THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE NEW MEXICO FARM AND LIVESTOCK BUREAU®
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
NMF&LB President’s Column TRACTOR SEAT DAYDREAMING
BY CRAIG OGDEN
Sowing the Seed
In many ways, New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau is akin to the farms of those who make up our organization. A great deal of planning, technical knowledge, sweat equity, and a bit of luck are required to reap a harvest. We pour hours into our operations aiming not only to succeed each year, but to leave the land in better condition for the next generation. For the past eight years, NMF&LB has thrived under the direction of our outgoing Chief Executive Officer Chad Smith. During Chad’s tenure, NMF&LB has increased its membership and has received the American Farm Bureau Award of Excellence several times. Chad Ogden cont. on page 28
AFBF President’s Column BEYOND THE FENCEROWS
BY ZIPPY DUVALL
Feeding Families During Peace and Crisis
Like many of you, my heart has been heavy with the news of war with Russia’s attack on Ukraine. I am praying daily for the people of Ukraine, wisdom for President Biden and our allies, and for a swift resolution. These events have been a sobering reminder of how fragile peace can be, and how we all play a role in protecting our families and communities from security risks at home and abroad. As farmers and ranchers, our mission remains clear: to provide a safe, sustainable supply of food, fiber and renewable fuel. Our nation’s food security is a matter of national security—in times of war and peace. One of America’s greatest strengths Duvall cont. on page 34
NMF&LB CEO’s Column CHATTING WITH CHAD
BY CHAD SMITH
A Bittersweet Goodbye
It is with mixed emotions that I say goodbye to New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau (NMF&LB), and New Mexico as a whole. I want to thank you all for your support over the last 12 years. It has been quite the ride and I wish nothing more than future success for New Mexico agriculture and NMF&LB. I have made friends, extended my family, and made many great memories. I reflect on the time when I was first hired and remember the doubt by many because I was not raised on a farm or a ranch. I can remember the challenges that I faced. I remember who my biggest critics were, and those biggest critics ultimately became Smith cont. on page 28
On the cover: A chile field in southern New Mexico, see story on page 4. Photo by Dalene Hodnett. Page 2
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
We’ve paid our members $148.7 million since 2005. See, you do like math.
Farm Credit of New Mexico has been farmer and rancher owned for more than a century. Every member is an owner, eligible for a share of our annual patronage. We’ve paid $148.7 million to our members since 2005, including $15 million in 2021 alone. We provide loans, insurance, financial tools and your fair share of the profits.
farmcreditnm.com | 1-800-451-5997 Page 3
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
A Storm on the Horizon for New Mexico Chile By Dalene Hodnett, Director of Communications and Media Relations
As you can see from the graph below, chile planting has been steadily decreasing in our state for years. The coming year may be a particularly bad one for chile production. Diesel is at record highs, Russia has halted exports of fertilizer, inflation is the highest it’s been in decades and labor continues to be a problem we can’t solve. Many farmers are turning to cotton this year and the chile crop is expected to suffer. Joram Robbs, who helps Speir Family Farms with their chile marketing says “Chile has always been a good value-added crop for New Mexico. This planting is definitely going to be a struggle with the price of inputs. It’s a good time to re-evaluate how you produced it and you’re going to see a lot of stuff that used to be done by hand moving to mechanization.” He points to a newly acquired implement called a Hemp Hawk that helps weed fields without the need for additional labor. “We’re just trying to do things more efficiently,” says Joram. Don Hartman a Luna County farmer who normally plants 150 acres has scaled back to 115 this year. “We cut our acres this year because of labor and inputs being high. If you don’t know what your cost of production is, it’s hard to hope for profit.” Ben Etcheverry is the Ag Operations Supervisor for Olam Food Ingredients, a producer of chile-based spices with processing plants in Las Cruces and Deming. He confirmed there is less chile being planted this year and that with current economic pressures the farmers have to do more with less. “Contracts with chile farmers this year certainly took more negotiations than usual,” says Ben. “Our contracts, which we typically have in place by late November, took into account the tight labor supply and the increasing cost of inputs, which combined lead to the highest per tonnage contracts we’ve ever negotiated.” Travis Day, Executive Director of the New Mexico Chile Association, comes with this positive message. “Our chile farmers in New Mexico are resilient and are adapting to the address the issues our industry is facing,” he says. “We are seeing infrastructure improvements to increase irrigation efficiency, mechanical harvesting to reduce impacts of labor shortages, refocusing on soil health to minimize fertilizer inputs, and disease tolerant varieties development at NMSU. Our industry will continue to work and adapt to produce our state’s signature crop.”
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
Planning for Water Scarcity with a 50-Year Plan By Dalene Hodnett, Director of Communications and Media Relations
New Mexico State University recently hosted a webinar featuring Nelia Dunbar, PhD, Director and State Geologist at New Mexico Tech, Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources and Rolf Schmidt-Petersen, Director of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission. As part of the university’s Climate Change Education Seminar Series, they discussed global warming’s impact on New Mexico’s water resources and how the state can respond to the predicted challenges. Their presentation discussed the recently finalized Leap Ahead Analysis “Climate Change in New Mexico over the Next 50 Years: Impacts on Water Resources” (which can be found here https://geoinfo.nmt.edu/ClimatePanel/report/#top). In advance of the coming 50-year water plan, the assessment evaluated changes in water resources and focused on climate-change-induced impacts fifty years into the future. According to Dunbar, the average temperature in New Mexico is expected to increase by 5-7 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 50 years. However, precipitation is expected to remain unchanged meaning that the warmer climate will accelerate the loss of available water in the ecosystem. Currently our state receives 95 million acre of feet of precipitation annually. We lose 75 million acre feet through transpiration and another 17 more through soil evaporation, combined called evapotranspiration. Another 1.7 million acre feet is sent through the ground as recharge and 1.5 million acre feet becomes runoff or surface water. Dunbar explained that the amount of water that air can “hold” goes up as the air temperature rises so that for every two degrees we rise in temperature, air will hold 7% more vapor, leaving less available for recharge and runoff. While warming will occur all over the state, the northwest will experience the greatest change towards warming temperatures. The report expects that the High Mountains region, which includes the Black Range, Sangre de Cristo and Sacramento Mountains, will be the most impacted by climate change with less snowmelt and higher fire danger. The Northwestern High Desert, which encompasses the Four Corners area, will experience increased dustiness leading to a loss of soil, greater arroyo incision and a possible transition from grasses to shrubs. The Rio Grande Valley will have an estimated 25% lower river flow in the Rio Grande in the next 50 years and greater loss of water from reservoirs since every 5 degree temperature increase causes an additional two feet of water loss per year. Finally, the Eastern Plains will see more extreme precipitation events and greater desertification which leads to loss of soil and increased dustiness. Impacts predicted in the analysis include lower streamflow and recharge because of increased aridity; greater interannual variability in precipitation; hotter and more severe droughts; decreasing snowpack leading to diminishing runoff; greater demands on groundwater; and degraded quality of surface waters. During his portion of the presentation Schmidt-Petersen noted that in the entire nation, New Mexico is the driest state Page 5
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
