Hospitalized farmer gets support from other farmers to grow his crops

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Spring is here, a time of growth—but when one South Valley farmer was left hospitalized after a car crash, he didn’t know if he’d be able to tend to his crops.

Now, thanks to a helping hand from the community, he’s sure to have a bountiful season. At the La Montañita Co-op, they pride themselves in showcasing and supporting local farmers. 

“Whenever we get an opportunity to help a farmer or put a farmer’s produce on our shelves we absolutely try to do that,” said store manager William Cookson

Now, they are showing their support in a different way. 

“We are a community-focused organization, and when somebody like Joseluis is in need we absolutely try to pull our resources and do what we can to help him,” Cookson said. 

Earlier this month farmer, Joseluis Ortiz was injured in a crash on Isleta and I-25. His car went over the bridge and firefighters had to use a 35-foot ladder to reach him.

“In that time of being under the bridge for a couple of hours reflecting on my life, I knew that my planting season was shot I’m not going to have the ability to actually grow. It made me very sad,” Ortiz said.

Now, members of the farming community have launched a GoFundMe page, not only to help pay for medical expenses but to also recruit volunteers to help plant on his farm while he recovers. 

“To help them keep going and get the crops in the ground this year,” Cookson said. 

It’s the support that Ortiz said was unexpected. “They were investing in community and they were paying it forward in providing what resources they could,” Ortiz said. 

Ortiz is still in the hospital. He is recovering from a broken tailbone, pelvis and hip.

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