Category Archives: NMDA News and Hot Topics

New Mexico Department of Agriculture accepting Healthy Soil Program grant applications


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Kristie Garcia
Public Affairs Director, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-339-5011

May 28, 2021

New Mexico Department of Agriculture accepting Healthy Soil Program grant applications

 Eligible Entities, farmers and ranchers invited to apply

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting grant applications for its Healthy Soil Program, which was created in the 2019 Healthy Soil Act. 

The act’s purpose is to promote and support farming and ranching systems and other forms of land management that increase soil organic matter, aggregate stability, microbiology and water retention to improve the state’s soil health, yield and profitability.

Potential applicants include Eligible Entities, such as nations, tribes and pueblos; land grants; acequias; soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs); and New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service. Farmers and ranchers may also apply, provided they have secured project support from an SWCD or a nation, tribe or pueblo. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, July 2. Late applications will not be accepted.

Close-up of a field crop that uses the strip-till conservation system
The strip-till conservation system aligns with the Healthy Soil Act’s basic soil health principles. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting grant applications for its Healthy Soil Program, which was created in the 2019 Healthy Soil Act. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, July 2. (Photo courtesy of New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

Grant funding may be used for agricultural projects in New Mexico that focus on one or more of five basic soil health principles: keeping the soil covered; minimizing soil disturbance on cropland; maximizing biodiversity; maintaining a living root; and integrating animals into land management.

“I encourage farmers, ranchers and all Eligible Entities to apply for this program, which is geared toward improving New Mexico’s soil health,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “Based on feedback from applicants and Eligible Entities during several listening sessions we hosted earlier this year, our team has made several improvements to the entire process.”

NMDA strongly recommends that farmers and ranchers who intend to apply as Individual Applicants make themselves known as soon as possible to the SWCD or nation, tribe or pueblo that will support their project.

For more information and to apply, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu/healthy-soil-program.

A stripped crop is between two tall, green crops, showing a strip-till conservation system that only disturbs the portion of the soil that is to contain the seed row
By only disturbing the portion of the soil that is to contain the seed row, the strip-till conservation system aligns with the Healthy Soil Act’s basic soil health principles. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting grant applications for its Healthy Soil Program, which was created in the 2019 Healthy Soil Act. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, July 2. (Photo courtesy of New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture benefits the public by promoting the viability and advancement of New Mexico agriculture and affiliated industries. The agency promotes a fair marketplace, food protection, marketing, and economic development; supports the beneficial use and conservation of natural resources; and works cooperatively with the public and private sectors. For grant cycles beginning in 2019, the agency has administered over $1.5 million in funds to support agriculture initiatives in the state through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and Healthy Soil Program combined.

Find us at:
www.nmda.nmsu.edu
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @NMDeptAg
YouTube: NMDeptAg
LinkedIn: New Mexico Department of Agriculture

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NMDA to host export training seminar for New Mexico agriculturalists June 17


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 NMDA Contact: Brandon Larrañaga
Communications Assistant, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
blarranaga@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-339-5011 (Kristie Garcia, Public Affairs Director)

May 27, 2021

NMDA to host export training seminar for New Mexico agriculturalists June 17

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) will host its next iteration in a series of export training seminars at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 17. The seminar will feature presenters Randy Trask, President of the New Mexico International Trade Alliance; Marco Albarrán, CEO of Latin American trade consultant Imalinx; and Jörg van Wershofen of the European Union consultant group TradeScope. The seminars are designed to educate New Mexico agriculture and food companies about the opportunities in foreign markets.

New Mexico International Trade Alliance logo
The New Mexico International Trade Alliance is one of the feature presenters slated for the export training seminar June 17, 2021. Hosted by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, the export training seminar will focus on agriculture producers in New Mexico and options available to them when exporting commodities.

There is no deadline to register for the June 17 seminar. Attendees can register at https://nmsu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMsdOmvpzkqHtLyPAbeBqs9Dd21Ot_2Xhiy Upon successful registration, attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the seminar.

Several New Mexico producers attended the first installment of the series April 8, learning from professionals in the industry. These seminars serve as a resource for local producers, as New Mexico looks to recover economically.