for stream flow with only 2 million acre feet per year. So while we get more rain than say Nevada, we have less surface water to work with. How is our water utilized? Domestic utilization consumes 10 percent; livestock, commercial, industrial, mining and power uses make up 6 percent; evaporation accounts for 7 percent; and the rest – 77 percent is used by irrigated agriculture. So obviously a reduction in availability of water would significantly impact agriculture. Schmidt-Petersen presented a graph that shows every 5 degrees in temperature increase requires a 20 to 30 percent increase in annual water demand of irrigated crops and orchards by 2070. Climate change is also expected to lengthen the growing season by 19 to 42 days, depending on region. And while we’ve already noted the 25 percent reduction in stream flow, it will also lead to 25 percent less recharge of groundwater. So how does New Mexico plan for this shortage? Governor Lujan Grisham’s Water Resilience Vision and 50 Year Water Plan Initiative was intended to create water resiliency and was developed around three guiding principles: • SMART WATER MANAGEMENT – We must be good stewards of our precious water supply and prepare for the impact of our changing environment • SUSTAINABILITY – We must manage our water to meet the needs of today while ensuring a reliable supply of clean water for future generations • EQUITY – with a system that serves all New Mexican The 50-year Water Plan is expected to be released in July of this year and will: • Provide an assessment of these challenges in various sectors of the state and the state as a whole • Bring New Mexico stakeholders to the table to ensure inclusive water planning • Describe what New Mexicans can do to help • Seek to reduce risk, improve water resilience, and create a realistic sustainable plan for the next 50 years During the question-and-answer section of the seminar one participant asked if “agriculture will be dealing with crop restriction in the relatively near future.” Schmidt-Petersen adamantly refused the premise saying that “From a state water right standpoint, the water right process itself doesn’t have any such requirement associated with it. The individual farmer can utilize their water for any crop.” Another participant asked if there would be a push to revisit adjudicated water right amounts? Schmidt-Petersen answered “Certainly not in the 50-year water plan. It’s a forward-looking document on climate change for impacts, it’s not a regulatory document in any way and it’s certainly not a legal document.” The 50-year water plan should be completed late this summer. Page 6
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
Milk, Yoghurt and a Cup of Coffee, The Milk Shed has it All! Dalene Hodnett, Director of Communications and Media Relations
Dairy producers Jeroen and Traci van der Ploeg have a lot on their plates. Between their three children, 9,000 cattle, 2,000 acres in farm and feedlot, and a yoghurt brand, you would think they’d be looking to pare back. But they are full steam ahead on several new dairy ventures that exemplify our nation’s entrepreneurial spirit. Looking for greater opportunity to expand their dairy farm, Jeroen and his family moved to the United States from Holland in 2003 when he was 15. They rented several farms before settling in Clovis. Jeroen and Traci met in 2011 and were married in 2013. Their dairy produces a line of yoghurt and fresh milk bottled under the Freanna name. Jeroen is an 8th generation dairy farmer and Traci has a passion for marketing milk and New Mexico products, so they decided to open a direct-to-consumer retail market. The Milkshed, located in Portales offers local goods, fresh dairy products and Dutch specialty items. The coffee shop’s tag line is, “European heritage with deep New Mexican roots.” Traci and Jeroen with their three children “We see the retail store as a way to offer our products to the consumer at a more affordable price since we can bypass the costs of processing and shipping middlemen,” says Jeroen. “We also have the independence to make decisions about which products to offer in the store. It’s an opportunity to support our local community as we employ around 50 people between the store and dairy.” The van der Ploeg’s are big on supporting fellow small businesses. “We are excited to promote other products like local pistachios, New Mexico sodas and local baked goods,” says Traci. Next on the horizon for the dairy family is a new milk, butter and coffee creamer brand called Curious Heifer. “This will allow us to innovate and try new things,” says Jeroen. “We are also thinking about expanding to ice cream and cheese as well.” The van der Ploeg’s were recently honored as National Outstanding Farmers at the 2021 Outstanding Young Farmers Congress. The award recognizes the extent of their soil and water conservation practices and contributions to the well-being of the community, state, and nation. What piece of advice do they have for fellow entrepreneurs? “Know your market and make sure your small town is ready for your concept,” says Traci. “Rural towns have to depend on each other and support each other over big box stores.” Make The Milk Shed your next coffee destination and look for more items from Curious Heifer in the near future! Page 7
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
"Right This Very Minute," we’ve been busy bees with our current Ag Literacy Project! To date, New Mexico Ag in the Classroom has trained and provided resources to over 16 volunteer groups, with at least 3 more scheduled in the coming weeks. Collectively, these groups will be presenting to almost 250 classrooms full of eager students across the state of New Mexico! How wonderful is that? What an impact these groups are making. Thank you to our partners! The current book, “Right This Very Minute,” which is published by Feeding Minds Press, is one that shares with students a “farm-to-table” look at farming and ranching which includes STEM connections that take place in agriculture that help get our breakfast, lunch, and dinner to our table… every single day. Designed for K-5th grade classes, and supported by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, our project shares: all the hard work and passion that goes into farming and ranching students learn that regardless of the weather agriculture still happens (the water cycle is highlighted) and we instill the longstanding tradition of a handwritten thank you card that will go to local farmers and ranchers
Let’s wish all of these groups good luck as they engage with k-5th grade students to share great connections within agriculture. Artesia FFA Hagerman FFA Dexter FFA NMSU Sigma Alpha Centennial FFA Valencia FFA Cloudcroft FFA Loving FFA Socorro FFA Hatch FFA Deming FFA Roswell FFA Moriarty FFA Diana Wood
(Curry County 4-H)
(Roosevelt County AGvocate)
A Conference For Educators & AGvocates
The National Ag in the Classroom Conference will be held in Saratoga Springs, NY, June 28 - July 1, 2022. Preconference tours on Tuesday, June 28th include two options: New York, New York - Explore the city at your pace, seeing the sites at the top of your list. Adirondack Adventure - Visit the interactive exhibits of the Adirondack Experience and spend the rest of the day in the Olympic village of Lake Placid.
There is one half day option for a Post-Conference Tour on Friday, July 1st: Explore Cooperstown - With the choice of visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame or the incredible interpretive Farmers' Museum, everyone will enjoy a visit to beautiful Cooperstown.
Registration Fees for this In-person Conference: $435 Early Bird - May 20th, 2022 $485 Registration – May 21 - June 10 $535 Late registration – June 11 – June 17 $585 on site
Full registration includes all conference meals, breaks, and your selected traveling workshop on June 29, 2022. Twelve traveling workshops are available that include such titles as: Tapping into Maple, Farm to Fork with Beef, The Buzz on Apples, Cheese Please, From Cow to Cone, and Saratoga Springs Isn't Horsing Around.Each tour highlights that there is always something to learn One of the best compliments I have heard about this about agriculture!
conference was from a teacher See the full conference agenda: that was considering leaving the National Agriculture in the Classroom: https://na.eventscloud.com/website/35342/agenda/ profession (something that
Grant Available: The CHS grant is an easy online application designed to help K-12 teachers cover the cost of conference registration ($435). The deadline to apply for this grant is April 4, 2022. https://www.agclassroom.org/teacher/grants/
happens all too often). After the conference, when I asked her if she found anything helpful, she smiled and said she found her passion for teaching again and couldn't wait for school to start. I'm not crying, you're crying! Traci Curry
Visit https://newmexico.agclassroom.org/about/donate/ for a complete list of sponsors.
