Category Archives: NMDA News and Hot Topics

New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s State Chemist Laboratory receives international accreditation


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

March 6, 2020

New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s State Chemist Laboratory receives international accreditation

Accreditation is a first for NMDA’s State Chemist Lab

LAS CRUCES – For the first time in its existence, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s State Chemist Laboratory is an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accredited laboratory.

The ISO 17025: 2017 accreditation means that the lab has met specific criteria to qualify as an accredited testing lab, within a scope that includes chemical and biological methods for testing animal feed. The accreditation demonstrates the lab’s capacity to deliver reliable results.

Located in Las Cruces, the NMDA State Chemist Lab is primarily a compliance and regulatory lab. Its primary mission is to provide analytical support services to ensure that New Mexico’s citizens receive quality products, including animal feed, commercial fertilizers and commercial pesticides. These services ensure a level playing field for manufacturers and promote responsible environmental stewardship. The lab analyzes samples collected by NMDA inspectors from across the state.

Although the State Chemist Lab’s ISO 17025: 2017 accreditation specifically relates to animal feed, the lab follows the same quality management system when testing all products.

Tim Darden, NMDA’s Laboratory Division Director, said the accreditation process took 4-and-a-half years, and it means the lab provides quality defensible data to regulatory partners, programs and the public.

“This accreditation is important, because it allows cooperation with our federal partners,” said Darden. “Now that we have this accreditation, our federal partners do not have to re-test any products our regulatory program finds with violations or adulterants.”

Chemist Donna Goreham reviews results at the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s State Chemist Laboratory in Las Cruces. The lab recently became an International Organization for Standardization 17025: 2017 accredited laboratory, within a scope that includes chemical and biological methods for testing animal feed.
Chemist Donna Goreham reviews results at the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s State Chemist Laboratory in Las Cruces. The lab recently became an International Organization for Standardization 17025: 2017 accredited laboratory, within a scope that includes chemical and biological methods for testing animal feed. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

The accreditation process was part of a grant funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said the accreditation confirms the lab’s high standards of operation.

“The NMDA State Chemist Lab is an important component of our overall program to ensure regulatory integrity across New Mexico,” said Witte. “ISO accreditation validates that our staff is operating the lab at the highest standards. I am proud of our team. This lab recently celebrated its centennial – 100 years of operation, and its future is bright.”

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.

State chemist Stephen Lantz (left) and chemist Shahiduz Zaman (right) conduct testing at the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s State Chemist Laboratory in Las Cruces. The lab recently became an International Organization for Standardization 17025: 2017 accredited laboratory, within a scope that includes chemical and biological methods for testing animal feed.
State chemist Stephen Lantz (left) and chemist Shahiduz Zaman (right) conduct testing at the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s State Chemist Laboratory in Las Cruces. The lab recently became an International Organization for Standardization 17025: 2017 accredited laboratory, within a scope that includes chemical and biological methods for testing animal feed. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

More About the State Chemist Lab

  • Lab staff consists of a director, a state chemist, three chemists, a quality assurance manager, a regulatory clerk and three New Mexico State University students.
  • The lab has the capability to perform a wide variety of tests on feeds, fertilizers and pesticides, including – but not limited to – protein, fat and fiber content for animal feeds.
  • Testing is also performed on available nitrogen, potash and phosphoric acid content for fertilizers.
  • Testing includes identification and formula verification for pesticides.
  • All of these tests can be requested on a fee basis by private citizens and industry.

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New Mexico Organic Farming Conference announces 2020 award recipients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Baylee Banks
Communications Assistant, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
bbanks@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-1864

March 5, 2020

New Mexico Organic Farming Conference announces 2020 award recipients

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ALBUQUERQUE – Several individuals and businesses were recognized at the 2020 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference (NMOFC) Feb. 21-22 in Albuquerque. The Southwest’s largest organic agricultural gathering provided the opportunity for over 360 attendees to gain valuable knowledge on topics including watershed, soil health, organic farming, wholesale markets, how to support the next generation of farmers and ranchers and much more.

Following is a list of award recipients:

The Organic Farmer of the Year Award: Ron and Gayle Ice

Ron and Gayle Ice have been farming organically in Alcalde, New Mexico for 30 years, periodically selling their vegetables at the Santa Fe Farmers Market and Los Alamos Market. After suffering a recent stroke, Ron began teaching Gayle how to care for the farm with the help of their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren as well as volunteers from the community. This year, the couple’s crop yielded a much larger amount of vegetables and fruits than expected, forcing them to find new ways to harvest their crop. A large amount of dried goods from Ron and Gayle’s farm have been donated to Kitchen Angels, an organization that provides free and nutritious meals to homebound individuals facing life-challenging conditions.