“The seminar provided me with the information that I needed to determine the current opportunities and resources available for our products,” said Sandra Pacheco, National Sales Director of Lescombes Family Vineyards and a participant of the April 8 seminar. “Throughout the last 16 months during the world pandemic, many changes have occurred in terms of the economy, the target market, and the hurdles that come with conducting business. The webinar provided me with detailed information so that I could make an informed decision about the next steps in marketing our products outside of the U.S.”

Aside from the information presented, one of the advantages of these seminars is the availability and access for agricultural producers and business owners within the state. By offering multiple seminars, interested parties have the option of attending sessions on different dates. Also, the seminars are available to New Mexico business owners free of charge.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said the online nature of these seminars provides business owners more opportunities to learn.

“We are happy to offer these opportunities to New Mexico businesses as they recover from the pandemic,” said Witte. “We are pleased to be able to offer these seminars on a virtual platform, so they are accessible to more business owners than if held in person.”

NMDA’s International Marketing Program works closely with New Mexico’s food and agricultural industry to successfully export products to buyers around the world. Marketing specialists at NMDA provide trade servicing, promotional support, market intelligence and access to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Programs, such as the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA®). Through these services, New Mexico food and agricultural producers can benefit from participation in trade missions, tradeshows and promotional events, while claiming up to 50% reimbursement of approved international marketing and promotional expenses.

For information on the export training seminars, please email NMDA Marketing Specialist Juan Sanchez at jsanchez@nmda.nmsu.edu. To view all NMDA international marketing opportunities, visit https://www.elevatenmag.com/international-marketing/.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture benefits the public by promoting the viability and advancement of New Mexico agriculture and affiliated industries. The agency promotes a fair marketplace, food protection, marketing, and economic development; supports the beneficial use and conservation of natural resources; and works cooperatively with the public and private sectors. For grant cycles beginning in 2019, the agency has administered over $1.5 million in funds to support agriculture initiatives in the state through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and Healthy Soil Program combined.

Find us at:
www.nmda.nmsu.edu
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @NMDeptAg
YouTube: NMDeptAg
LinkedIn: New Mexico Department of Agriculture

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Agriculture industry suppliers in Doña Ana County invited to join Borderplex Alliance Manufacturing Supplier Association


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Kristie Garcia
Public Affairs Director, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-339-5011

Contact: Natalie Littlefield,
Vice President of Strategy, The Borderplex Alliance
Nlittlefield@borderplexalliance.org
915-298-1000

May 24, 2021

Agriculture industry suppliers in Doña Ana County invited to join Borderplex Alliance Manufacturing Supplier Association

Doña Ana County ag businesses also invited to join export initiatives

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – The Borderplex Alliance seeks agriculture industry suppliers in Doña Ana County to join its newly-created supplier association. The next Borderplex Alliance Manufacturing Supplier Association’s meeting will be held virtually at 12 p.m. MT Thursday, May 27. To RSVP/register, visit https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_a64b9J0wQwCFLyEjZrpt4w.

If unable to attend this meeting, businesses can receive a recording of the event and be added to the listserv by emailing Christian Diaz, cdiaz@borderplexalliance.org.

“At this meeting, we are presenting some amazing funding opportunities related to e-commerce and exporting for small businesses in New Mexico, Texas and Mexico,” said The Borderplex Alliance Vice President of Strategy, Natalie Littlefield. “For example, these programs can help agriculture industry businesses with web development and digital marketing.”

Featured guest speakers include:

  • Luis Godoy Rueda, General Director, Global Economic Intelligence Unit at the Mexican Ministry of Economy 
  • Nora Noble-Christoff, Grants Coordinator, Trade and Business Development Department at the Texas Department of Agriculture 
  • Randy Trask, President, New Mexico Trade Alliance
  • Celeste Nunez, International Marketing Manager, New Mexico Trade Alliance
  • Alma Aranda, Workforce Development Director, Workforce Solutions Borderplex 

New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte encourages agriculture industry suppliers to take advantage of this opportunity.

“This is a unique event for ag industry suppliers in Doña Ana County, and I encourage those in the industry to take advantage of these funding opportunities to enhance their businesses,” said Witte.