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The 2022 Legislative Session the Good, the Bad and the Special By Tiffany Rivera, Director of Government Affairs
The 2022 session looked to make New Mexico a leader in environmental policy and included many environmental initiatives supported and endorsed by the Governor. Legislation up for consideration this year included items like the Clean Future Act which aimed to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050, the Constitutional Amendment for Environmental Rights, which looked to secure rights to clean water, air, and land for the people of New Mexico, and the establishment of a Clean Fuel Standard which proposed to reduce transportation emissions to mediate the impacts of climate change. The proposals, which we strongly opposed, ran out of time or were tabled, a major win for New Mexico agriculture. Additional large priority items like the Governor’s hydrogen hub, which was strongly supported by both Senators Heinrich and Lujan, experienced large opposition from a variety of organizations and was not successful in making its way through the legislature. Throughout the 30-day session, the legislature worked hard to craft and deliver to the governor an $8.48-billion-dollar budget. The budget reflects a 14% increase in spending over last year which equates to a roughly $1 billion dollar increase in appropriations. The Governor signed HB 2 with minimal partial vetoes. The partial vetoes do not compromise the budgets of the Ag Science Centers, Cooperative Extension, Department of Agriculture, or the Livestock Board’. March 9th was the deadline for the Governor to sign legislation and with it brought many surprises. Using her executive power, the Governor vetoed a major appropriation bill which will dramatically impact communities across the state. Senate Bill 48 aka the “junior” bill, authorized $50 million in supplemental spending, the bill included appropriations for acequias, farmers markets, agriculture education, soil and water conservations districts, 4H and FFA. The vetoing of this bill which included funding for much need projects and initiatives, has legislators and constituents extremely upset. Multiple legislators discussed the potential of an extraordinary session to override the veto. In order to call the legislature into extraordinary session both chambers would have to secure a 3/5 vote by their members, this has only been successfully executed once in our state’s history in 2002. The Full list of vetoes and pocket vetoes are as follows:
• Senate Bill 48 General Appropriations and Authorized Expenditures - authorize $50 million in supplemental spending • House Bill 134 Reinstitute the state sports authority - reinstitutes the Sports Authority Division of the Tourism Department, changes membership of the sports advisory committee while giving the secretary of tourism appointing authority for the committee. Pocket Vetoed • Senate Bill 2 Judicial Retirement Changes - raises judicial pay by 33% • Senate Bill 174 Freight Trailers in Right Hand Highway Lane - require semitrucks to stay in right lane • House Bill 15 Tribal Gross Receipts Rates - revise a rule for tribal gross receipts taxes Page 12
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
• House Bill 62 Grant Opportunities Council - create a grant opportunities council, administratively attached to DFA, to advise DFA on grant matters, including identifying barriers to procuring and managing federal grants, best practices for managing grants, and other grant topics as requested by DFA. • House Bill 219 Elected County Official Salary Cap - increase salaries for county elected officials Signed by the Governor “Chaptered” • Senate Bill 1 Increasing Salary for Licensed teachers - amends Public Education to increase the minimum salaries of Level One, Level Two and Level Three licensed teachers. • Senate Bill 12 AG office for missing indigenous persons - relates to law enforcement, creates the position of Missing Indigenous Persons Specialist within the office of the Attorney General. • Senate Bill 13 Missing in NM Event - provides a new section of the Missing Persons Information and Reporting Act is enacted to create a Missing in New Mexico Event, in support of all New Mexicans who are searching for missing relatives. • Senate Bill 17 Authorization for Certain Water Projects - authorizes the New Mexico Finance Authority to make loans or grants from the Water Project Fund for certain water projects and declares an emergency. • Senate Bill 36 Contributions to educational retirement board - increases certain local-administrative-unit contributions to the Educational Retirement Fund. • Senate Bill 39 Procurement preferences changes - increases the preference for New Mexico resident businesses and contractors. • House Bill 13 Teacher residency changes - amends Sections of the Teacher Residency Act and makes an appropriation. • House Bill 43 Charter school facility improvements - adds a new section to the New Mexico Finance Authority Act to provide loans to Charter Schools; amends Public Schools to require notification to charter schools of property available and provides that the Public School Outlay fund include charter schools; creates the Charter Facility Fund; Amends Public schools to include charter schools in proposed funding through tax imposition; and makes an appropriation • House Bill 52 Harm reduction act amendments - Relating to health by amending the Harm Reduction Act to expand supplies or devices provided to harm reduction program participants, providing that possession of certain supplies or devices is not a violation of the Controlled Substances Ac • House Bill 56 Temporary veterinary permits - requires the issuance of six-month, temporary permits to practice veterinary medicine to certain nonresident veterinarians employed by or contracted with the state, a municipality, or a county to provide veterinary services at nationally accredited zoos or aquariums located in New Mexico. • House Bill 57 2023 transportation distribution calculations - amends Public School Finance to adjust school districts’ and charter schools’ Fiscal Year 2023 transportation calculations and makes temporary adjustments to transportation distributions. • House Bill 73 Educational retires returning to work - amends Public Schools to allow certain retirees to return to work without a suspension of retirement benefits. • House Bill 119 Adjust certain school distributions - amends Public School code to adjust the amounts to be used in calculating state distributions to school districts that impose a Public-School Capital Improvements Tax and to charter schools within those school districts. • House Bill 144/a Commercial drivers license requirements - relates to commercial driver’s licenses and aligning New Mexico commercial driver’s license requirements with Federal Law while modifying and repealing and enacting Sections of the HMSA 1978. It will be an interesting and exciting year ahead of us, there will be many seats up for the grab in November and New Mexico’s legislature and executive office will look quite different in the next session. Filing day and has come and passed and brought many surprises to election watchers statewide, many legislators have chosen not to seek re-election in the coming year. The following legislators will vacate their seats once their term expires later this year: Brian Egolf District 47 Santa Fe Page 13
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
Georgine Louis District 26 Bernalillo Damon Ely District 23 Bernalillo & Sandoval Deborah Armstrong District 17 Bernalillo Karen Bash District 68 Bernalillo Kay Bounkeua District 19 Bernalillo Rebecca Dow (running for Governor) District 38 Grant, Hidalgo, & Sierra Kelly Fajardo District 7 Valencia James Strickler District 2 San Juan Zach Cook District 56 Lincoln and Otero Randy Crowder District 64 Curry Phelps Anderson District 66 Chaves, Lea, and Roosevelt Additionally, Senator Jacob Candelaria (District 26 Bernalillo) has announced his plans to resign from his seat later this year.
SIGNED (These items don’t require Governor action)
HM 29 FFA Day – Townsend Support The memorial provides a brief history of the organization previously known as the Future Farmers of Amercia, noting that more than 3,600 youths ages 12 to 21 take part in FFA programs statewide. A copy of the memorial is to be sent to the New Mexico FFA. HM 30 4-H Day – Dow Support The memorial provides background on the organization and notes that more than 30,000 New Mexicans ages 5 to 18 participate in the organization. A copy of the memorial is to be sent to New Mexico State University’s 4-H youth. HM 46 NM Food & Farms Day – Ferrary Support Recognizes community food and farm efforts that seek to end hunger by declaring February 8, 2022, “New Mexico Food and Farms Day” in the state House of Representatives. HJM1 Consider Drought in Federal Ag Policy – Zamora Support Urges New Mexico’s congressional delegation to take into consideration the impact of drought when setting federal agricultural policy based on the support presented in this joint memorial. SM 1 Paid Family Medical Sick Leave Taskforce – Stewart Watch Calls for a task force to be convened by the Workforce Solutions Department to recommend legislation for paid family and medical leave, including the establishment of a paid family and medical leave trust fund. DIED/TABLED/RAN OUT OF TIME HB 6 Clean Future Act – Small Oppose Enacts the Clean Future Act and new sections of the Air Quality Control Act and provides powers and duties. HB 6 establishes greenhouse gas emissions limits. It directs the Environmental Improvement Board to adopt rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and directs the assessment of fees Page 14
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
HB 83 State Engineer Eligibility Requirements – Romero Oppose Amends the eligibility requirements for the position of state engineer to include geohydrologists, hydrologists, geologists and attorneys. HM 2 Agritourism Insurance Coverage – Matthews Support Relates to liability insurance for agritourism activities such as “u-pick” harvesting, petting zoos and corn mazes, and asks several state agencies to become involved in studying ways to make such insurance more affordable. HM 25 Agriculture and Food in K-12 Curriculum – Lente Support Asks that the Public Education Department (PED) determine how to include an education of agriculture, food and nutrition in K-12 public schools. HM 44 Feral & Unbranded Cattle – Terrazas Support Seeks a study of how to resolve problems ranchers and farmers have with feral and unbranded cattle that trespass on their land. HM 49 Livestock Protection from Wolves – Dow Support Relates to reintroduction of the Mexican wolf in New Mexico and Arizona and asks the Department of Game and Fish to determine ways to better protect livestock. HJR 2 Environmental Rights, Constitutional Amendment – Ferrary Oppose Proposes to amend the NM Constitution by adding a new section to Article 2 that provides the people of the state with environmental rights and directs the state to protect environmental resources for the benefit of all the people. It repeals the current pollution control provisions of Article 20, Section 21 of the NM Constitution. SB 14 Enacting the Clean Fuel Standard Act – Stewart Oppose Enacts the Clean Fuel Standard Act that provides for the establishment of a clean fuel standard for transportation fuels, the assessment of an annual registration fee, and the creation of the Clean Fuel Standard Fund. SB directs the state Environmental Improvement Board to promulgate rules to implement the Clean Fuel Standard Act and makes an appropriation. SB 42 Utility Easements for Broadband Act – Padilla Neutral Enacts the Utility Easements for Broadband Act (UEFBA) that authorizes the use and sharing of utility easements for the provision of communications service throughout the state. It requires notice to the property owner; provides for optional recording of such notice; establishes claims pursuant to the use of utility easements; allows cost recovery for communications infrastructure projects; and provides definitions. SB 186 Payment in Lieu of Taxes for Real Property – Woods Support Requires the state to make Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) to political subdivisions when acquiring real property and makes an appropriation. The Department of Transportation is exempted from PILT requirements for purchases to be used as public roadways. Page 15
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
SJM2 National Biodiversity Strategy – Stewart Oppose Requests the federal government to establish a National Biodiversity Strategy with the support of Congress, federal agencies and state, local and tribal governments. It requests all parties to support the National Biodiversity Strategy and take actions to protect species and habitats and help forestall the loss of biodiversity. SM 2 Insurance Coverage for Agritourism – Diamond Support Relates to liability insurance for agritourism activities such as “u-pick” harvesting, petting zoos and corn mazes, and asks several state agencies to become involved in studying ways to make such insurance more affordable. SM 3 Agriculture Education Day – Shendo Support Seeks to have January 25, 2022, declared Agriculture Education Day in the Senate to recognize the role agriculture, food and nutrition play in the lives of New Mexicans. It further asks that the Public Education Department be requested to study how to incorporate curriculum related to agriculture, food and nutrition into K-12 schools.