New Mexico Department of Agriculture Organic Program Supervisor Stacy Gerk (left) and Walking Trout Farm’s Joseph Marcoline (right) presented the Organic Farmer of the Year Award to Ron and Gayle Ice at the 2020 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference Feb. 21-22 in Albuquerque.
New Mexico Department of Agriculture Organic Program Supervisor Stacy Gerk (left) and Walking Trout Farm’s Joseph Marcoline (right) presented the Organic Farmer of the Year Award to Ron and Gayle Ice at the 2020 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference Feb. 21-22 in Albuquerque. (Photo courtesy Francisco Hatay)

Friend of Organic Agriculture Award: Aroma Coffee, Taos Roasters and Red Rock Roasters

Three New Mexico coffee roasting companies received the Friend of Organic Agriculture Award: Howard Stone (founder and chief executive officer of Aroma Coffee in Santa Fe), Nancy Hoyer (production roaster at Taos Roasters) and the Langer family (founders of Red Rock Roasters in Albuquerque). NMOFC organizers appreciate the roasting companies’ consistent dedication to producing fresh, organic coffee products.

New Mexico Department of Agriculture Organic Program Supervisor Stacy Gerk (left) and Walking Trout Farm’s Joseph Marcoline (right) presented one of three Friend of Organic Agriculture Awards to Rachel and Nancy Langer from Red Rock Roasters at the 2020 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference Feb. 21-22 in Albuquerque.
New Mexico Department of Agriculture Organic Program Supervisor Stacy Gerk (left) and Walking Trout Farm’s Joseph Marcoline (right) presented one of three Friend of Organic Agriculture Awards to Rachel and Nancy Langer from Red Rock Roasters at the 2020 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference Feb. 21-22 in Albuquerque. (Photo courtesy Francisco Hatay)

Educator of the Year Award: Dr. Stephanie Walker

Dr. Stephanie Walker has served as the Extension Vegetable Specialist in the Extension Plant Sciences Department at New Mexico State University (NMSU) since 2004, providing training and assistance in vegetable production throughout the state. Walker’s research at NMSU primarily focuses on breeding chile peppers for enhanced yield and quality. In addition to her work as a vegetable specialist at NMSU, Walker has also served as a Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Coordinator for New Mexico since 2004.

New Mexico Department of Agriculture Organic Program Supervisor Stacy Gerk (left) and Walking Trout Farm’s Joseph Marcoline (right) presented the Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Stephanie Walker at the 2020 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference Feb. 21-22 in Albuquerque.
New Mexico Department of Agriculture Organic Program Supervisor Stacy Gerk (left) and Walking Trout Farm’s Joseph Marcoline (right) presented the Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Stephanie Walker at the 2020 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference Feb. 21-22 in Albuquerque. (Photo courtesy Francisco Hatay)

Good Earth Steward Award: Patchwork Farms, the Pope family

The Pope family began Patchwork Farms 20 years ago in the Estancia Valley. What originally began as a modest 20-acre hay farm has now grown into a 600-acre operation. Patchwork Farms yields a variety of produce including organic hay, corn, beans, popcorn, wheat and natural beef. The Pope family stewards its land in many ways, one of which involves naturally improving soil quality.

Young Farmer of the Year Award: Casey Holland

Casey Holland was born in Albuquerque and raised in Deming. She attended the University of New Mexico, where she studied psychology and sociology, never expecting that she would one day become a farmer. After meeting justice food organizers with the Southwest Organizing Project’s Feed the Hood Project, Holland discovered a passion for growing food and became inspired by the idea that doing so can help heal communities. This passion motivated Holland to manage Chispas Farm in the South Valley where she currently operates, growing over 120 varieties of fruits and vegetables while also producing eggs and milk.

Alongside conference facilitator Sage Faulkner, the conference was organized through a collaboration between the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program, the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service, the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau and Walking Trout Farm.

New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau President Craig Ogden (left), Farm Bureau Financial Services agent Fred Porter (center left) and New Mexico Organic Farming Conference Facilitator Sage Faulkner (right) presented the Young Farmer of the Year Award to Casey Holland (center right) at the 2020 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference Feb. 21-22 in Albuquerque.
New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau President Craig Ogden (left), Farm Bureau Financial Services agent Fred Porter (center left) and New Mexico Organic Farming Conference Facilitator Sage Faulkner (right) presented the Young Farmer of the Year Award to Casey Holland (center right) at the 2020 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference Feb. 21-22 in Albuquerque. (Photo courtesy Francisco Hatay)

For more information about the NMOFC, email sagefaulkner@yahoo.com, call 505-490-2822 or visit www.nmofc.org.

