Dates. Delicious on their own, they serve as tasty ingredients for pastries, milkshakes, health and energy bars and much more.

“Dates are very healthy,” said Jose “Chacho” Gomez of Alexandra Dates, located in California’s Coachella Valley. “They provide minerals, protein and fiber, and they’re starting to get more well known in the United States.”

Alexandra Dates is a family affair — Chacho’s wife does the accounting and his three sons and daughter are also integral parts of the daily operations.



In addition to growing dates and grapes, Chacho also works with Phoenix Agrotech in Santa Ana, a company that provides date palm plants all around the world. “I provide a lot of offshoots of a tree for them to do the tissue culturing in the lab,” he explains. “Tissue culture plants are already rooted, and when they are planted in the ground the success rate is 100 percent.”


Date palm farmer and lender


With keen attention to detail and commitment to quality, Chacho found a natural partner when he became a member of American AgCredit more than six years ago.

American AgCredit is unique because they help a lot of the farmers where other banks in the valley don’t understand farming. They are very easy to talk to and they get the challenges of small farmers.



Does he ever consider a change of career?

“Life in agriculture for me has been wonderful,” he says emphatically. “This is what my parents taught me to do. I don’t see myself working in town or any other kind of work. You’re free, you’re in the open spaces, and it’s clear and good air.”

We couldn’t have said it better.



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