• New Mexico Feed and Food Rapid Response Team coordinator hired

    For immediate release

    Nov. 3, 2017
    Media Contact:
    Kristie Garcia, Public Information Officer,
    New Mexico Department of Agriculture
    575-646-2804, krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu

     

     

    (Las Cruces, N.M.) – Julie Anderson has been hired as the state coordinator for the Feed and Food Rapid Response Team (RRT) in New Mexico. The New Mexico Department of Agricultureand Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center are leading a statewide coordination effort to establish the Feed and Food RRT.

    The RRT follows the Food and Drug Administration model, and the State of Washington is a mentor for New Mexico’s team. The RRT will train according to state and national standards and will be ready to deploy health, environmental and agriculture-related investigation response, mitigation and recovery services in a feed or food emergency.

    New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said the RRT will consider food protection rapid response from a food safety, food defense and food security perspective.

    “We are working closely with our partners at the New Mexico Environment Department and New Mexico Department of Health on this project, as well as the Albuquerque Environmental Health Department,” said Witte. “Julie understands the need for safe food, and she has worked closely with federal, state and local agencies on food protection.”

    Anderson, who previously served as the food sourcing liaison for Roadrunner Food Bank, has an extensive background in retail grocery and the non-profit sector. She will ensure that partners in the private sector are included in the development of the RRT.

    For more information about the Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center, visit http://aces.nmsu.edu/preparedness/.

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

    – NMDA –

     

    Photo attached: Julie Anderson is the state coordinator for the Feed and Food Rapid Response Team in New Mexico. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture and Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center are leading a statewide coordination effort to establish the Feed and Food RRT.

  • New Mexico agricultural development, promotional funds available

    For immediate release

    Oct. 30, 2017

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

     

    Application deadline is Nov. 15

    (Las Cruces, New Mexico) – Are you part of the New Mexico agriculture industry? Do you have a development, marketing or promotional idea for your product or business? Or do you belong to a group that has an innovative idea?

    The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for its Agricultural Development and Promotion Funds Program. Grant amounts range from approximately $500 to $10,000 for individual applicants and up to $30,000 for joint initiatives. The application deadline is Nov. 15.

    The ADPFP was designed to promote agricultural growth and rural stability, maintain or increase market share for products already on the market, develop markets for new products and develop value-added products.

    “Agriculture in New Mexico is diverse, and our products have become popular across the world,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “These limited funds allow our producers and processors an opportunity to develop and expand markets and help produce jobs and economic growth, especially in rural areas of New Mexico.”

    Not only may funds be applied to specialty crops, such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops, but funds may also be used for projects that support the marketing efforts of the livestock industry including beef, sheep and wool, poultry and other livestock.

    Funds may not be used for start-up costs or common costs of doing business, and projects must be completed before June 30, 2018. Payment is on a reimbursement basis.

    If you have a project you believe qualifies for funding, please contact the NMDA Marketing and Development Division at 575-646-4929 or specialtycrops@nmda.nmsu.edu. A brochure is available at www.nmda.nmsu.edu under quick links, and an application template is available at www.nmda.nmsu.edu by selecting divisions, then marketing and development, then competitive grant programs. Letters announcing funding decisions will be mailed by Dec. 15.

    Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NMDepartmentofAg and follow us on Twitter @NMDeptAg.

    – NMDA –

  • AG Day event combines farm animals, local food, fun before Homecoming game Oct. 28

    For Immediate Release:
    Contact: Shelby Herrera
    575-646-3007

    (LAS CRUCES, N.M.) For the fifth year in a row, the Agriculture Day event is bringing family-friendly fun to Las Cruces Saturday, Oct. 28 prior to the New Mexico State University Homecoming football game. You’ll find farm animals, games, prizes and samples of local food together at a completely free event.

    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, which is presented by New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau (NMF&LB).

    The fifth annual AG Day street fair happens on the NMSU campus from 2 to 6 p.m. before the Aggies play their 2017 homecoming game against the Arkansas Red Wolves. In the parking lot between Aggie Memorial Stadium and the Pan American Center, you’ll find dozens of groups representing nearly every facet of New Mexico’s diverse agricultural community.

    “I invite everyone to join us with over 40 booths, a petting zoo, horseback rides, and to sample, learn about and enjoy New Mexican agriculture,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “Tailgate with fellow Aggies, and cheer the NMSU football team to victory.”