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
Special Session Preview Although spring is in the air, I have to say it’s feeling more and more like Groundhog Day! Since the end of session there have been rumors flying regarding the potential for another special session, and quite honestly, it’s not surprising that the Governor is calling legislators back to Santa Fe beginning April 5th. This has become predictable for the Governor who called for two special sessions in both 2020 and 2021. One of the topics to be discussed is rebates for drivers to reimburse them for the high price of gas. The recent Russia invasion of Ukraine has not helped the global situation and has instead created additional instability and uncertainty, especially around the global energy markets. Indeed, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the cost of energy. According to AAA, the current average for gas in NM is $4.15 a gallon for regular, that’s a 19% increase over last month and a 44% increase in cost over a year ago. Diesel prices are particularly hurting our local farmers with current prices at $5.06 a gallon, up from $3.87 last month and $3.18 a year ago. Additionally, we are still experiencing the lingering impacts of the pandemic including supply chain and labor shortages while also trying to adjust to record inflation rates. Inflation is hovering at a historical rate of 7.9%, a level which hasn’t been experienced since 1982. For these reasons, the Governor has decided to call the legislature back into another special session. According to her press release, the scope of the special session will include measures to assist with economic relief in face of rising costs to consumers, while also addressing a revised supplemental junior bill. As you will recall from the previous session, the legislature passed SB 48 the junior bill. This bill included funding for many special projects and capital requests across the state, it included many beneficial appropriations for various agriculture programs like 4H, FFA, NMSU’s ag science centers, weather monitoring stations and much more. Unfortunately, after session concluded the Governor vetoed the bill stating she had concerns with transparency and believed it was fiscally irresponsible. This all brings us to where we are today, where hopefully our legislators and the executive office will achieve their collective goals in a quick manner. Keep in mind that we are also in an election year, and with the primary elections quickly approaching, campaign and fundraising events are in full swing. Not only will the legislature want a quick and fruitful special session, but so will the Governor. According to state law, an incumbent governor is prohibited from fundraising for 20 days after the adjournment of session, while legislators cannot fund raise from the initiation date of the proclamation until the end of session. With more than just state dollars on the line we expect this session will be a quick one. Lastly, I will leave you will a fun and expensive fact, in New Mexico it costs roughly $50,000 a day to call the legislature back into session, with such a hefty price tag, state taxpayers should be mindful of how frequently special sessions are convened. NMF&LB staff will continue to monitor the developments around the special session and as always do our best to advocate for our membership and local agriculture. Page 19
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
BEEF R EPR ES EN T ED AT S TAT E DI ET ET IC S CON F ER ENCE The New Mexico Beef Council participated virtually in the joint New Mexico Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NMAND) Conference and New Mexico Diabetes Advisory Council (NMDAC): Caring for the whole person conference on March 3, 2022. Kate Schulz, NMBC’s consulting dietitian, presented the latest Beef research to the 48 participants attending from around the state. Kate’s presentation touched on including beef in a heart-healthy diet as well introducing beef as a complimentary first food for infants. “Choosing Beef: New Diabetes and Heart Health Research” helped the attendees understand the latest research with a reminder that all of the information presented could be accessed on beefitswhatsfordinner.com. Participants were offered a swag bag of materials, including a meat thermometer and educational resources to use with their audiences.
May 17-19, 2022 Embassy Suites Albuquerque Just $50 for students and people new to agriculture! The $50 registration fee for "FUTURE AG PRODUCERS"
includes the conference, meals and hotel stay for two nights (May 17-18).
Registration for "CURRENT AG PRODUCERS/MENTORS" is $100 and does not include hotel. The �irst 150 attendees will receive the book Connectable: How Leaders Can Move Teams From Isolated to All In by Ryan Jenkins and Steven Van Cohen.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 7. https://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/agrifuture/
AgriFuture Inspires, Informs and Connects Ranchers & Farmers. The New Mexico Beef Council is pleased to participate in this conference and would like to encourage next gen beef ranchers and dairy farmers to attend as well.
AgriFuture aims to connect, inform and inspire the next generation of farmers, ranchers and all people involved in agriculture. Don’t miss out on the farm-to-table reception, breakout sessions, educational agricultural speakers, dinner with mentors, networking opportunities and more.
CH ECKOF F F U N DED PRO GR A MS I N T RODUCE N EW DI A BET ES & H EA RT R ESEA RCH The Checkoff funds ongoing research on how beef fits into a heart-healthy diet and guidance for those with diabetes. These infographics are created for our use when meeting with dietitians and nutritionists, as Kate Schulz did last month.
NMAND was one of the last conferences in which NMBC participated virtually. Kate Schulz presented on Zoom to 48 participants from across New Mexico.
To learn more visit www.NMBeef.com 1209 RoadFarm Place&NE, Suite C • New Mexico Page 20 Mountain Ranch
Albuquerque, NM 87110 505-841-9407 www.NMBeef.com
2021 BEEF EX P ORTS SH AT T ER PR EV IOUS R ECOR DS U.S. beef exports greatly exceeded previous volume and value records in 2021, surpassing $10 billion for the first time, according to year-end data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports finished slightly below the record volume reached in 2020 but set a new value record, topping $8 billion for the first time. December beef exports totaled 121,429 metric tons (mt), up 1% from a year ago, while value climbed 33% to $991.8 million – the third largest month on record. These results pushed 2021 volume to 1.44 million mt, up 15% from a year ago and 7% above the previous record set in 2018. Export value soared to $10.58 billion, up 38% from 2020 and shattering the previous record (also from 2018) by 27%. “The beef export results are truly remarkable, especially considering the COVID-related obstacles in the global foodservice sector and all the supply-side and logistical challenges faced by the U.S. industry,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Obviously our large Asian markets accounted for much of the growth, but it really takes broad-based global demand to reach
A NS W ERS TO YOU R QU ES T IONS A BOU T T H E BEEF CH ECKOF F
these impressive levels. So this success story is not just about Korea, Japan and China – but also a strong performance in Taiwan, excellent growth in Central and South America and a rebound in Mexico and Southeast Asia.”