The Borderplex Alliance also invites Doña Ana County suppliers in the agriculture industry to take part in the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). The State of New Mexico was awarded STEP grant funds by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to assist eligible small business concerns in New Mexico to export their products abroad. The program offers assistance with booth space, interpreters, export training programs and US Department of Commerce’s Gold Key matchmaking services in major markets abroad. Additional eligible activities added to the program in light of COVID-19 travel restrictions and negative impact on small businesses include website optimization for ecommerce and virtual trade shows.

The program’s objectives are to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and to increase the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting. STEP services are managed and provided at the local level by the New Mexico Economic Development Department, Office of International Trade.

To begin the STEP application process, eligible small business concerns from the State of New Mexico should contact Celeste Nunez, International Marketing Manager from the New Mexico Trade Alliance at celeste@nmtradealliance.org.

The Borderplex Alliance is an award-winning economic development and policy advocacy organization. The alliance is independent, non-partisan, and private sector-led. Its mission is to bring jobs, hope and opportunity to the Borderplex region.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture benefits the public by promoting the viability and advancement of New Mexico agriculture and affiliated industries. The agency promotes a fair marketplace, food protection, marketing, and economic development; supports the beneficial use and conservation of natural resources; and works cooperatively with the public and private sectors. For grant cycles beginning in 2019, the agency has administered over $1.5 million in funds to support agriculture initiatives in the state through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and Healthy Soil Program combined.

Find us at:
www.nmda.nmsu.edu
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @NMDeptAg
YouTube: NMDeptAg
LinkedIn: New Mexico Department of Agriculture

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Good Food Foundation Virtual Mercantile to feature seven New Mexico ag businesses May 26


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Kristie Garcia
Public Affairs Director, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-339-5011

May 18, 2021

Good Food Foundation Virtual Mercantile to feature seven New Mexico ag businesses May 26

Businesses will lead 20-to-25 buyers through a tasting of their products

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – Seven New Mexico businesses will be featured on the Good Food Foundation Virtual Mercantile Event at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 26.

The Good Food Foundation selected Apple Canyon Gourmet Inc., Cervantes Food Products Inc., Heart of the Desert Pistachios & Wines, Heidi’s Raspberry Farm, Montoya Orchards, New Mexico Desert Farm and The Bossy Gourmet LLC for the event.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is hosting the event in an effort to help support New Mexico businesses as they attempt to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the 45-to-60 minute event, the New Mexico businesses will lead 20-to-25 buyers and retailers through a tasting session. During the tasting session, each business will have the opportunity to educate buyers about its products, whether it’s regarding uniqueness, taste, ingredients or nutritional value. The session will conclude with a question-and-answer segment.

Cluster of logos with Good Food Mercantile logo in center
Seven New Mexico businesses will be featured on the Good Food Foundation Virtual Mercantile Event May 26, 2021. The Good Food Foundation selected Apple Canyon Gourmet Inc., Cervantes Food Products Inc., Heart of the Desert Pistachios & Wines, Heidi’s Raspberry Farm, Montoya Orchards, New Mexico Desert Farm and The Bossy Gourmet LLC for the event. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is hosting the event in an effort to help support New Mexico businesses as they attempt to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“New Mexico has so many unique, quality agricultural products to offer, and this is the perfect opportunity for businesses to gain exposure in the national market,” said New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte. “Showcasing all of these tasty value-added products through a virtual mercantile will hopefully elevate New Mexico businesses and help them recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

The May 26 virtual mercantile is part of a weekly series of events the Good Food Foundation designed to connect U.S. companies directly with retailers in April and May. The Foundation will conduct outreach recruiting of targeted buyers and will assist the New Mexico companies by providing them with best-practices information and video tutorials on virtual pitches.

Companies were eligible to apply for the event if their products consist of New Mexico-grown specialty crops, products fit into one of the Good Food Foundation’s categories (excluding beer, spirits or hard ciders), met at least one standard within the selected category and are non-perishable and shelf stable for shipping purposes.

For more information, please email NMDA Marketing Specialist Zakary Barela at zbarela@nmda.nmsu.edu.

