November 2017 New Mexico Farm & Ranch

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THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE NEW MEXICO FARM AND LIVESTOCK BUREAU®

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New Mexico Farm & Ranch

NMF&LB Turns 100, A Centennial to Celebrate November 2017


NMF&LB President’s Column TRACTOR SEAT DAYDREAMING

BY CRAIG OGDEN

Resolutions for Growth You might notice as you attend a meeting of the local dues of this association shall be $56 plus the current memLions, Elks or Rotarians that your group is getting smaller. bership rate charged by the American Farm Bureau FedThe next generation is not participating in traditional civic, eration. Payment shall consist of the following: $43.00 to professional and advocacy organizations. Using Facebook, the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, and $13.00 to Twitter or Instagram, millennials socialize on line reducthe member County Farm Bureau. Upon such time as the ing the need to join groups such as New Mexico Farm & American Farm Bureau membership rate increases to $7.00, Livestock Bureau. That’s why we are so focused on retaining this section of the by-laws will be subject to review. I would members as we pushback against this trend. hope that the voting delegates would vote in a manner that American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is also trying is best for our State organization and the AFBF. to do more with less and during the first week of OctoThe NMF&LB Young Farmers and Ranchers Ag True ber, the Board of Directors for the AFBF proposed a $1.00 Tour was this past October 27th and 28th and got rave increase in dues. This proposal will be voted upon during reviews. It was an ideal opportunity to showcase agriculture the House of Delegates businesses in South“...best for our State organization...” meeting at the AFBF ern New Mexico annual meeting held and share our stories in Nashville, TN in January. As with many other Ag orgawith our legislators. Thank you to all who attended and nizations and businesses, they are tightening their belts to congratulations to YF&R on another successful event. Look reduce expenses. An example is the Board of Directors apfor photos in next month’s newsletter. proved a proposal to receive half of their per diem amount We were honored to host American Farm Bureau Federain 2018. They have tried other income producing strategies, tion President Zippy Duvall at our Resolutions Committee but have come to the point that they can no longer kick that meeting. He also addressed the county presidents and then can any further down the road. This dues increase is neces- visited the Mesilla Valley for a tour of agriculture in southsary to keep our voice in agriculture strong and viable as we ern New Mexico. Thanks to President Duvall for joining us. strive to make rural America safe and sustainable. It was a very busy month for all. Colfax County has already written a resolution concerning the increase and how we will deal with it at a State level. The resolution reads as follows: Effective January 1, 2018, the annual Page 2

New Mexico Farm & Ranch

November 2017


AFBF President’s Column BEYOND THE FENCEROWS

BY ZIPPY DUVALL

Worker Shortage Threatens U.S. Ag Sustainability When Thanks to scientific innovation in agriculture, farmers and ranchers are using fewer resources to grow an abundant, sustainable food supply. But I wonder how far our new technology and techniques will take us if farmers are left without one of the most critical resources to keep our farms sustainable: a stable workforce. Agriculture’s labor shortage is at a crisis level, with farmers like Burr and Rosella Mosby losing crops and income because there aren’t enough workers for harvest. Every year we hear stories of fresh produce rotting in the fields instead of feeding people, because farmers cannot find help or secure guest workers in time. Without relief, many farmers will have to scale back production or get out of farming altogether. I think of farmers like Tim McMillan, who would like to sustain their farms to pass on to the next generation. Instead, they are left wondering if it makes sense to go on when they don’t have enough workers to plant, tend and harvest crops—and the problem gets worse every year. The farm labor shortage also takes a bite out of our national economy. A study by the group New American Economy estimated that the shortage cost $3.3 billion in GDP growth in 2012 alone. As I’ve said many a time, we’re coming to a point where America will have to decide if we’re going to import workers or import our food. Increasing food imports means losing thousands of American jobs that are supported by agriculture. That same NAE study shows there would have been more than 89,000 additional jobs in 2012 if farmers had not faced workforce challenges.

