• NMDA’s Red, White and Brews Happy Hours return to New Mexico State Fair

    For immediate release
    Aug. 23, 2018
    Media Contact:
    Kristie Garcia, Public Information Officer,
    New Mexico Department of Agriculture
    575-646-2804, krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu

    NMDA’s Red, White and Brews Happy Hours return to New Mexico State Fair

    Events will feature local beer and wine at state fair’s 80th anniversary

     

    (Albuquerque, New Mexico) – With plenty of brews and wines, there won’t be a shortage of local flavor at the 80th anniversary of the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque.

    For the fourth year, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture is hosting Reds, Whites and Brews Happy Hours during the state fair, which is Thursday, Sept. 6 through Sunday, Sept. 16. Happy hours will be offered in the courtyard of the Agriculture Building, located west of the Manuel Lujan Commercial Building from 3 to 8 p.m. as follows:

    • Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8
    • Friday, Sept. 14 and Saturday, Sept. 15

    Various New Mexico brews and wines will be available for purchase. The New Mexico State Fair and NMDA have teamed up with the New Mexico Brewers Guild “The Frontier of Beer” and “Viva Vino” New Mexico Wine to host the happy hours.

    Anyone may attend the happy hours, and New Mexico-made, non-alcoholic beverages will also be available for purchase in the country store.

    “We are happy to continue the collaboration with the New Mexico State Fair, New Mexico Wine and the New Mexico Brewers Guild to bring fairgoers a taste of our state’s high quality beers and wines,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “We hope people will take advantage of experiencing our state’s products while enjoying the yearly tradition of the state fair.”

    Reds, Whites and Brews Happy Hours will also feature beef samples provided by the New Mexico Beef Council.

    Musicians or bands interested in playing during happy hours in exchange for exposure at the fair and promotion through social media should email shacker@nmda.nmsu.edu or call 575-646-4929.

    NMDA will also host the Battle of the Salsas Saturday, Sept. 8 and will collaborate with Expo New Mexico on the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge Monday, Sept. 10. The Country Store will once again be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through the duration of the fair, offering various New Mexico products for purchase.

    Visit www.newmexicotradition.com to learn more about how NMDA supports the New Mexico agriculture industry through its NEW MEXICO – Taste the Tradition program. Find us on social media using @tastenewmexico.

    For more information about NMDA, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NMDeptAg and follow us on Twitter @NMDeptAg.

    For more information about the fair, visit www.statefair.exponm.com.

    The New Mexico Department of Agriculture collaborates with the New Mexico Brewers Guild to host happy hours at the New Mexico State Fair. (Photo courtesy NMDA) The New Mexico Department of Agriculture collaborates with New Mexico Wine to host happy hours at the New Mexico State Fair. (Photo courtesy NMDA)
    The New Mexico Department of Agriculture collaborates with the New Mexico Brewers Guild to host happy hours at the New Mexico State Fair. (Photo courtesy NMDA) The New Mexico Department of Agriculture collaborates with New Mexico Wine to host happy hours at the New Mexico State Fair. (Photo courtesy NMDA)

     

    – NMDA –

  • NMDA offers tradeshow and cooperative advertising funding assistance

    For immediate release

    July 2, 2018
    Media Contact:
    Kristie Garcia, Public Information Officer,
    New Mexico Department of Agriculture
    575-646-2804, krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu

    NMDA offers tradeshow and cooperative advertising funding assistance

    Limited funding available for fiscal year 2018-2019

    (Las Cruces, New Mexico) – If you have a New Mexico based agricultural business, don’t miss out on the opportunity to apply for funding assistance.

    Limited funding assistance is available through the New Mexico Department of Agriculture for the current fiscal year, which began July 1 and ends June 30, 2019. The deadline to apply for funding is Nov. 30, 2018.

    The following two opportunities are available, and funding is provided on a reimbursement basis only:

    • Tradeshow assistance
    • Cooperative advertising assistance

    For the tradeshow assistance opportunity, there are two options. NMDA provides up to 25 percent of the floor space cost at the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show March 1-3, 2019 in Albuquerque. For all other tradeshows, NMDA provides up to 50 percent of the floor space cost.