HOW DO I PAY INTO THE CHECKOFF?
A: By law, all producers selling cattle or
calves, for any reason and regardless of age or sex, must pay $1 per head to support beef/ veal promotion, research and information through the Beef Promotion and Research Act.
Q: HOW CAN I BE INVOLVED IN THE BEEF CHECKOFF?
A: For many producers, the best place
to get involved is by attending state board meetings or even becoming a member of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB).
WHAT IS THE CATTLEMEN’S BEEF BOARD? WHO SERVES? HOW ARE THEY PAID?
A: The Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board oversees and manages the $1 per head Beef Checkoff program.
DIRECTORS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR VICE-CHAIRPERSON Dina Chacon-Reitzel Cole Gardner (Producer) 505-841-9407 575-910-5952
NEW MEXICO CHAIRPERSON BEEF COUNCIL Zita Lopez (Feeder) 575-447-1117 2021-2022 PageDIRECTORS 21 • New Mexico Farm & Ranch
Nominating organizations represent beef and dairy producers in 32 individual states and six state units, where states are grouped together to form enough cattle numbers for a seat, based on the number of cattle in each state. Importer appointments are drawn from nominations by importer associations. The number of Board members is established according to the number of cattle in the state or region; 500,000 head for the first Board member and 1,000,000 head for each additional member. Importer numbers are established in the same manner. Members serve without pay, but may be reimbursed for travel and direct business expenses associated with serving on the CBB.
WHO PAYS INTO THE BEEF CHECKOFF?
A: By law, all producers selling cattle or
calves, for any reason, are required to pay $1 per head to support beef/veal promotion, research and information.
NMBC DIRECTORS: Dan Bell (Producer)
Jim Hill (Feeder)
Joel Van Dam
(Purebred Producer) 505-379-8212
(Dairy Representative) 575-714-3244
BEEF BOARD DIRECTOR Boe Lopez (Feeder) 505-469-9055 FEDERATION DIRECTOR Zita Lopez (Feeder) 575-447-1117 USMEF DIRECTOR
Kenneth McKenzie (Producer) 575-760-3260
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Environmental Quality Incentives Program Southern Border Initiative in New Mexico Overview The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that offers farmers and ranchers financial and technical assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices and activities on working agricultural and forestry landscapes.
What is the EQIP Border Restoration Initiative?
these funds, NRCS will be implementing ACT now, a process which allows NRCS to approve and obligate a ranked application in a designated ranking pool when an eligible application meets or exceeds a State determined minimum ranking score without waiting until the NRCS field office ranks all applications in the ranking pool.
Get Started with USDA
Farmers and ranchers along the southern border have seen damage to fields and farming infrastructure, including fencing and livestock and irrigation watering infrastructure. These damages are costly for producers and may also have a negative impact on resource concerns that farmers and ranchers are working to protect and enhance. The USDA has set aside funds for financial and technical assistance through the EQIP Border Restoration Initiative to help producers complete infrastructure repairs along New Mexico’s southern border. This funding is in addition to existing state annual allocations.
USDA provides technical assistance at no cost to agricultural and forestry producers from USDA Service Centers serving every county in New Mexico. Our Service Centers are currently open for business, including those that restrict in-person visits or require appointments. Visit farmers.gov/servicelocator to find the contact information for your local FSA or NRCS office. Check the status of your local USDA Service Center, then make an appointment to determine next steps for your conservation goals.
Key Program Features
How to Apply
• These funds are made available through a targeted initiative in specific border regions in New Mexico. • There are 28 conservation practices identified as eligible for this assistance, including: fencing, watering facility, range planting, livestock pipeline, and more. • Funding is available through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) which provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits.
Who is Eligible? Farmers, ranchers, and landowners who own or lease agricultural land may be eligible. EQIP assistance can be used on many types of operations, including, but not limited to: • Conventional and organic • Specialty crops and commodity crops • Wildlife • Livestock operations EQIP Border Restoration conservation practices are offered through a 1-year contract with early start waivers permitted.
Visit NRCS programs web page to learn more about USDA’s financial and technical conservation assistance.
Enrollment is currently open and runs through July 15, 2022. Funding is available through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), which provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits. To apply, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center.
• To allow producers to quickly access Page 22
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
EQIP Border Restoration Initiative Eligibility Area Eligible areas in New Mexico include: • • • • • • •
Hildago Grant Luna Sierra Doña Ana Otero Eddy
EQIP Border Restoration Core Practices Focus is on conservation practices that help address areas along the southern border that have damage to fields and farming and ranching infrastructure and may also have a negative impact on resource concerns that farmers and ranchers are working to protect and enhance. EQIP Border Initiative
EQIP Border Initiative
Pasture and Hay Planting
Critical Area Planting
Pumping Plant (including solar)
Riparian Forest Buffer
Heavy Use Area Protection
Grade Stabilization Structures
Animal Trails and Walkways
Wildlife Habitat Planting
Streambank & Shoreline Protection
Irrigation Ditch Lining Irrigation Pipeline
Irrigation System Micro-irrigation
Irrigation System Surface & Subsurface
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
NM March 2022
County Activities Around the State GRANT Grant County F&LB recently donated $250 to Keylee Topmiller, a 6th grade science teacher, for materials for her raised bed gardens. Keylee is a graduate of New Mexico Ag in the Classroom’s Grow Project and had attended an earlier workshop. In attendance with her was Jeff Fell (pictured in the lower photo in blue shirt) a member of the county’s board of directors. Keylee had inherited a raised bed garden from Cindy Lee, past NMAITC Teacher of the Year, but wanted to build more for her students. “I feel so blessed to be able to revamp our existing garden project that we had in place at Harrison Schmitt Elementary,” says Keylee. “Grant County Farm and Livestock Bureau’s sponsorship has allowed us to purchase the irrigation equipment to water three addition beds to go alongside the bed provided through the Grow Project grant. Teaching the students science while incorporating agriculture into the classroom is something that is extremely important to me. I, along with the school and our students, are very grateful to the Grant County Farm and Livestock Bureau, as well as the Ag in the Classroom program, for making this possible.” Grant County F&LB President Stewart Rooks says “We are very happy and proud to support enthusiastic teachers who are educating our youth on where their food comes from and agriculture issues and practices. We look forward to supporting all schools with any supplies and support in their efforts in ag education.”
Above, Tenisha Fell, GCF&LB Treasurer, Keylee Topmiller, GCF&LB President Stewart Rooks. Below, NMAITC Grow Project workshop
“The NRCS workshop was a very beneficial and educational opportunity,” says Jeff. “I am proud to be a part of New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau for many reasons, but the ability to educate the next generation of agricultural producers is one of the best ones. The fact that many kids across our state will get the opportunity to be an active participant in the production of their food, even on a small scale, should give us all hope that some will continue on to pursue a lifestyle focusing on sustainable agriculture production. Connecting the ag community to students through teachers creates wonderful relationships, and workshops such as this one help to continue to foster those relationships.” “Community partners and support are a critical component of the success of the New Mexico Grow Projects,” says Traci Curry, Director of NMAITC. “The trainings are especially designed to help educators be able to not only use the materials but to troubleshoot issues and be confident in expanding their projects. Grant County Farm Bureau’s support of great teachers like Mrs. Topmiller is an excellent investment into the community that will continue to provide rewards for years to come.” Page 24
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
DONA ANA Members of Dona Ana County F&LB recently met with Representative Yvette Herrell. “Meeting with elected officials members of the ag community is very important because these are the people who can initiate change via legislation,” says Derek Davidson, DOACF&LB President. “Because we make up such a small percentage of the population anymore, our voices often get overshadowed. This is a direct way to get our voices heard and to discuss the issues we see and the problems we are facing while trying to grow the food and fiber we use every day.” Shown in the photo from left to right are Myles Culbertson, Derek Davidson, Grady Hodnett, Representative Yvette Herrell, NMF&LB President Craig Ogden, Josh Sanchez and Dave Lowry.