Every time this topic comes up, there’s an outcry for farmers to pay more. But those complaints tend to come from those who don’t know the going rate for skilled farm work. For example, skilled workers harvesting specialty crops like apples and strawberries can earn well over $20 per hour when paid piece-rate wages. Under the current federal agricultural guest worker program, H-2A, farmers pay the Adverse Effect Wage Rate as a baseline which, depending on the state, can be anywhere from 9 percent to 90 percent higher than the state minimum wage. That’s on top of providing free housing to workers and paying for their travel from their home country. H-2A also requires employers to post job openings to make sure Americans get first crack at farm jobs. But as any farmer can tell you, the average American has little interest in farm work. Even with the higher wage rates and strict requirements, H-2A applications are on the rise. Certified positions in 2017 are up 20 percent compared to this time last year, which shows just how hard-pressed farmers are to find workers. Farmers need a guest worker program that meets both their needs and farm workers’ needs, and brings stability to our food system. The AG Act, a bill sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, is a good solution. It would create a new H-2C program for agriculture, allowing workers who are already on our farms— whom farmers have trained and come to know and depend on—to remain in the U.S. under the new H-2C visa. The bill could be improved. For example, the American Farm Bu see “Shortage” pg 14

“... import workers or import our food.”

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New Mexico Farm & Ranch

November 2017


A Centennial to Celebrate

By Dalene Hodnett, Director of Communications

Soil conservation, better irrigation methods and improved crop production were the issues farmers and ranchers were most concerned with when over 300 of them gathered at State College (now New Mexico State University) to create the Dona Ana County Farm and Livestock Bureau. They could not have known that their meeting on Saturday, May 12th, 1917, would form the most influential agricultural organization in the state, thriving for one hundred years as it represented New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers. Here is a brief retelling of that history. For a more complete story, we recommend purchasing “Building on the Past to Ensure a Successful Future,” a book compiled by NMF&LB to commemorate their 100-year anniversary.

These are some of the families that gathered in 1917 to create the Dona Ana County Farm & Livestock Bureau. They met at Hadley Hall and had lunch before elections as reported in the January 20th issue of The New Mexico Farm Courier, the official publication of the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now NMSU). The New Mexico Farm Courier reports that in 1920 fifteen county farm bureaus joined to create the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau. Their mission was to “promote, protect, and represent the business, economic, social and education interest of the farmers and stockmen of the state.” A constitution was also adopted. Page 4

New Mexico Farm & Ranch

The Temple of Agriculture at 334 W. Griggs Street housed both the Dona Ana County Farm and Livestock Bureau and the offices of the Elephant Butte Irrigation District. The building, which still exists, was built in 1921 at a cost of $10,000. November 2017


Augustine Grows NMF&LB State-Wide Led by volunteers, NMF&LB was very active, but building a membership was imperative if the organization was to grow. In 1946, John Augustine, the first executive secretary was hired. A native of Lordsburg, he was a graduate of New Mexico College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts and had taught vocational ag in Farmington. In 1938 he moved to Las Cruces and was named the Doña Ana County Extension Agent, before being hired by W.P. Thorpe, then President of NMF&LB. Realizing the organization would need funding, Augustine initiated the “100 Club” whereby farmers and ranchers would donate $100 in seed money. For 34 years Augustine grew the organization, criss-crossing the state encourage farmers and ranchers to give of their time and membership dues. He is shown here with his wife Elise. You can support NMF&LB’s scholarship program by becoming a member of the current “100 Club.” See our website for details.

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New Mexico Farm & Ranch

November 2017


An Insurance Company by Farmers and Ranchers for Farmers and Ranchers In April of 1948, under the direction of Delmar Roberts, the organization started an insurance company. Edwin Mechem, the organization’s attorney who went on to become the state’s 15, 17th and 19th governor of New Mexico, drew up the articles of incorporation and the by-laws. The property and casualty insurance company was licensed when 2,250 charter policies were sold, with San Juan County being the first to reach its quota. Here is the NMF&LB building at 421 N. Water Street in Las Cruces.

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New Mexico Farm & Ranch

November 2017


Politicians, Public Policy and Private Property Rights Politics and agriculture have been intertwined since the beginning of time. One of the reasons NMF&LB was founded was to inform and influence politicians on the local, state and national levels. There is a growing need to teach people about their food and fiber systems and how regulation and legislation can either hurt or promote local food production. Our elected representatives have a significant impact on the future of farmers and ranchers and we’re always working hard for beneficial outcomes. Here Jeff Witte, NMF&LB’s Legislative Director at the time, is with NMF&LB President Bill McIlhaney and Governor Garrey Carruthers.

