Howard Wuertz

Class of 1944
Farmer, Inventor, Conservationist

While at CHS, Howard was an excellent student and exceptional athlete. Due to World War II, Howard graduated from CHS early to enter the United States Army Air Corp.

While in high school, Howard was elected freshmen and sophomore class president as well as student body president his senior year. He was crowned King at the Prom. Howard played left guard for the football team and served as co-captain his senior year with the Bears going undefeated.

He reveals his basketball career ended in the middle of his sophomore year because Coach Wilson kicked him off the team for being tardy. The reason he was late was because he had to milk the cows, slop the hogs and feed all the rest of the livestock on the farm. The coach did not ask him why he was delayed, assuming he was driving down Main Street with his girlfriend. But Howard felt vindicated when the undefeated team did not win another game the rest of the season.

The class he liked the most (inspired by teacher Bob Springfield) was Vocational which solidified the path for his successful farming career.

In 1951, Howard obtained his BS in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Arizona. He credits CHS for teaching him how to think, how to grow and how to solve problems.

With three of his four children, Greg, David and Carol, Howard operates a 3200 acre farm west of Coolidge. This is a diversified operation devoted to small grains, cotton, alfalfa, seedless watermelons, milo maize and corn for silage.
Howard was instrumental in the development of the River Cooperative Gin and Arizona Grain, Inc. For many years he worked in the Farm Credit System and has been actively involved at the local, state and federal levels on agriculture conservation and resource issues.
Howard Wuertz pioneered the development of a subsurface drip irrigation system for use on cotton, grains, watermelons, and other desert irrigated crops. This system has allowed for water savings of up to fifty percent while increasing yields and improving the quality of marginal soils. Subsurface drip irrigation has also necessitated the development of special machinery for minimum tillage. In response to these needs, Howard designed several implements for cotton stalk destruction, drip tubing installation, and tillage operations, five of which have been granted U.S. Patents. The latest U.S. Patent was granted to Howard in January of 2008.
Howard served on the Coolidge Unified School District #21 Board for nine years. All four of Howard and Julie’s children graduated from Coolidge High School. He was honored to hand Sarah, Greg and Carol their diplomas. David graduated the year after he retired from the Governing Board.

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