COLFAX Colfax County F&LB recently volunteered at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Springer for their weekly fish dinner. They also sponsored and delivered 29 dinners for residens of the Colfax General Long Term Care facility. Boe Lopez, Colfax County F&LB board member, says “Our county farm bureau is happy to sponsor this fish dinner, we support all residents of Colfax County!”
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
Hugs from the funny farm By Sage Faulkner There was a lot of drama here yesterday. 101 was missing. 105 had a nice bull calf, bright and early, with elk crowding the nursery and horses scared out of their minds briefly because the elk crashed their ward (the infirmary for the half-crazy, lazy, not rodeoing crowd). 113 was pretty certain 105s new baby could be hers. She’s not had hers yet. Little bit of pre-partum derangement noted by the nursing staff. Kids were loading up to rodeo. Shane forgot his boots. Delta, Keek’s cow, a former show heifer back in her day, was walking the maternity ward, trying to find her room. 113 began stalking her. 101 showed up and asked to be let back in the maternity ward. She’d calved, but brought no baby. I let her in. She checked, sniffed every new calf, and then walked back to the closest exit. I let her back out, because I know these Scottish gals, they are a mite anti-social. I just hoped she had a live calf stashed somewhere. Got a text: bring us dads boots, only 15 miles out. Delta is full out calving, and 113 is so up in her business, it’s causing Delta major stress. I find the boots, right at the door, and drive entirely too fast, as my shift hasn’t really ended yet. I get back, Delta has calved, 113 is starting to, and between pushes, is cleaning up and trying to steal Delta’s new baby. I take pictures and videos. 113 has a baby and now excitedly thinks she has twins. Both are solid black bull calves. Delta is frazzled and can’t believe she’s got a calf-napper for a roommate. She just wants her baby, but isn’t even sure which one is hers. I leave them for a minute, and go find 101. I see no calf. I cake her, and begin to fear the worst. 113 now has both calves and Delta is wringing her tail in frustration, trying to call her baby back. I take some more pictures. 113 screams that there is a kidnapper in the ward and runs at me. Delta grabs her baby and 113 races back and actually just cleans her baby, letting Delta nurse hers momentarily. 105 and bigbag (she lost her ear tag) bring their babies over to share in the excitement. 273 wants no part of it, eyeballing 113 for the drama queen she is, quietly taking her new baby to the far corner. I find 101 and her day-old black bull calf first thing this morning. Delta and 113 are now co-parenting nicely, though 113 still thinks I might be a threat. Times are hard, remember to find time for a smile, every chance you get. Even if it’s at the expense of a baby stealing cow like 113! Have a great spring! Page 26
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
SUNDAY, MAY 15, 2022 AT ISOTOPES PARK GATES OPEN AT 12:30 PM
RECEIVE TWO FREE TICKETS JOIN US FOR A DAY FULL OF BASEBALL AND AGRICULTURE. WATCH AS THE ISOTOPES TAKE ON SUGAR LAND, AND VISIT OUR BOOTHS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT AGRICULTURE IN NEW MEXICO Tickets are offered on a first come first served basis and are subject to availability. Members can email email@example.com with the subject line 'Baseball.' Include full name, phone number, and address to Page 27 • New Mexico Farm & Ranch Spring 2022 claim your tickets.
Ogden from page 2 received the NMSU College of ACES Outstanding Alumni Award in 2017 and has represented New Mexico agriculture by serving on the NM Chamber of Commerce, the American Farm Bureau Federation General Counsel Advisory Committee, and the NMSU College of ACES Dean’s Development Council, just to name a few. NMF&LB will be experiencing a period of transition over the next few months as we begin the process of filling the CEO position. We have an excellent staff and dedicated board who will ensure our metaphorical seeds are planted and tended to, but I ask for grace and a willingness to pitch in as we work to fill some mighty big shoes. On behalf of the Board of Directors and myself, I extended my sincere gratitude to Chad for his dedication and commitment to Farm Bureau and the New Mexico agricultural community as a whole. On a personal note of privilege, Chad, I am grateful for your guidance and friendship. You, Corrina, Chloe, and Courtney will be in my prayers as you embark on your journey ahead. As you look back on your time spent in the Land of Enchantment, know the seeds you planted will continue to blossom long after you’ve gone. Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.
Smith from page 2 my biggest fans. I also remember asking John Wortman when I was considering this job what the future opportunities were, and I told him that if I took this job as a Regional Director that I wanted to work to have his job one day. And his response was “you certainly could.” It was him believing in me and giving me that opportunity, that allowed me to have such a great career with NMF&LB. I reflect on the past eight years, and I am extremely proud of our accomplishments. We have accomplished a lot over the last eight years, but of course, I did not do it alone. Together with an excellent team and our wonderful volunteers, we have taken the organization to the next level. As one volunteer told me recently, “we have taken it from old to new,” and we are on the way to greatness. I am very humbled to walk away leaving New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau better than when I started. I mean isn’t that everyone’s goal, to leave it better than when we found it. I am leaving knowing that we have accomplished a lot, we have grown, embraced change, and overcome many challenges. My predecessors and board leadership started this trajectory in which I came in, and together we have been extremely successful. I will sincerely miss the organization and many of its great people. I will miss New Mexico and all the great things it has to offer. I will miss the people that have made my journey possible, and I am extremely grateful to you all. I thank Past President Mike White and President Craig Ogden for their leadership, guidance, and, most importantly, their friendships. I also could not have done it without our exceptional staff. And while yes, I seem to remember having hair when I started this journey, I cannot thank the staff of NMF&LB enough for their support, hard work, and dedication. From reaching milestones in membership growth to receiving awards and national recognition, would not have been possible without the great team we have. Thank you, NMF&LB staff. There have been many individuals throughout this journey that have made it possible, some without even knowing. When I started this journey as CEO, I told the committee that hired me that I did not plan on being here forever. I told them that I would be here as long as I continued to have that fire in my belly. While the fire still burns and though there were still some things I was hoping to accomplish before I hung it up, we all know that at the end of the day there is someone much bigger than any of us that is in charge. Many can relate as native New Mexicans that we often don’t leave, and when we do, we end up back in New Mexico. But change is good, and I am excited about the future. While it scares me to death to leave everything we know behind, uproot the entire family, and move across the country; we find comfort in knowing that we are not alone in this journey. It is for many reasons, both personally and professionally, that I have decided to join Nationwide and their sponsor relations team that will take me to the Northeast part of the United States. Where exactly we land is still to be determined, but I thank you all again for all the years of support. I wish NMF&LB and New Mexico agriculture all the best of success. Lastly, I would like to thank all those who have called and reached out over the last few weeks, your words of support and encouragement mean more to me than you know. Don’t think of this as a goodbye, but rather we will see you all later. Page 28
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
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1. Go to your state Farm Bureau website to find your Grainger account number. 2. Head to Grainger.com/FarmBureau or call 1.800.GRAINGER. 3. Start saving! Within the contiguous U.S. when your order is received by 5 p.m. local time at the shipping facility, which may be in a different time zone from you. Deliveries occur Monday-Friday, excluding holidays. May be subject to limited product availability on select high-demand, pandemic-related items.Standard ground freight is paid by Seller on all orders, unless otherwise stated, to Buyer’s place of business anywhere in the contiguous United States. Other terms and conditions may apply for other than standard ground delivery (“Other Freight Services”), including expedited same day delivery, air freight, freight collect, sourced orders, export orders, hazardous materials, Buyer’s carrier, shipments outside the contiguous U.S. or other special handling by the carrier. Charges incurred for Other Freight Services must be paid by Buyer.
