• Grant Funding Available to Expand New Mexico Agriculture

    The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is inviting New Mexicans involved in agricultural production to apply for one of two funding grant programs.

    The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (Specialty Crops) is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). NMDA serves as the fiscal agent for New Mexico’s share of the federal funding.

    This program aims to enhance the competitiveness of New Mexico-grown specialty crops.

    “Chile, onions, pecans, honey, greenhouse/nursery crops, lavender – they’re all examples of specialty crops, which means research, education, or marketing and promotion projects built around them could be considered for this federal funding,” said Felicia Frost, the NMDA marketing specialist who administers New Mexico’s share of the federal funds.  The definition and eligibility of specialty crops can be found at www.ams.usda.gov, under the services, and grant & opportunities section.

    The deadline to apply for funding through the Specialty Crops program is 5 p.m. MST on April 10, 2017.  Funding is expected to become available on October 1, 2017.  Project length for this program varies from one to three years.

    The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) is also funded by USDA. This program provides assistance to any size of agricultural entity, in order to explore new marketing opportunities and to encourage research and innovation that will benefit multiple producers or agribusinesses.

    The goal of the FSMIP is to improve the efficiency and performance of the agricultural marketing system in the U.S. Applicants may do this by focusing on addressing barriers, overcoming challenges or realizing opportunities manifesting at any stage of the marketing chain including direct, wholesale and retail.

    NMDA’s deadline to apply for funding through the FSMIP is 5 p.m. MST on March 1, 2017. Funding is also expected to become available October 1, 2017.

    “Proposals to both grant programs are given greater consideration when they have what it takes to succeed beyond the life of the grant – in other words, if they make good business sense in the long term,” said Frost.

    The programs prohibit the use of grant funds for projects that potentially will benefit only one person or entity and cannot be used to purchase land, buildings, equipment, or any other type of capital improvement.  Funds are paid on a reimbursement basis – meaning they’re released only after the grantee has submitted a progress report, as well as an invoice and corresponding receipts.

    Frost and other NMDA staff are hosting two free workshops for potential applicants to understand these grant programs and how to apply for them. The workshops will be:

    • Santa Fe:  Thursday, February 16 from 2 to 4 p.m. DoubleTree by Hilton, 4048 Cerrillos Road
    • Las Cruces: Tuesday, February 21 from 2 to 4 p.m.
      NMDA Main Conference Room, 3190 S. Espina St. (on the corner of Espina and Gregg)
      (NMDA is located on the NMSU campus; print a free parking pass)

    For more information on these grant opportunities, as well as the workshops, call 575‑646-4929 or visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu.

     

     

  • Organic Program Community Meetings

    PrintThe New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is conducting follow-up meetings to the ones held at the beginning of August.  The purpose of the meetings is to provide information on additional funding alternatives to the New Mexico Organic industry, to keep the New Mexico Department of Agriculture Organic Program (Program) operating in a positive cash-flow.  NMDA cordially invites you to participate in any or all of the planned meetings to discuss these options.

    If you are unable to attend the meetings, NMDA will once again offer the meeting through Adobe Connect during the Las Cruces meeting only.  To access the webcast, please join us at http://nmsu.adobeconnect.com/organiccommmeeting/ .

    We look forward to seeing or hearing from you, see below for a list of times and locations.

    Las Cruces
    Thursday,
     October 6 from 1 to 3 p.m.
    NMDA Main Conference Room, 3190 S. Espina St.
    (NMDA is located on the NMSU campus; print a free parking pass)

    Portales
    Monday, October 10
     from 3 to 5 p.m.
    Roosevelt County Extension Office, 705 E. Lime St.