    For the cooperative advertising assistance opportunity, NMDA provides support for advertising costs. The cost-share assistance is based on funding availability. All ads must contain either the New Mexico–Taste the Tradition or New Mexico–Grown the Tradition logo, which may be obtained by applying to the free logo program through the NMDA Marketing and Development Division. While all types of advertisements will be considered, online advertising is encouraged. Projects that exhibit collaboration amongst multiple industry members are also encouraged.

    “The agriculture industry is such an important part of the New Mexico economy, and we hope businesses out there will take advantage of these unique opportunities to promote their products and services,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte.

    For details or to download the application, visit newmexicotradition.com, click on “program” on the drop-down menu and select “funding assistance.” Applications must be submitted by Nov. 30. Questions? Email tastethetradition@nmda.nmsu.edu or call 575-646-4929.

    For more information about NMDA, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NMDeptAg, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @NMDeptAg.

     

    Tradeshow and cooperative advertising assistance is available through the New Mexico Department of Agriculture for the current fiscal year, which began July 1. The advertisement on this Statewide Products truck was the result of previous cooperative advertising assistance. (Photo courtesy NMDA)

    Tradeshow and cooperative advertising assistance is available through the New Mexico Department of Agriculture for the current fiscal year, which began July 1. The advertisement on this Statewide Products truck was the result of previous cooperative advertising assistance. (Photo courtesy NMDA)

    – NMDA –

  • NMDA Veterinary Lab Receives International Accreditation

    For immediate release

    May 2, 2018
    Media Contact:
    Kristie Garcia, Public Information Officer,
    New Mexico Department of Agriculture
    575-646-2804, krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu

    New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Lab receives international accreditation
    Certification marks first ever for NMDA’s Veterinary Diagnostic Services Division

    (Albuquerque, New Mexico) – For the first time in its existence, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Diagnostic Services Division is a fully-certified International Organization for Standardization (ISO) laboratory.

    The ISO 17025 certification means that the Veterinary Diagnostic Services (VDS) lab – which consists of a staff of 14 – has met specific criteria to qualify as an accredited testing lab. The accreditation demonstrates the lab’s capacity to deliver reliable results.

    Dr. Tim Hanosh, NMDA’s VDS Division Director, said the certification process took many years and was an amazing effort by the staff.

    “People do not realize how much time and effort the laboratorians, the administrative staff and everyone in the lab dedicated to attain this goal,” said Hanosh. “Saying I’m proud is an understatement. The certification speaks for itself.”

    Located in Albuquerque, the VDS lab tests numerous animal samples, including carcasses for necropsies (animal autopsies), tissue samples, bacterial swabs, as well as bodily fluids, such as blood, serum and plasma.

    The ISO 17025 standards include developing a quality management system, which determines how the laboratory will operate.

    “The reason we need a quality management system is to ensure that our quality is at the highest level and to ensure that everybody in the laboratory follows the same standard operating procedures (SOPs),” said Hanosh. “We spent many years putting together this quality system, and it took a lot of time and a lot of effort.”

    The document known as the quality manual is the framework for the lab. Everyone is required to read the manual and sign off that they understand it. Lab employees have to prove that they can perform the work successfully. Proficiency tests are administered and have to be successfully completed annually, at minimum. The VDS staff also has a test on the quality management system and on its iPassport database. The test is created by lab staff.

    “Everybody supplies questions and answers and has to support their answers,” said Hanosh. “We compile everyone’s questions, we create a test from those questions, and everybody must pass.”

    Once the quality system was established, a third party that specializes in ISO 17025 certification performed an audit. The audit included reviewing documentation and standards, as well as observing procedures and interviewing all the employees and laboratorians, in order to determine whether the lab met the ISO standards.

    Hanosh said the key to achieving the accreditation was buy-in.

    “When we’re going after something with such a magnitude, two different areas are involved – one of those areas is our upper management,” he said. “We must have support from up above, so we have to have buy-in from our secretary of agriculture, our deputy secretary of agriculture and from other key people within NMDA, which we have. And the second area is the lab. What makes it work is that everybody in the lab has to buy in and take some sort of ownership.”