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New Mexico Farm & Ranch
Local Eatery Supports Local Producers By Dalene Hodnett, Director of Communications and Media Relations
Want a great meal that supports local farmers and ranchers? Well stay hungry my friends until you get to Dr. Field Goods and you’ll be rewarded with a unique New Mexico eatery that focuses on sourcing local. With locations in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, Dr. Field Goods is a farm-to-table restaurant concept designed by Chef Josh Gerwin. Josh has been quoted as saying “We source the finest ingredients from small, New Mexico family farms to create comfort food classics infused with the flavors of South America, Europe and Asia.” As a fan of food and local farmers, I was excited to visit the Santa Fe location on a recent trip. I started with the green chile stew and on a cold day I appreciated that it was both stove hot and chile hot! With chunks of delicious tender pork and flavorful green chile, it was New Mexico at its best. Next was an appetizer of oven roasted brussel sprouts garnished with cotija cheese and bacon. But not just any bacon, bacon that is smoked in-house at the butcher shop three doors down. The smokey flavor made we want to go buy a pound of it to take home, it was that good. I then ordered one of their specialties, the Bad A** BLT comprised of a 9oz patty made of bacon, topped with heirloom tomatoes. Yes, a patty made of bacon. What a unique way to offer a BLT. Those same heirloom tomatoes were featured on the margherita pizza that’s baked in the pizza oven in-house. The tomatoes come from Growing Opportunities owned by Steve and Kim Martin who produce heirloom tomatoes. If you were with us at the 2015 Summer Meeting in Taos you’ll remember touring their greenhouse. Kim says “Sourcing locally keeps your fellow neighbors employed and allows you to know where your food is coming from and who is growing it.” After that huge meal, I wandered a few doors down to the Dr. Field Goods Butcher Shop. Josh and his crew butcher whole animals and dry-age their steaks for up to 30 days. They also blend green chile into hand-made sausage and produce a line of soups and stews packaged for take-out. If you’re in the Albuquerque area, you can check out the Sawmill Market location where Dr. Field Goods features a butcher counter along with a menu of house-made dogs and grilled burgers. You can’t go wrong with either location, and what a great way support our state’s farmers and ranchers. The original Santa Fe restaurant is at 2860 Cerrillos Road and the Albuquerque version is in the Saw Mill Market at 1909 Bellamah Ave, NW.
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
Our members can now save money at the pump! Members can save: 15¢ per gallon on your next 4 fill-ups Then, 10¢ per gallon on 4 more fill-ups for new MakeItCount™ members Followed by 5¢ per gallon, every day after that
Visit nmflb.org, log into your account, and click our Member Benefits tab to learn more.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors, the Women’s Leadership Committee Shops for the Ronald McDonald House By Katelin Spradley, Regional Manager Many traditions, including the NMF&LB Women’s Leadership Program’s donation to Ronald McDonald House Charities of New Mexico, have been re-imagined when faced with the realities of the past two years, but on March 21 it was back to business as usual for WLP members as they met with invited volunteers in Albuquerque to purchase more than $1000 worth of food to donate. “Shopping for the Ronald McDonald House is one of our hallmark activities every year,”
said Connie Rooks, Chair of the NMF&LB Women’s Leadership Committee. “It was wonderful to gather again with fellow women in agriculture, 4-H youth, and local decision-makers to work together to alleviate hunger among those in need in our communities.” Five WLP members along with numerous Bernalillo County 4-H families and Representative Marian Matthews from NM House District 27, met at the Smith’s Food and Drug on Constitution Avenue to purchase needed food items such as meat, dairy, frozen food, and pantry staples for the Ronald McDonald Houses in Albuquerque. The food was then transported from the grocery store to one of the Ronald McDonald Houses where the volunteers dated and sorted the food for later distribution among families in need. RMHC-NM is a non-profit that provides multiple programs targeted toward helping families with sick children. The WLP donation directly impacts the Ronald McDonald House program, which provides family housing, meals, and support so families can stay close together as their children receive needed medical care without worrying about additional financial burdens. The donated food will provide meals for families staying at the Yale House, which can accommodate 30 families, and the Highlands House, which opened in 2021 and is the first Ronald McDonald House in the country that was designed and built for a hotel. “We are grateful for our partnership with the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau and the Women’s Leadership Committee,” said Ronald McDonald House Charities of New Mexico CEO Jessica Wright. “It was great to see everyone in person and shopping again. In addition to conPage 32
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necting people with resources, they also help ensure that families traveling to Albuquerque for medical treatment for their children have access to healthy and nutritious meals while staying at the Ronald McDonald House.” The American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Program has supported Ronald McDonald House Charities since 1997. The AFB WLP along with state and county WLPs raised more than $26,000 for Ronald McDonald Houses across the country in 2021. Last year, members of the NMF&LB WLP did their part locally and chose to present a $1000 check donation to RMHC-NM in lieu of their usual food donation out of an abundance of caution for members. This year, members chose to return to purchasing food to donate to RMHC-NM to help connect consumers who are often three generation removed from the farm with the female producers who grow a bountiful food supply within the state. For NMF&LB WLP members, this donation is just one of many ways they can live up to their program’s mission and enrich the lives of their fellow New Mexicans.
My Thoughts from the Tractor Seat Who am I? By Don Hartman I’m a man who likes cold whole milk in a glass, and real butter on my toast. I like the smell of coffee brewing and bacon frying. I like homemade ice cream made with milk and heavy whipping cream. I like beef... ranch raised, grain finished, and well marbled. I like pork chops, and fried chicken too. I like garden raised veggies...especially homegrown tomatoes. I like the smell of chile peppers, onions and hay growing on the farm. I like the smell of sweat, fresh worked soil, and a faint whiff of diesel exhaust from a tractor working in a field. I like the smell of feedlots, of dairies, fresh sweet feed and a cleansing summer rain. I cherish the friendships I’ve made and being around likeminded people. I like folks who are honest, even if I don’t agree with them. Those who speak freely, without worrying who they might offend. I like the raw truth, folks who are thick skinned but with a heart that has no hate. I like it when you can call your neighbor for help and they drop everything and come running... asking nothing in return. I like a firm handshake, eyes that smile, the tanned wrinkled skin of old gnarled hands that have seen years of hard work. I like dirty fingernails, and scars that tell a story of how they walked the hard road and weathered the storms of life. I admire folks who’ve seen adversity... who had no choice but to push back and survive. I like watching kids play together... especially in the mud after a rain. I like children that hold and love on their animals. I love the simple purity in a child, their dirty faces, milk mustaches, a good belly laugh and to watch them in peaceful sleep. I like the coolness of the early mornings and the red glow of a sunrise to start my day. I like dirt roads that take me home in the evening, and dust as it lingers in the sunset. I like coming home dog tired and wore out, but with the satisfaction of doing honest work. I often look up at the heavens on a clear night and wonder if God approves of who I am... and what I’ve done. I like the simple life even though we live in a complicated world. I could have done a hundred other things and lived in other places and made a lot more money. But a farmer is who I am and all I’ve ever wanted to be. Page 33
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau was proud to reach our membership quota this past year and we appreciate your help in that achievement! But we would like to step it up, and we are calling on you again to participate in our Just One June membership drive. You can help us by signing just one new member in June. If every member could register just one new member with our great organization, our goal of reaching Navigator status can be achieved. Remember that new members don't have to be farmers or ranchers. Please talk to your neighbor, relative, seed dealer, or vet and share the many benefits of our membership. Together we can level up during Just One June.