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Dr. Tim Hanosh of NMDA and NMSU named 2019 Veterinarian of the Year


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

Feb. 13, 2020

Dr. Tim Hanosh, director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture Veterinary Diagnostic Services Division, has been named the state’s 2019 Veterinarian of the Year by the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Tim Hanosh, director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture Veterinary Diagnostic Services Division, has been named the state’s 2019 Veterinarian of the Year by the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

Dr. Tim Hanosh of NMDA and NMSU named 2019 Veterinarian of the Year

New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association to present award Feb. 22

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ALBUQUERQUE – Dr. Tim Hanosh, director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture Veterinary Diagnostic Services Division, has been named the state’s 2019 Veterinarian of the Year by the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association.

Hanosh oversees the division that conducts diagnostic analysis of animal specimens from veterinarians and agencies to determine the cause of deaths or to identify diseases. These specimens range from a tube of blood or piece of tissue to a large animal. Veterinary Diagnostic Services is located in Albuquerque, in the same building as the New Mexico Department of Health’s Scientific Laboratory Division.

Hanosh has been the director since July 2011.

With the New Mexico Department of Agriculture main building being housed on the campus of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, the state agency and the state higher education institution work together on issues related to the agriculture industry. As part of the land-grant university system, NMDA falls under the purview of NMSU, and the NMSU Board of Regents serves as the state’s Board of Agriculture.

NMDA’s Veterinary Diagnostic Services works closely with NMSU Cooperative Extension Services, primarily Extension Veterinarian Dr. John Wenzel and the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said Hanosh is an asset to the New Mexico community as a whole.

“Dr. Hanosh’s dedication to serving our New Mexico veterinarian community with timely and accurate animal health diagnostics is a testament to his dedication to the state,” said Witte. “Veterinary Diagnostic Services has grown its diagnostic submissions by nearly 20% since he was named director nine years ago. We are proud of his leadership and the entire team at the lab.”

The purpose of the award is to recognize the veterinarian who has rendered outstanding service to the profession, has served as an outstanding representative of the profession to the general public and whose activities, civic involvement and lifestyle exemplify the type of professional person that all veterinarians can be proud of. The award recipient demonstrates a sincere concern for the image and advancement of the profession and demonstrates a dedication to a lifetime of learning. The recipient is willing to represent the profession honestly and well to young people considering veterinary medicine as a career choice.

Tamara Spooner, New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association Executive Director, said Hanosh has contributed greatly to the veterinary community and to the entire state of New Mexico over the span of his career.

“Dr. Hanosh is respected immensely, and this recognition is very much deserved,” said Spooner. “We are very happy to be presenting him with this award.”

Under the direction of Hanosh, NMDA’s Veterinary Diagnostic Services Division became a fully-certified International Organization for Standardization (ISO) laboratory in 2018 for the first time in its existence. The ISO 17025 certification means the lab has met specific criteria to qualify as an accredited testing lab. The accreditation demonstrates the lab’s capacity to deliver reliable results.

The Veterinarian of the Year award will be presented Feb. 22 in Albuquerque.

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Dr. Tim Hanosh (left), director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture Veterinary Diagnostic Services Division, participated in a New Mexico Agriculture Livestock Incident Response Team training exercise in 2018. Federal, state and local agencies came together to host an animal husbandry and biosecurity exercise to prepare responders for a potential emergency incident involving livestock in New Mexico. The New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association named Hanosh the state’s 2019 Veterinarian of the Year by.
Dr. Tim Hanosh (left), director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture Veterinary Diagnostic Services Division, participated in a New Mexico Agriculture Livestock Incident Response Team training exercise in 2018. Federal, state and local agencies came together to host an animal husbandry and biosecurity exercise to prepare responders for a potential emergency incident involving livestock in New Mexico. The New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association named Hanosh the state’s 2019 Veterinarian of the Year. (New Mexico State University Photo by Jane Moorman)

Registration open for 2020 AgriFuture Educational Institute

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Baylee Banks
Communications Assistant, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
bbanks@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-1864

Feb. 12, 2020

Registration open for 2020 AgriFuture Educational Institute

AgriFuture event is May 18-20 in Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE – Do you have a passion for agriculture and a desire to learn about the different opportunities the industry has to offer? The New Mexico Department of Agriculture and a dozen other New Mexico agencies and agriculture organizations are hosting the 2020 AgriFuture Educational Institute – an event aimed to connect, inform and inspire the next generation of farmers, ranchers and all people involved in agriculture.

AgriFuture is May 18 to May 20 in Albuquerque at Embassy Suites. With over 150 attendees expected, the conference will feature a farm-to-table opening reception, breakout sessions, educational agricultural speakers, dinner with mentors, networking opportunities and more.

