mexico his entire life.  

He is a third generation farmer who graduated from Las Cruces High School and attended NMSU. James lists his occupation as a full time farmer in the business of raising pecans. James comes from a long line of Salopeks who have been farming in the Mesilla Valley for 70 years. James succeeded his Uncle John Salopek on the EBID Board of Directors. James has two sons, Anton and Rett who both farm with their father. In his spare time, James enjoys fishing, hunting and being the boss of a stock car racing team.

Mike McNamee
Precinct 8, Vice President

Mike McNamee was born January 19, 1945.   

His father was in the Navy and moved the family to Albuquerque, eventually settling in El Paso, Texas. Mike is a graduate of Texas Western College and is also a commercial pilot. He became interested in farming right out of high school and worked in agriculture in the Fabens Valley. He is a Vietnam veteran and after returning from service he took a job working on a friend’s Mesilla Valley farm and feedlot with nothing more than a wife, a used pickup and one child. For 22 years he raised a wide variety of vegetable crops and that business was very good to him. Then, in 1976 he planted his first pecan trees and today he has 1500 acres of pecans. He is married to Marcia and they have five children, Tommy, Kenny, Rebecca, Michelle and Kyle, and ten grandchildren. He is blessed to have a great family and is glad the good Lord made him a farmer.

Bobby Kuykendall
Precinct 9

Bob Kuykendall was born in San Antonio, TX.  

He moved to the area in 1982 and graduated from Gadsden High School in 1988. He earned an Associates Degree from Western Technical. He began farming in 1997 and purchased La Union Farms in 2000. He farms a variety of crops including Onions, Lettuce, Cabbage, Chile, Forage Crops, Cotton, and Pecan Nursery Trees. He and his wife Kim have been married for 23 years and have 2 children, Meghan 17 and Colton 10.

Gary Esslinger
EBID Treasurer-Manager,

Gary L. Esslinger is the Treasurer-Manager of the Elephant Butte Irrigation District.  

Gary is a third generation member of a pioneer farming family living in the Mesilla Valley. His grandfather, J. L. Esslinger, Sr., settled in La Mesa in 1913 prior to the completion of the Elephant Butte Dam. Gary’s father, J. L. Esslinger, Jr., also farmed for over fifty years and is now retired. Gary has also kept his roots in farming as well as other agricultural based industry. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Northern Arizona University in 1973, Gary worked six years in Los Angeles for a large west coast flour milling corporation as office manager. After becoming tired of city life, Gary returned to the Mesilla Valley and began working for EBID in 1978. Gary began his District career as Purchasing Agent and has held other organizational positions of Maintenance Chief and Assistant Manager. Gary is the District’s Treasurer/Manager. Gary lives in La Mesa on the family farm with his wife, Tina. Gary and Tina have three daughters, Tiffany, Trisha and Tryna.


Mission

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ELEPHANT BUTTE IRRIGATION DISTRICT
Rincon and Mesilla Valleys
Sierra and Dona Ana Counties
New Mexico

Where farmers come for their water,

Where the future of irrigated agriculture is protected,

And employees strive to serve

Our Mission

For over 95 years EBID has been the steward of the surface water of New Mexico’s portion of the Rio Grande Project. We operate and maintain the system for EBID members in the Rincon and Mesilla Valleys, continually improving efficiencies to meet the needs of those we serve and keep costs low, while our commitment to protecting the interests of our members remains steadfast. Our mission is – and always has been – to efficiently deliver surface water to our members with professionalism and respect.

Core Values
Core Values
  • We are committed to the efficient delivery of water to all water righted land in our District.
  • We strive for excellence at every level of the District.
  • We focus on delivering exceptional customer service to our members both small and farm tracts.
  • We will fight to keep farmers farming as long as they want to farm.
Stewardship
  • We are committed to maximizing the benefit of the limited water we are blessed with.
  • We maintain the canals, drains, and dams of our system to extend the life of the Projectinto the future.
  • We seek innovative solutions for water delivery, efficiency, and revenue streams to keepcosts to our members low.
  • We contribute to the conservation of our water and natural resources.
  • We constantly improve our techniques for delivery and measurement of our limited waterthrough technology and hard work.
  • We operate with a farmer’s mentality to keep costs as low as possible.
Unity
  • We are valuable contributors to irrigated agriculture in the Mesilla and Rincon Valleysand to the communities we live in.
  • We are committed to diligently protecting the resources and rights of all of EBID’smembers.
  • We value the contributions of every employee and support their personal andprofessional growth.
  • We grow through the principles of teamwork and continuous improvement.
Respect
  • We value and respect our farmers as individuals and care for the health of the Rinconand Mesilla Valleys.
  • We strive for transparency to build the trust of our members and community
  • We are focused on irrigated agriculture in our philosophy of service.

Policies

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“Elephant Butte Irrigation District (“EBID”) is a political subdivision of the State of New Mexico. EBID is formed under the statutes entitled “Irrigation Districts Cooperating with the United States under Reclamation Laws” found at NMSA
1978 Sec. 73-10-1, et seq., and 73-11-1, et seq.”

To view the table of contents for the EBID Board Policy Book and associated links, click HERE .

Departments

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Executive

The Executive Branch of our District is comprised of (1) Treasurer/Manager, (7) Staff Members and (1) one Executive Secretary who all answer to the Board of Directors of EBID. Should you need to contact a Board member,
schedule a meeting with the manager or have any questions/concerns regarding the District please contact the Executive Secretary at (575) 993-2429.

Technology

The Technology Department monitors and records on-farm deliveries, main canal diversions, drain and spillway flows, water quality, weather data, and groundwater levels

Administrative

The Administrative Department is responsible for all aspects of District financial operations, including budget and financial reports, grant and contract administration, payroll and employee benefits, procurement, and water records. For assistance with any of these matters, please feel free to call (575) 993-2437.

Groundwater

The Groundwater Department uses test well data to model the aquifers supplying EBID farmers and monitors groundwater depletion due to drought conditions

Engineering

The Engineering Department can assist you with Land Records, Classification of Surface Water Rights, Changes in Property Ownership, Water Right Transfers, and Special Use Permits. Before applying for a Right of Use Permit, check the information regarding Right of Use Policy and Permit Fees. For assistance regarding any of these matters, please call (575) 526-6671 Option #4.

Maintenance

The Maintenance Department maintains the irrigation turnouts, check gates, canals and laterals, fabricates gates and gearboxes and much more

Human Resources

Human Resources & Safety Department supports all departments throughout the District in regards to personnel matters, including employment, worker’s compensation, benefits administration, and compliance with all Federal and State regulations in regards to these matters. Safety is an integral part of the District policy. The District complies with all OSHA guidelines and the goal is to make sure the District provides a safe work environment and the employees go home safe to their families each day.

Irrigation Systems

The Irrigation Systems Department includes watermasters and ditchriders responsible for the water deliveries during the irrigation season and assists with maintenance the rest of the year

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