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New Mexico Farm & Ranch

Counter clockwise, Matt Rush, NMF&LB CEO, NMF&LB President Mike White, US Representative Joe Skeen and then Mora/ San Miguel County President Jeff Houdeck during a congressional visit. Bottom left, US Representative Steve Pearce and NM Representative Larry Larranaga talk policy during the YF&R 2015 AgTrue Tour. Bottom, Dona Ana County President Jay Hill, Governor Susana Martinez, NMF&LB CEO Chad Smith, and Bud Deerman, Past Dona Ana County FLB President at the ribbon cutting of Hill’s Wholesome Family Farms.

November 2017


Industry Partners, Collaborating Towards Success Farm, ranch and dairy families in New Mexico are fortunate that they have such great organizations representing their interests. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture, New Mexico State University and its College of Ag and the Extension Service, the New Mexico Cattle and Wool Growers Associations, the New Mexico Beef Council, New Mexico CowBelles and the New Mexico Dairy Producers all pull together to promote and protect the agricultural community. Through the years, representatives from those association groups have joined us for meetings and legislative events.

Above left, top row, Bill Pope, Dean of the College of Ag, Bill Stephens, Secretary of NMDA. Bottom row, NMF&LB President Bill McIlhaney, Gerald Thomas, Past NMSU President, Jim Halligan, Past NMSU President, and Bob Porter, NMF&LB Executive Secretary. Above right, Dan Ware, State Advisor to New Mexico FFA, receives the 2000 Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award from NMF&LB President John Van Sweden. Below left, Shacey Sullivan and Susan Navarro with Farm Credit of New Mexico help the WLC shop for the Ronald McDonald House. Below left, Duane Frost, NMF&LB State Board Member and Larry Dominguez, NMDA Director of Industry and Agency Programs.

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New Mexico Farm & Ranch

November 2017


NMF&LB Meetings, Where Friendships are Built Between County Farm Bureau meetings, NMF&LB Annual Meetings, AFBF Annual Conventions, Y&R Conferences, AgFest and Women’s Leadership Program events, it seems like NMF&LB members are always off to a meeting.

Above John Augustine gives direction to Bob Porter as NMF&LB President Pete Davis supervises. Above right, Helen White and Betty Hemann. Below is a group picture from a conference in the 1990’s. Join New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau’s Centennial celebration by making plans to attend our 100th Annual Meeting, November 16th - 18th. We will convene at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces for educational sessions, camaraderie with fellow NMF&LB members and our Awards Banquet. This year we’ll also enjoy a reception at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum as they unveil “New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau: 100 Years Strong,” an exhibit detailing our history. You can find a registration form at our website. To make room reservations please call 575-522-4300.

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New Mexico Farm & Ranch

November 2017


Leading the Way with Women’s Leadership Women have always played a vital role in NMF&LB. In 1917 when Dona County Farm and Livestock Bureau was formed Pearl M. Bailey was a director at large, and in 1943 Mrs. Calla Eylar was its President. In 1920, Mrs. C.W. Fisherdick, a sheep farmer from San Juan County was elected Vice President on the first state board. Schools were a primary concern for the women, ensuring their children received a good education was one of their priorities. In 1937, the Catron County Farm Bureau partnered with locals to build the first Farm Bureau building in the state which served as the Pie Town school. Another priority for the Associated Women of the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau was the health of their family. In 1947, under the leadership of Mrs. Edith Schulmeister, they signed a contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield to provide coverage for NMF&LB members. Currently the Women’s Leadership Program plays a vital role in the development of policies and programs and is active in all areas of the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau by promoting, protecting, and representing the business, economic, social and educational interests of farm and ranch families in New Mexico. Activities include donations to food pantries and shelters state-wide, particularly benefitting the Ronald McDonald House through an annual “restock the pantry” shopping day. Members of the WLP also serve as AGVocates as they support and promote programs and activities sponsored by the NMF&LB Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

Top left, NMF&LB WLC helped raise funds to build the Pie Town School in Catron County in 1937. Above, Belita Martinez and Ty Kinman help WLC Chair Anita Hand draw a ticket in the fundraiser quilt raffle. Left, WLC members help shop for the Ronald McDonald House, donating over $2,000 to stock the pantry. Page 10

New Mexico Farm & Ranch

November 2017


YF&R and Collegiate Farm Bureau, Keeping the Legacy Alive New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau recognized early the need to involve younger generations in food production. The Young Farmers & Ranchers and Collegiate Farm Bureau programs include both men and women, between the ages of 18 and 35, or in college. The objective of the programs is to provide training to young people for leading roles in agriculture, to foster young farmers and ranchers through our industry and to help build a more effective Farm Bureau to expand opportunities in agriculture. They both offer leadership development through attendance at national conferences and networking opportunities with farmers and ranchers nation-wide.