    Albuquerque

    Tuesday, October 11 from 1 to 3 p.m.
    Bernalillo County Extension Office, 1510 Menaul Blvd., NW

    Santa Fe

    Tuesday, October 11 from 5 to 7 p.m.
    Santa Fe County Extension Office, 3229 Rodeo Road

     

  • Organic Program Follow-up Meetings Announced

    Print

    The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is conducting follow-up meetings to the ones held at the beginning of August.  The purpose of the meetings is to provide information on additional funding alternatives to the New Mexico Organic industry, to keep the New Mexico Department of Agriculture Organic Program (Program) operating in a positive cash-flow.  NMDA cordially invites you to participate in any or all of the planned meetings to discuss these options.

    If you are unable to attend the meetings, NMDA will once again offer the meeting through Adobe Connect during the Las Cruces meeting only.  To access the webcast, please join us at http://nmsu.adobeconnect.com/organiccommmeeting/ .

    We look forward to seeing or hearing from you, see below for a list of times and locations.

    Las Cruces
    Thursday,
     October 6 from 1 to 3 p.m.
    NMDA Main Conference Room, 3190 S. Espina St.
    (NMDA is located on the NMSU campus; print a free parking pass)

    Portales
    Monday, October 10
     from 3 to 5 p.m.
    Roosevelt County Extension Office, 705 E. Lime St.

    Albuquerque

    Tuesday, October 11 from 1 to 3 p.m.
    Bernalillo County Extension Office, 1510 Menaul Blvd., NW

     

    Santa Fe

    Tuesday, October 11 from 5 to 7 p.m.
    Santa Fe County Extension Office, 3229 Rodeo Road

     

  • Public input sought for future of state’s Organic Program

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 27, 2016

    Media Contact:
    575-646-3007

    NMDA hosts three meetings across New Mexico next week

    (LAS CRUCES, N.M.) — The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is inviting farmers, ranchers, processors, and others with a stake in the state’s Organic Program to attend a series of meetings across the state to discuss the program’s funding and future.

    “Right now, New Mexico’s Organic Program is structured under state law, but it operates under strict guidance of USDA’s National Organic Program,” New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said.  “We want to hear from stakeholders within the organic sector on which program best meets their certification needs, as well as their ideas on how we should operate the program in the future.”

    NMDA will host three meetings to address the future of the Organic Program.  Each meeting is free and open to the public:

    Las Cruces
    Monday, August 1 from 3 to 5 p.m.
    NMDA Main Conference Room, 3190 S. Espina St.
    (NMDA is located on the NMSU campus; print a free parking pass)

    Portales
    Tuesday, August 2 from 3 to 5 p.m.
    Roosevelt County Extension Office, 705 E. Lime St.

    Albuquerque
    Wednesday, August 3 from 2 to 4 p.m.
    Bernalillo County Extension Office, 1510 Menaul Blvd., NW

    People who cannot attend next week’s meetings can participate in the Aug. 1 meeting remotely via http://nmsu.adobeconnect.com/organicprogramaugust/.

    This year marks the 25th anniversary of New Mexico having a state program that offers organic certification.  The Organic Program offers nationally accredited organic certification for farmers, ranchers, and food processors throughout New Mexico, as well as application and marketing assistance. The state legislature created the Organic Commodity Commission in 1991, which became known as the Organic Program in 2011 when the legislature relocated the program to NMDA.

    Witte stressed that New Mexico’s organic agricultural sector is quite healthy.  NMDA certifies as organic approximately 150 farms, ranches, and processors in New Mexico.  Those businesses tallied more than $40 million in organic sales last year.

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

    Media Contacts:
    Michelle Miller, HD3: 505-310-5711 / michelleh@hddd.org
    Katie Goetz, NMDA: 575-646-2804 / kgoetz@nmda.nmsu.edu
    Zetdi Sloan, NMSU/Arrowhead:  575-646-7833 / zrunyan@ad.nmsu.edu

    High Desert Discovery District, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and New Mexico State University
    announce “Innovation and Discovery in Agriculture and Food”, November 9-10 in Las Cruces
    Related discoveries from across New Mexico invited to apply

    June 30, 2016 – 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) announced today that they 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.”

