New Mexico Department of Agriculture

New Mexico writer, and New Mexico singer/actor, both recognized for contributions to Western arts

Ollie Reed, Jr., a native of Natchez, Mississipi, who moved to New Mexico in October 1976, and Rod Taylor, originally from Lubbock, Texas, who now lives in Cimarron, New Mexico, each accepted a 2016 Rounders Award on October 12 during an afternoon presentation hosted at the Governor’s Residence in Santa Fe.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte presented the awards, along with New Mexican writer Max Evans, whose classic western novel and subsequent Hollywood movie The Rounders is the award’s namesake. Created in 1990 at the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, the Rounders Award honors those who “live, promote, and articulate the Western way of life.”

“Ollie Reed and Rod Taylor both exemplify the true spirit of a “Rounder”, one who has lived and appreciates our Western culture and character through their personal and professional lives,” said Witte, upon presenting the awards.

Reed worked as a reporter for The Albuquerque Tribune, when he first moved to New Mexico. He worked for the Tribune until its demise in February 2008 and is now a staff writer with the Albuquerque Journal. He has written extensively about Western history and popular culture – especially the history and cowboy culture of New Mexico – for the Tribune, the Journal, and True West magazine. He is an editor and contributor to “Max Evans & a Few Friends: The 90th Birthday Book,” published by Rio Grande Books. Reed is a member of the Western Music Association and the Western Writers of America. He won WWA’s 2014 Stirrup Award for an article he wrote about the making of the Longmire TV series in New Mexico.

Taylor has been playing music for more than 30 years; both as a solo artist and with regional bands including The Rounders and, currently, The Rifters. Starting in 1990, with release of the album “Riding Down the Canyon,” Rod has continued to work on music projects. This included the 1995 album “A Philmont Collection”, the self-titled Rifters initial release of mostly original tunes, and his latest album entitled “Here, There or Anywhere.” His artisitic work also includes acting and has been in film projects that include The Missing (directed by Ron Howard), the Stephen Frears’ film Hi – Lo Country, the “Angel Maker Episode” of Lazarus Man, and other projects from Tish Honojosa’s CMT music video, to television commercials and PBS documentaries.

Gathered for the presentation were members of Reed’s and Taylor’ families, as well as a crowd of approximately 100 New Mexico farmers, ranchers, and others who, in their own small way, have helped secure the culture of the West for future generations.

October 22 pre-game event combines farm animals, local food, fun

(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) — It’s the family-friendly event to beat all others in Las Cruces: on October 22, you’ll find farm animals, games and prizes, and samples of local food all in one at a completely free event.

The 4th annual Agriculture Day street fair happens on the campus of New Mexico State University on Saturday, October 22nd from 2 to 6 p.m. before the NMSU Aggies play a home game against the Georgia Southern Eagles. In the parking lot between Aggie Memorial Stadium and the Pan American Center, you’ll find dozens of groups representing most every facet of New Mexico’s diverse agricultural community.

“The purpose of Ag Day is to invite people to learn about New Mexico agriculture through food and fun activities, and highlight the connection between Agriculture and NMSU,” New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said. “This is so much more than a tailgate event – we’ll have something for everyone.”

“This year, Ag Day partners with the Aggies are Tough Enough To Wear Pink promotion to help raise awareness for cancer research. There is so much support from the agriculture community to find solutions to cancer. This marks the perfect opportunity to showcase support,” Witte added.

In addition to the many booths ready to welcome you, kids can get a pony ride provided by New Mexico State University’s Department of Animal and Range Sciences. There will also be other farm animals to see and pet. They’ll find jumping balloons at nearby Pistol Pete’s Kids Zone.

The all-ages set attending Ag Day will be able to pick up recipes, and watch the water cycle in action.

“We’ll also be offering free samples of quesadillas using New Mexico cheese – plus beef sliders, root beer floats, green chile in tortilla, and milk chugs, to name a few,” Witte said.

A group of agricultural organizations and companies across New Mexico is sponsoring the game.  NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) are working with NMSU Athletics and other university partners to coordinate Ag Day.

Tickets to the Aggie football game start at $10. Tickets can be purchased in advance online and in person at the Pan American Center ticket office (575-646-1420), as well as on game day.  More information about NMSU Aggie football is available here.




HD3, NMDA, NMSU announce “Innovation and Discovery in Agriculture and Food”, November 9-10 in Las Cruces

The High Desert Discovery District (HD3) – New Mexico’s first privately-led high technology start-up accelerator – the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) and New Mexico State University (NMSU) will co-host the next HD3 Discovery Day™ – “Innovation and Discovery in Agriculture and Food” – November 9-10, 2016 in Las Cruces.  The event will focus on statewide innovation and commercialization opportunities within or that impact the agriculture, value-added food products and food industries.

“You can think of this event as Shark Tank for the agricultural and food-related sectors, both of which are significant economic drivers for our state,” New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said.  “We’re excited to see people of all backgrounds bring forward their projects and ideas to improve market conditions, develop new market opportunities and solve real and significant challenges in agriculture.”

Learn more…

watershed health insert coverWatershed health resource appears in newspapers statewide

NMDA is proud to present a newspaper insert all about watershed health, a topic that concerns not just those in agriculture but all of New Mexico’s 2 million residents.







2016 marks 25th anniversary of state’s organic program

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the state program that inspects and certifies farms, ranches, and other New Mexico businesses that want to label their food and agricultural products as organic.

In 1991, the New Mexico Legislature created the Organic Commodity Commission.  It became known as the Organic Program in 2011 when the legislature relocated the program to NMDA.  The Organic Program offers nationally accredited organic certification for farmers, ranchers, and food processors throughout New Mexico, as well as application and marketing assistance.

Learn more about NMDA’s Organic Program.


Deadline for Livestock Owners Affected by Snowstorm Goliath
to Apply to USDA for Potential Loss Coverage

Posted December 30, 2015 / Updated February 5, 2016

Dairy farmers, ranchers, and other livestock owners whose animals have been impacted by recent snowstorms in New Mexico are encouraged to contact their county office of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) as soon as possible to make their losses known.  FSA may be able to help such producers cover some of their financial losses.

Additional details from FSA’s New Mexico Office:

If the livestock died in 2015, that is a 2015 loss.  The deadline to file an application for payment for this year was initially February 1, 2016, but the Washington, DC, office of FSA has since extended it to March 31, 2016, according to the New Mexico office of FSA.

If the livestock died in 2016, this is a 2016 loss, giving the producer until January 30, 2017 to file an application for payment.

An affected producer must still call the county office within 30 days of the date he/she realized his/her livestock died.

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