It just takes one to make a difference
Duvall from page 2
is our ability to feed ourselves. We have seen that play out over modern history, especially in the last century. Don’t ever underestimate the importance of your role as a farmer or rancher. We may be a small percentage of the population here in the U.S., but America’s 2 million farm families are rising each day to ensure pantries across the country are filled. Remaining true to our mission on the farm frees the 98% of Americans off the farm to pursue other careers and roles that also keep our economy strong and moving forward. Times of crisis—whether at home or abroad—remind us of the importance of doing the right thing. As Secretary Vilsack reminded companies last week, this is not a time to be opportunistic. War always brings costs—in addition to the unimaginable human loss and suffering. Our focus as a nation and with our allies must be on seeing an end to this conflict and helping those devastated by the impact of war at their doorstep. There may be temporary costs and market disruptions for those of us an ocean away, but I pray that as a nation our first aim will be the safety and well-being of our neighbors near and far. These unsettling recent events also remind us of the importance of remaining vigilant. U.S. agriculture has seen firsthand how cyber-attacks can disrupt our food supply, like when a major meat processor was held ransom last summer by cyber terrorists. At the American Farm Bureau, we engaged with the FBI to learn how farm and ranch businesses can bolster their cyber-security to prevent against future attacks. We shared security bulletins with leaders and members of our organization to offer practical steps and guidance from the FBI. After seeing what Russia has unleashed on its neighbors, this is most certainly a time to be wise and set every precaution to keep our farm businesses and food supply safe. Now, I don’t want to sound like a doomsayer—as you all know, I have an optimistic view of the future. While there is a great deal of uncertainty as to what the coming days and weeks might bring on the world’s stage, I have no doubt of what will remain true in fields across this great land. Farmers and ranchers will stay faithful to our work and everyday will find us still farming to provide the food our families, fellow Americans and neighbors around the world are counting on. Page 34
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
New Mexico Agriculturalists Benefit from State’s Healthy Soil Program By Kristie Garcia, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
When Kim Barmann talks about the land she manages on the CS Ranch near Cimarron, she can’t help but bring up soil health. “I’m such an advocate of soil health, and we were very grateful for the opportunity to have been chosen as one of the Healthy Soil Program projects,” said Barmann. The CS Ranch was awarded funding through the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s (NMDA) Healthy Soil Program during the 2019-2020 pilot year of the program. Created in 2019, the purpose of the Healthy Soil Program is to promote and support farming and ranching systems and other forms of land management that increase soil organic matter, aggregate stability, microbiology and water retention to improve the state’s soil health, yield and profitability. During its first three years, the program has awarded approximately $600,000 to 62 on-the-ground projects to improve soil health. NMDA has allocated other program funding toward soil health education, outreach, training and research. NMDA awarded funding to the CS Ranch for its “Using Cover Crops/Livestock/Adaptive Grazing to Restore Soil Health” project. The project addressed an old alfalfa/brome hay field that had been farmed/hayed since the 1930s but had declined after irrigation stopped over a decade ago. Although drought prevented the project from reaching its full potential, Barmann said the funding was helpful, and she is thankful the state is realizing the importance of soil and the environment. “The funding helped us get some roots in the ground, into these old fallow fields that were once hayed,” she said. “We had some wonderful grass growth, considering we had two years of drought with fewer than four inches of rain on this part of the ranch. Our big push is to eventually get cattle in to graze.” Barmann said education is a huge part of the CS Ranch. “As part of the non-profit Soil Health Academy, we’ve hosted two soil health schools and will host another one in May,” she said. “We’ve also helped organize numerous workshops in the county. Anytime we can get people to come learn in person is a great opportunity.” She hopes the Healthy Soil Program will not only continue but grow. “We need so much momentum with this program right now.” Healthy Soil Program funding may be used for agricultural projects in New Mexico that focus on one or more of five basic soil health principles named in the Healthy Soil Act: keeping the soil covered; minimizing soil disturbance on cropland and minimizing external inputs; maximizing biodiversity; maintaining a living root; and integrating animals into land management, including grazing animals, birds, beneficial insects or keystone species, such as earthworms. Grants are available to New Mexico’s Eligible Entities and Individual Applicants to implement soil improvement practices on working lands. As defined in the Healthy Soil Act, Eligible Entities are “local governmental [entities] with proven land management capacity to support healthy soil” and include nations, tribes and pueblos; land grants; acequias; soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs); and New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service. Individual Applicants include farmers and ranchers, as well as businesses and nonprofits engaged in farming, ranching or other forms of land management and must be backed by either a SWCD Page 35
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
Students from a home-school cooperative learn about soil sampling, how to assess soil and how to identify plant species at the M-Scar Farm & Ranch in Maxwell. The M-Scar Farm & Ranch was awarded funding through the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Healthy Soil Program during the 2019-2020 pilot year of the program. Mira and Kevin Merritt used their “New Beginnings: Use of Ground Cover and Livestock to Improve Soil Health” project as a backdrop for educating children in the ways of generating healthy soil as a viable agricultural setting. (Photo by Mira Merritt) Spring 2022
or a nation, tribe or pueblo. The CS Ranch applied for funding as an individual project through Colfax SWCD. NMDA has awarded funding to many other on-the-ground projects, including an individual project by M-Scar Ranch, which also applied for funding through Colfax SWCD. Mira and Kevin Merritt of the M-Scar Farm & Ranch in Maxwell applied for funding for the 2019-2020 pilot year for their “New Beginnings: Use of Ground Cover and Livestock to Improve Soil Health” project, which utilized both warm- and cool-season seed mixes to plant cover on both cropland and pastureland. The integration of livestock added fertilizer and incorporated organic matter into the ground. Mira Merritt said the biggest success story has been the bale grazing, setting out large square bales during the winter feeding season. “We had so much bare ground, it was one big prairie-dog town,” said Merritt. “The bale grazing allowed us to cover the ground and integrate our livestock. We used hay grazer and grass/alfalfa bales to cover the ground and allow the livestock to incorporate the waste into the soil. In the summer, we saw a variety of new plant species growing where we had bale grazed, which was exciting to see. It has been an advantage to our soil, as we’ve noticed it in our sample results.” The Merritts used the project as a backdrop for educating children in the ways of generating healthy soil as a viable agricultural setting for future generations. The first year, they hosted 4-H students. “We had a soil conservationist show the kids how to calculate dry matter forage, identify plant species and how to conduct a water infiltration test,” said Merritt. “The students were able to see increased moisture and organic matter on the bale-grazed land. We did a pre- and post-quiz about the five soil health principles, and it was amazing to see what they learned.” The second year, the Merritts hosted students from a home-school cooperative for a hands-on experience. “We had the kids take soil samples, and they learned how to assess soil and identify plant species,” said Merritt. The Healthy Soil Program continually improves its outreach efforts, engagement and efficiency. NMDA hosted several webinars earlier this year to show potential applicants the steps to take to be considered for a grant. New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte said the NMDA team is here to help potential applicants. “Our goal is to have people come away from these webinars knowing the few simple steps they can take early on in order to succeed in the application process later,” said Witte. Each year NMDA assembles a technical review committee – comprised of external partners in soil health, agriculture and Eligible Entity communities – to review grant applications. In 2022, NMDA will accept applications until May 12 in search of which on-the-ground projects to fund in fiscal year 2023. For more information, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu/healthysoil-program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 575-646-2642. Between improvement of the grant process each year and the emergence of new public-private partnerships, the Healthy Soil Program will continue to be far-reaching. The CS Ranch was awarded funding through the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Healthy Soil Program during the 2019-2020 pilot year of the program. The “Using Cover Crops/Livestock/Adaptive Grazing to Restore Soil Health” project proposal included applying high-intensity adaptive grazing with cattle during the growing season to speed up the process of re-establishing cover on the field to improve soil health. (Photo courtesy CS Ranch) Page 36
New Mexico Farm & Ranch
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