    As with other Discovery Day events, innovators from all over New Mexico are invited to apply to HD3 to present their agriculture, agriculture-related (e.g. water, irrigation, biosecurity, energy, biomass, etc.), food or value-added food discovery/innovation/product to a highly experienced group of subject matter experts, business achievers, entrepreneurs, innovators, management experts and investors.  The application deadline to participate in the Las Cruces Discovery Day is Friday, October 7, 2016.  Application details are at www.hddd.org.

    “HD3 Discovery Day will further support the next generation of innovators and leaders in agriculture and food and we are so pleased to be part of it,” said Kathryn Hansen, director of Arrowhead Center at NMSU. “Because of our rich network of entrepreneurs and agribusiness leaders at NMSU and the Arrowhead Technology Incubator, Discovery Day is a very natural and significant progression of our support of agricultural entrepreneurs”.

    All Discovery Day presenters are invited to attend the HD3 Networking Cocktail Reception and Casual Supper, an HD3 tradition to gather together presenters, panelists, hosts, sponsors and special guests socially the evening before Discovery Day.  For this event, HD3 will spotlight New Mexico’s wine industry with a wine dinner for all participants on November 9, 2016 in La Mesilla.

    ###

    What is Discovery Day?

    The purpose of the HD3 Discovery Day is to offer New Mexico innovators and entrepreneurs the opportunity to vet and discuss their innovation or opportunity (‘discovery’), their challenges, strategy and market promise in front of a highly experienced group of business achievers.  Each HD3 advisor has extensive experience in matching technology opportunities with needs in the marketplace, product development, investment strategy, marketing and sales, management, valuations and exits.  In addition to their experience, each advisor also brings a wide international network of contacts and resources that are tapped to accelerate the most promising discoveries.  Each presentation and discussion time is limited to 30 minutes, and all panel presentations are conducted in a private setting to allow for the maximum of sensitive and proprietary business and technological information to be shared; and a fluidity of discussion, strategy and suggestions to occur.  All Discovery Day discussions remain confidential.  Since its founding in 2010, HD3 has hosted 15 Discovery Days throughout the state.   HD3 hosts this signature program with R/D, industry partners or economic development entities across New Mexico.   Between 12-15 discoveries are typically selected to present based on the list of criteria developed by HD3.   The evening prior to Discovery Day, a social gathering for the selected presenters and the HD3 advisors is hosted.  For more information about the Discovery Day application process, please see www.hddd.org.

    About HD3

    The High Desert Discovery District (HD3) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to identifying and commercializing technology projects in New Mexico.  HD3 manages and drives the process of innovation – building New Mexico growth companies based on cutting-edge national laboratory, university research and other discoveries lead by technologists and scientists unassociated with labs or universities.  HD3 provides a forum and a methodology for entrepreneurs, scientists, innovators and technologists to be heard and their discovery to be understood by a highly-experienced group of business strategists, successful entrepreneurs and management executives and investors seeking to contribute their own knowledge and experience toward the improvement of the New Mexico entrepreneurial economy.  Once a promising, market-validated discovery is identified, HD3 accelerates the discovery and sits in “in the trenches” with the innovators and entrepreneurs to drive it toward progress and successful outcomes.   HD3 – the difference between a start-up that starts…and a start-up that succeeds.  For more information about HD3, visit www.hddd.org.

    About NMDA

    NMDA is a producer-consumer service and regulatory department.  Through the work of its six divisions, NMDA protects New Mexico agriculture from pests and diseases that threaten plants and animals; enforces pesticide law; advocates for farmers’ and ranchers’ reliance upon natural resources; ensures the sanitation of local milk and dairy products; promotes local food and agricultural products; and ensures fairness in the marketplace.

    About AIN

    The Arrowhead Innovation Network (AIN) is centered around Launch, Arrowhead Center’s proof of concept center for technology commercialization in New Mexico and west Texas.  A recently awarded federal innovation grant (i6 Challenge) supports AIN, a collaborative network designed to invest in innovation and entrepreneurship, create and retain talent, and strengthen the relationship between research and commercialization.

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