Above, Burl and Karen Brown. Top left, YF&R members at 2017 AgFest Jeff Mayberry, Adam Mitchell, Nicki Jaynes and Danielle Lowry. Middle left, members of the original YF&R Committee organized in 1968. Margene and Dennis Harris, Carl and Dean Day, Lacy and Tommy Simpson, and Eddie Harrington. Bottom left, the 2016 Collegiate Farm Bureau Committee, Madeleine Haggard, Ruth Ann Stephens, Kaleb Cleckler, Brian Roberts, Cassidy Downing, Hayden Randall, KyLee Rice and Wade Roberts. Page 11

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New Mexico Farm & Ranch

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NMAITC, Educating the Next Generation New Mexico Agriculture in the Classroom (NMAITC) was founded by volunteer Grace Cain, who initiated the program in the 80’s after she attended a Farm Bureau meeting that demonstrated how teachers could incorporate agricultural lessons into their curriculum. Grace was teaching fifth-grade science in T or C at the time and recognized the importance of connecting lesson plans with real life. With Ag in the Classroom, she found a way to teach students about the agricultural activities around them. NMAITC continues to grow with the support of NMF&LB members. Not only does it educate students about agriculture, it also promotes a successful future for farm and ranch families in our state.

Above left, Grace Cain developed hands on, agricultural curriculum for NMAITC. Above right, Anne Rayroux was a NMAITC volunteer and the coordinator of Environmental Camp in Eddy County. Below, 37 New Mexico educators attended the 2016 National Ag in the Classroom Conference. Through the generous donations of County Farm Bureaus, NMAITC was able to bring educators from across the state to the conference held in Phoenix.

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New Mexico Farm & Ranch

November 2017


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New Mexico Farm & Ranch

November 2017


NMF&LB, Making a Diffference By Chad Smith, CEO New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau and other agriculture organizations worked hard to strengthen laws requiring railroads to maintain their fencing. After experiencing ongoing issues with railroads failing to maintain their fence line along the vast landscape in New Mexico the agriculture industry fought long and hard to change the statute 77-16-16 that requires the railroad to properly maintain their fence lines. Without these fences being properly maintained producers have experienced livestock loss and the inability to use desperately needed rangeland. In 2013 the legislature passed and the Governor signed into law an amendment to the exiting statute which added penalties to the statute for any railroad failing to maintain their fences. Included in the amendment and penalty provision was the process that must be followed by landowners when seeking repairs and damages. Four years later we see how effective the law is when landowner and rancher Anna Hindi contacted our office complaining about her fence line that is adjacent to the Union Pacific railroad. After many failed attempts to get resolution we requested an on the ground meeting with the leadership of Union Pacific and their ground crews. Union Pacific brought their local grounds crew and individuals from Arizona, we spent a good portion of the morning walking fence line and taking notes of what was needed to be done. After further failed attempts and empty promises from Union Pacific Ms. Hindi was directed to follow the statute. Ms. Hindi cooperated and patiently waited for resolution, in the meantime she was unfortunately unable to use certain sections of her rangeland due to the disrepair of the railroads fencing. Just over a year later it came to the point where Ms. Hindi was forced to hire a contractor to come in and repair the fence. Once the fence was repaired and invoices where paid we directed her to send notice and copies of the invoices to the railroad according to statute. Union Pacific was in receipt of the invoices but failed to recognize the timeliness of payment as required by statute and was therefore responsible for paying Ms. Hindi double damages. After notifying the railroad our intent to seek civil litigation on the matter Union Pacific obliged and made payment twice the amount of what was submitted as required by statute. “I don’t know what I would have done without New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau,” said Ms. Hindi. “I knew the railroad was responsible but I didn’t have a copy of the statute. I contacted Chad and thank goodness he was there to help. If it weren’t for him I’d still be fighting with the railroad.” Although it was a long, frustrating process we are pleased to report that the law is proven effective and in this case, did not require legal action. You must be persistent and follow the statute. We put this law in place for this purpose and this just goes to show that our hard work will pay off. While we hate to experience these problems, we hope that this will result in a better cooperative relationship with those railroads and our landowners. Union Pacific did admit they did not have a good process in place to deal with fencing issues and that this has caused them to take a hard look at developing a policy to address fencing issues. I believe Union Pacific wants to be good neighbors and so we hope that this has elevated the need for them to maintain their fence line, operate according to statute and work with our members and those landowners who share our beautiful New Mexico landscape. Through persistency and hard work in the pursuit of what’s right we will persevere!