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The New Mexico Department of Agriculture benefits the public by promoting the viability and advancement of New Mexico agriculture and affiliated industries. The agency promotes a fair marketplace, food protection, marketing, and economic development; supports the beneficial use and conservation of natural resources; and works cooperatively with the public and private sectors. For grant cycles beginning in 2019, the agency has administered over $1.5 million in funds to support agriculture initiatives in the state through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and Healthy Soil Program combined.

Find us at:
www.nmda.nmsu.edu
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @NMDeptAg
YouTube: NMDeptAg
LinkedIn: New Mexico Department of Agriculture

Blue New Mexico Department of Agriculture NMDA logo
The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is hosting the Good Food Foundation Virtual Mercantile Event May 26, 2021 in an effort to help support New Mexico businesses as they attempt to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Good Food Foundation selected seven New Mexico businesses for the event.

Food Protection Alliance Celebrates 10th Anniversary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NMDA Contact: Brandon Larrañaga
Communications Assistant, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
blarranaga@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-339-5011 (Kristie Garcia, Public Affairs Director)

May 13, 2021

Food Protection Alliance Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Free conference focused on food safety issues in New Mexico

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Food Protection Alliance Conference celebrated its 10th anniversary on May 11-12. The event is hosted annually by the Southwest Border Food Protection & Emergency Preparedness Center (Center) and is a platform for communication and information exchange on food safety issues in New Mexico. Attendees learn the importance of the role of regulatory agencies in the disciplines of food safety, food defense and food security. Attendees included New Mexico food safety professionals from both public and private sectors. This year’s conference was delivered in an online format as a virtual two-day meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference’s 10-year existence is a testament to the importance of the event, as well as the importance of the role that the Center serves in the state. The Center was founded in 2005 as the result of a collaboration between New Mexico State University (NMSU), the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, the Cooperative Extension Service and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA). This partnership has flourished, and it is critical to protecting the food supply chain within the state.

“New Mexico has a unique partnership dedicated to agriculture and food defense,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “The Center has been a model to deliver effective training and response programs for the agriculture and food sector. This is especially important with New Mexico’s interstate transportation system and proximity to an international border. Our partnership with Mexico is a very important part of both countries’ agriculture and food protection system.”

The New Mexico Food Protection Alliance Conference has served as an embodiment for the mission and values of the Center and furthered the goal of building relationships between regulatory agencies and the private sector for the sake of food protection in New Mexico in the process. The connections formed among all parties involved in the event are truly what makes the conference so effective and has only heightened its relevance for the past decade.

Tom Dean and Marshal Wilson serve as co-directors of the Center. Dean said building networks is key when it comes to food safety.

“The Southwest Border Food Protection & Emergency Preparedness Center takes pride in building networks and relationships that help address critical issues in an emergency,” said Dean. “For the past 10 years, the Food Alliance meetings have been a great way to foster these networks.”

NMDA takes pride in its role in serving and educating the state in the food industry – and as an extension – its role in the Food Protection Alliance Conference. NMDA is just one of the agencies that plays a key role in furthering the advancement of the Center and its mission.

Witte said partnerships are key to effective coordination to assure the food supply remains safe.

“Ten years ago, we created the Food Protection Alliance to bring local, state, federal and tribal agencies – along with industry partners – together for the first time,” said Witte. “This increased communication and coordination among all who have a responsibility to ensure a safe food supply. Communities that train together respond together. Our partnerships increase our capacity to respond to foodborne illness and recall events and protect New Mexicans.”

New Mexico Food Protection Alliance logo
The 10th Annual New Mexico Food Protection Alliance Conference took place May 11-12. The event is celebrating a decade of uniting professionals in the food safety industry within the state.

For more information about the Center and the New Mexico Food Protection Alliance Conference, visit https://aces.nmsu.edu/preparedness/index.html.

 The New Mexico Department of Agriculture benefits the public by promoting the viability and advancement of New Mexico agriculture and affiliated industries. The agency promotes a fair marketplace, food protection, marketing, and economic development; supports the beneficial use and conservation of natural resources; and works cooperatively with the public and private sectors. For grant cycles beginning in 2019, the agency has administered over $1.5 million in funds to support agriculture initiatives in the state through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and Healthy Soil Program combined.

 Find us at:
www.nmda.nmsu.edu
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @NMDeptAg
YouTube: NMDeptAg
LinkedIn: New Mexico Department of Agriculture

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