    New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said the accreditation reflects the high quality at which the lab operates.

    “The accreditation verifies that we have a lab operating at the highest level with a dedicated and professional staff,” said Witte. “We are proud of the services that VDS provides to our citizens and the work they do for animal health.”

    Hanosh said depending on the area of the lab in which they work, employees have to read, understand and prove that they’re able to follow certain SOPs that apply to those specific areas.

    “So, if you work in the molecular biology lab, you would read all of the molecular SOPs,” he said. “If you worked in administration, you would read all of the admin SOPs, so on and so forth.”

    The accreditation is valid for two years. During that time, the same accrediting body will perform a re-audit to ensure the lab continues to meet the standards. Then it will alternate between an on-site audit one year and an online audit the next year.

    Hanosh said the accreditation shows the lab is self-critical and also gives the public peace of mind.

    “We want to test ourselves to ensure we’re doing the best that we possibly can,” he said. “As far as the public is concerned, New Mexico residents need to know that we have attained the highest level possible for our laboratory. They should have comfort in that the results we produce from our lab are meeting the highest standards possible.”

    For more information about VDS, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu/vds/. Like NMDA on Facebook www.facebook.com/NMDeptAg and follow us on Twitter @NMDeptAg.

    – NMDA –

  • NMDA State Chemistry Lab temporarily closed due to repairs and construction

    New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s State Chemistry Laboratory has had to temporarily suspend analytical services conducted at its Las Cruces laboratory, located at 3190 S. Espina, due to unplanned structural repairs to the building.

    State chemists are working in collaboration with several approved out-of-state laboratories to ensure analytical services performed at the Las Cruces location continue uninterrupted. Building repairs are expected to be completed by August of 2018.

    If you have questions regarding testing, please call 575-646-3007. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

  • 2017 Census of Agriculture will capture complete picture of New Mexico production

    Questionnaires to be mailed in December

    (Las Cruces, New Mexico) – New Mexico farmers and ranchers should be on the lookout for a Census of Agriculture questionnaire in the mail in December. Farmers and ranchers across the country will soon have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their communities and industry by taking part in the census.

    For a simpler, faster and more efficient process, producers are encouraged to complete the online questionnaire at www.agcensus.usda.gov upon receiving their questionnaire. In order to complete the online version, each person will need his or her unique 17-digit code, which may be found on the questionnaire.

    Conducted every five years by United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census captures a complete count of all U.S. farms and ranches and those who operate them. Even the smallest plots of land and those raising only a few animals during the census year are counted.

    New Mexico State Statistician Longino Bustillos said the census remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the nation.

    “It’s a critical tool that gives farmers a voice to influence decisions that will shape the future of their community, industry and operation,” Bustillos said.
    The census highlights land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income, expenditures and other topics. The information gathered by the Census of Agriculture guides Congress, agribusiness, policymakers, researchers, local governments and many others on the creation and funding of agricultural programs and services – decisions that can directly impact local operations and the future of the agriculture industry for years to come.

    New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte encourages all New Mexico producers to respond.

    “We only have this opportunity every five years, so please complete the census and take pride in what we do in New Mexico,” Witte said. “The results of the census truly show the impact of agriculture in our state.”

    This year, NASS will collect new information, including data on active duty and military veteran farmers, as well as expanded questions about food marketing practices.

    In 2012, New Mexico reported a total of 24,721 farms and ranches, spanning more than 43 million acres. This showed an 18 percent increase from the previous census in 2007. Although the state’s average age of farmers and ranchers climbed to over 60 (second highest in the country), New Mexico data showed an increase in young farmers and ranchers. This telling information and thousands of additional farm and ranch statistics are only available every five years, as a direct result of responses to the census.

    Census of Agriculture responses must be submitted by Feb. 5.

    “Your answers to the census impact farm programs and rural services that support your community,” Bustillos said. “So please do your part, and be counted when you receive your form, because there’s strength in numbers that only the census can reveal.”

    For more information about the census, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call 1-888-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828). The Census of Agriculture is Your Voice, Your Future, Your Opportunity.

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