    In addition to the many booths ready to welcome you, kids can get a pony ride provided by New Mexico State University’s Horseman’s Association. There will also be other farm animals to see and pet. Trick or Treat with Pete will kick-off at 2:15, for kids to trick-or-treat at each AG Day booth alongside Pistol Pete.

    Musician Tell Runyan will play from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Runyan is a College of ACES alumnus.

    During the all-ages event, those attending will be able to pick up recipes, watch the water cycle in action, sample New Mexican foods and much more.

    “AG Day provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy what makes New Mexico great and to celebrate our own hard work,” Witte added.

    AG Day is presented by New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, along with a group of agricultural organizations and companies across the state who are sponsoring the game. These sponsors include New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, Chevrolet, Farm Credit of New Mexico, F&A Dairy Products Inc., Southwest Cheese company, New Mexico Beef Council, Monsanto, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association and Stockman’s Magazine, Dairy Max, Western Blend Inc., Mesilla Valley Maze, Helena Inc., New Mexico Wine, New Mexico Brewers Guild, Salud, Select Milk Producers, New Mexico Chile Commission, Horse N’ Hound, Las Cruces Nissan and New Mexico Agricultural Leadership Program.

    “New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau is proud to partner with NMDA to sponsor Ag Day,” said Chad Smith, NMF&LB CEO.  “This is a fun way to connect food lovers with food producers as we celebrate the agricultural traditions of NMSU.”

    Tickets to the football game may be purchased for $10 prior to game day when you mention “Ag Day”. Tickets can be purchased in advance online and in person at the Pan American Center ticket office at 575-646-1420, as well as on game day.  More information about NMSU Aggie football is available here.

    -NMDA-

  • Three New Mexicans receive The Rounders Award from New Mexico Department of Agriculture

    For immediate release

    Oct. 11, 2017
    Media Contact: Kristie Garcia, Public Information Officer
    New Mexico Department of Agriculture
    575-646-2804, krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu

     

    Sculptor, writer and saddle maker accept award at Governor’s residence

    (Santa Fe, New Mexico) – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture presented The Rounders Award to three distinguished individuals Wednesday, Oct. 11.

    The 2017 award recipients are Curtis Fort, Jim Harris and Rosemary Wilkie. The award is named after The Rounders, a classic western novel written by New Mexican Max Evans. Created in 1990 by former New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Frank DuBois, the purpose of the award is to honor those who live, promote and articulate the western way of life. This year’s recipients join 20 previous honorees, including Max Evans as the inaugural award recipient.

    “We are pleased to honor three individuals with such a wide range of talents,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “Curtis Fort, Jim Harris and Rosemary Wilkie contribute to our state in unique ways, and we are pleased to recognize each one of them for living and preserving the western way of life.”

    From Tatum, Fort began working with clay sculpture while attending New Mexico State University. He continued his western bronze sculpture work while working as a cowboy on ranches after college. His love of sculpture evolved into over 40 years as an artist, and he continues to create artwork today. Fort recently completed a life-size horse monument at Sul Ross State University dedicated to Big Bend law officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

    “Not only has Curtis been a cowboy and rancher for a number of years, but he has made a name for himself as a talented western bronze sculptor,” Witte said.

    Harris is the author and editor of 12 books and has published poems, short stories, reviews and literary criticism in dozens of magazines and anthologies. He taught literature and writing classes at New Mexico Junior College from 1974 to 2000. Harris, who lives in Hobbs, was designated the 1989 Eminent Scholar in New Mexico and awarded the 2008 Hewett Award from the New Mexico Association of Museums. He writes columns in two Lea County newspapers each week and has been the director of the Lea County Museum in Lovington for 15 years.

    “Through his numerous writings, Jim has epitomized the western way of life,” Witte said. “He continues to preserve this particular culture in his capacity as Lea County Museum Director.”

    Wilkie is a nationally-known master saddle maker who has lived in Carlsbad since she was 9 years old. She has trained several others in saddle making, including her daughter-in-law and granddaughter. She was a recipient of the 1994 National Endowment for the Arts’ folk art apprenticeship program for which Billy Cogsdil served as her master artist. Wilkie continues her saddle-making today, and she is currently taking part in a boot-making apprenticeship under Deana McGuffin. She hopes to be a full-fledged boot maker soon.

    “Rosemary has taken saddle making to a whole new level,” Witte said. “Her creative eye and attention to detail are what have made her designs so unique. And she has taken the time to teach the next two generations of Wilkies the specific skills behind her style of saddle making.”

    For more information about the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NMDepartmentofAg and follow us on Twitter @NMDeptAg.

    – NMDA –

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