Two NMDA staffers recognized for exemplary service to department, New Mexico agriculture

(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) – New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) has recognized two employees for going above and beyond in contributing to the department’s service to New Mexico and its citizens.

NMDA officials presented the department’s Distinguished Service Awards for 2014 to Elaine Padilla and Cristina Urban.  New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte, along with NMDA Deputy Director Anthony Parra and NMSU Provost Dan Howard, recognized the two staff members for their efforts at the department’s annual conference last week.

“Elaine and Cristina exemplify what makes NMDA a great agency and a great place to work,” Witte said.  “Both are team players, and their goal is the success of the programs they work on, all of which support New Mexico agriculture and New Mexicans alike.”

From her post in NMDA’s Marketing and Development Division, Elaine Padilla provides support to the state’s Organic Program, which offers organic certification and support to farmers, ranchers, and food processors across the state.  Elaine also supports NMDA’s Fruit & Vegetable Inspection Program, whose staff grade the quality of produce shipped in the state, and the Market News Program, whose staff prepare reports about the state’s livestock and crops markets under a cooperative agreement with USDA.

Applying her accounting background in NMDA’s Business Support Services section, Cristina Urban monitors the paperwork for grants that come through NMDA, many of which are passed through to groups involved in, for instance, expanding the foreign and domestic marketing of New Mexico agricultural products.  She also oversees the department’s procurement card purchases, a critical role within any taxpayer-funded agency.

Witte said that both Padilla and Urban are good examples of what NMDA’s 140-person staff does throughout the state to support New Mexico agriculture and to protect consumers.