“If it weren’t for him I’d still be fighting with the railroad.”

“Shortage” from pg 3 reau believes it should not limit the number of worker visas. But we support Chairman Goodlatte’s effort, because it opens the door for progress such as we haven’t seen in more than three decades of hemming and hawing on this issue. Immigration reform is a tough issue, but we cannot avoid it any longer. Instability in our farm workforce places American jobs and American-grown products at risk. We need members of Congress to work together to ensure Americans have access to a safe, sustainable supply of U.S.-grown food. Page 14

New Mexico Farm & Ranch

November 2017


That’s how long the average text takes your eyes off the road. It takes at least that long to stop safely at highway speeds. Distracted driving accounts for 25% of all auto accidents in the U.S. and we want to take a stand against it. Please join us and put away your phone while your car is in motion. Take the pledge to stop distracted driving today by visiting fbfs.com/safe-driving-pledge.

Auto | Home | Life | Annuities | Business | Farm & Ranch Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2017. Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company,* Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company,* Western Agricultural Insurance Company*/West Des Moines, IA. *Company providers of Farm Bureau Financial Services. PC114 (9-17)

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Non-profit Organization U.S. POSTAGE PAID Las Cruces, N.M. Permit No.2093

2220 N. Telshor Las Cruces, NM 88011

RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

NEW MEXICO FARM & LIVESTOCK BUREAU Since 1917 . . . a Leader in New Mexico

ISSN 0028-6192 2220 N. TELSHOR BLVD. • LAS CRUCES, NM 88011 575.532.4700 • FAX: 575.532.4710 PUBLISHER: New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau New Mexico Farm & Ranch is published monthly. Yearly subscription is $24.00. New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau members receive a complimentary subscription with yearly dues. U.S. Postage PAID, bulk rate, PERMIT #31, Las Cruces, NM 88001. FORWARDING/RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED, ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED. OFFICERS Craig Ogden President, Loving Larry Reagan 1st Vice President, Ft. Sumner Boe Lopez 2nd Vice President, Springer Mike White Past President, Dexter Page 16

New Mexico Farm & Ranch

Chad Smith Chief Executive Officer

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Burl Brown, Des Moines Bud Deerman, La Mesa Jim Ellett, Hope Duane Frost, Claunch Anita Hand, Datil Gary Hathorn, Flora Vista Leon Hemann, McDonald Jay Hill, Mesilla Park George Jackson, Lordsburg John Jackson, Lake Arthur Janet Jarratt, Los Lunas Deena Kinman, Elida Matt Lansford, Clovis Danielle Lowry, Albuquerque Donald Martinez, El Rito Tommy Ortiz, Las Vegas Troy Sauble, Maxwell Paula Sichler, San Antonio John Sweetser, Deming Tom Wilton, Ft. Sumner Anita Hand, Chair Women’s Leadership Committee Danielle Lowry, Chair Young Farmer & Rancher Committee

REGIONAL DIRECTORS Tanner Anderson, Portales Matthew Gonzales, Cimarron Valerie Huerta, Santa Cruz Benjie Segovia, Las Cruces Cheryl Butterfield Northern Director, Ag in the Classroom Traci Curry Southern Director, Ag in the Classroom Francisco Hatay Marketing Coordinator Dalene Hodnett Director of Communications and Media Relations Cecilia Diaz-Johnson Bookkeeper Theresa Widner Director of Membership Services

November 2017


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