The event is geared toward anyone 18 to 40 years of age but is open to anyone older or younger who is interested in being a part of the future of agriculture. Current producers of any age are highly encouraged to join alongside future producers to learn and share insights. Veterans of the armed forces are encouraged to attend.

Sean Sheehan of Sheehan Winery was part of the “Marketing: Finding Your Niche” panel at the 2018 AgriFuture Educational Institute. Held every other year, the conference aims to connect, inform and inspire the next generation of farmers, ranchers and all people involved in agriculture. The 2020 AgriFuture is May 18-20 in Albuquerque.
Sean Sheehan of Sheehan Winery was part of the “Marketing: Finding Your Niche” panel at the 2018 AgriFuture Educational Institute. Held every other year, the conference aims to connect, inform and inspire the next generation of farmers, ranchers and all people involved in agriculture. The 2020 AgriFuture is May 18-20 in Albuquerque.

“AgriFuture provides an incredible opportunity for ag producers and future ag producers to connect cross-generationally and explore new opportunities within our state’s agriculture industry,” New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said. “I encourage everyone interested in ag production, including next-generation agriculturists and returning military veterans who are looking to return to the land, to attend this year’s AgriFuture event.”

Future ag producers may attend AgriFuture for just $50, which includes a two-night hotel stay. Current ag producers and mentors may attend for $100, which does not include hotel expenses. Current producers/mentors can make reservations directly with Embassy Suites using code AGF for a special rate.

To register, visit agrifuture2020.eventbrite.com.

Tara Vander Dussen of Glorieta Geoscience, Inc. was part of the “Innovations and Future Technology in Production Agriculture” panel at the 2018 AgriFuture Educational Institute. Held every other year, the conference aims to connect, inform and inspire the next generation of farmers, ranchers and all people involved in agriculture. The 2020 AgriFuture is May 18-20 in Albuquerque.
Tara Vander Dussen of Glorieta Geoscience, Inc. was part of the “Innovations and Future Technology in Production Agriculture” panel at the 2018 AgriFuture Educational Institute. Held every other year, the conference aims to connect, inform and inspire the next generation of farmers, ranchers and all people involved in agriculture. The 2020 AgriFuture is May 18-20 in Albuquerque.

For more information, contact Kristie Garcia at krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu or 575-646-2804.

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(POSTPONED) New Mexico agribusinesses encouraged to register for international trade mission


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Baylee Banks
Communications Assistant, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
bbanks@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-1864

Jan. 30, 2020

(Postponed) New Mexico agribusinesses encouraged to register for international trade mission

Registration deadline is Feb. 14

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On a recent outbound trade mission, agribusiness owners had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with potential buyers. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture encourages New Mexico businesses to register for the outbound trade mission to the Philippines in April 2020.
On a recent outbound trade mission, agribusiness owners had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with potential buyers. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture encourages New Mexico businesses to register for the outbound trade mission to the Philippines in April 2020. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

Due to the global coronavirus situation, USDA’S Foreign Agricultural Service is postponing its scheduled April 20-23 trade mission to the Philippines. USDA-FAS hopes to reschedule the mission for later in 2020.

LAS CRUCES – Calling all New Mexico agribusiness owners:  Are you looking for an opportunity to explore new markets, expand on both new and existing business relationships and learn about exporting products internationally? The New Mexico Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture and Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) are looking for agriculture businesses and exporters to participate in an outbound international trade mission to the Philippines and Malaysia.

The trade mission will take place in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, with an option to continue on to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with WUSATA Project Managers April 20-24. Individuals interested in participating must register with WUSATA by Feb. 14.

According to USDA, $3 billion worth of agricultural products were exported to the Philippines in 2018, ranking the country as the 10th largest agricultural export market for the U.S. In the same year, the U.S. exported $1 billion of agricultural products to Malaysia.

Participating companies will have the opportunity to attend targeted business meetings with qualified buyers and local companies seeking to import food, farm and retail products. USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service staff will coordinate site visits and in-depth briefings on U.S. exports to the Philippines.

“I encourage all New Mexico agribusiness owners to register for the Outbound Trade Mission to the Philippines and Malaysia and take advantage of the tremendous opportunity to gain new markets, build business relationships and learn about exciting prospects within an international market,” New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said.

For more information about the trade mission and to register, visit https://www.wusata.org/event/detail/6ECF4A4E-CED0-4062-AC66-9B6543B8F02A/search/.

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On a recent outbound trade mission, agribusiness owners had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with potential buyers. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture encourages New Mexico businesses to register for the outbound trade mission to the Philippines in April 2020.
On a recent outbound trade mission, agribusiness owners had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with potential buyers. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture encourages New Mexico businesses to register for the outbound trade mission to the Philippines in April 2020. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)