Team member Wilfredo Pagan retired last week after almost forty-two years at Pine Island! Wilfredo and his family have been a huge part of the farm’s success; his wife Nancy has worked at the Ocean Spray receiving station in Chatsworth, his brother William was a longtime employee, and his in-laws include current team stalwarts Junior Colon, Caesar Colon, and Gerardo Ortiz, as well as retired manager Joe Colon.
Wilfredo did just about every task that can be done during his time here, and he perfomedvery well! Back in 2014, when asked about goals, he said:
“My personal goals are the same as they’ve always been,” he says. “Keep doing what I’m doing and keep getting better at it.” Specifically, he says, this means always being willing to learn new things. “I’ve done a lot while I’ve been here. I run a lot of the heavier equipment, I help with the bog renovations, I put in new flood gates. . . I always have a lot to learn from Junior. Now I’ve been learning all the ins and outs of the laser leveling. Always something new to pick up.”
“Wilfredo is a solid equipment operator,” says Bryan vonHahmann. “He was our primary water gate installer, and with over 100 gates a year, he will certainly be missed. Wilfredo also did many other functions on the farm through his long career, and it will be hard to find his replacement.”
Matt Giberson says, “Wilfredo always gave a helping hand; whether you had been here 25 years or five minutes, he was always willing to teach you how to get the job done. He was an superb machine operator and his years of experience will greatly be missed.”
Steve Manning is also going to miss Wilfredo, but would like to add, “I hope he decides to come back maybe two or three days a week? Think about it, Wilfredo!”
“Wilfredo has been a great team member for many years,” says Bill Haines. “He did anything we asked, driving any kind of equipment from a truck to an excavator. And he installed thousands of feet of main line and laterals on new irrigation systems as well as literally hundred of gates, especially over the past few years as we expanded our reno program. He did a lot of good things for Pine Island and he will be missed.” But most importantly of all: “He loves all of the Philadelphia sports teams and he hates Dallas almost as much as I do! I always loved to see him first thing on a Monday morning after an Eagles win.”
We’re all going to miss you, Wilfredo! GO BIRDS!