Category Archives: NMDA News and Hot Topics

New Mexico Department of Agriculture reminds public of pecan regulations


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

Nov.  30, 2021

New Mexico Department of Agriculture reminds public of pecan regulations

Pecan weevil quarantines in effect, pecan buyers must be licensed

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LAS CRUCES – With the pecan harvest underway, New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) officials remind the public that pecan buyers in the state must be licensed and pecan weevil quarantines are in effect. The New Mexico Pecan Buyers Licensure Act defines a “buyer” as a person engaged in the business of purchasing in-shell pecans from a pecan producer and includes an accumulator, buying station, cleaning plant, sheller, dealer or broker. The act does not apply to a person whose business is a grocery store, retail store, gas station or other similar operation and that conducts in-shell pecan transactions totaling less than 100 pounds during any 12-month period.

In an effort to prevent the spread of nut pests – primarily pecan weevil – pecan buyers, as defined above, must be licensed through the Department of Agriculture. Licensed buyers across the state are required to obtain information from sellers, including location and date of the purchase; seller contact information; identification information; license plate and vehicle information; total weight of in-shell nuts purchased; and information regarding the growing location of pecans being sold.

Collection of lot information and seller identification allows NMDA to verify compliance with pecan weevil quarantines and provides a deterrent to pecan theft by aiding local law enforcement agencies in prosecution for illicit sales of stolen pecans. Quarantine violations may result in seizure of pecan loads without reimbursement.

whole unshelled pecans
New Mexico Department of Agriculture officials remind the public that pecan buyers must be licensed and pecan weevil quarantines are in effect. Licensed buyers in the state are required to obtain certain information from sellers. Both the pecan weevil interior quarantine and pecan weevil exterior quarantine include restrictions to moving in-shell pecans from certain areas. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said it’s important for sellers to provide the requested information to help prevent the spread of pests.

“New Mexico is the No. 2 pecan-producing state in the nation, and Doña Ana County is the top pecan-producing county in the nation, so we must all work together to protect this crop that is so important to our state,” said Witte. “By providing the required information, sellers are helping prevent the spread of pecan weevil from other parts of the country and from quarantined areas of New Mexico.”

Both interior and exterior pecan weevil quarantines are in effect in New Mexico. The pecan weevil interior quarantine applies to Chaves, Eddy and Lea Counties and includes several restrictions to moving in-shell pecans and related articles from these counties to other counties.

The pecan weevil exterior quarantine restricts the movement of in-shell pecans and regulated articles into New Mexico from all states except Arizona, California and the Texas counties of El Paso and Hudspeth, as well as parts of Culberson County.

A pecan buyers license application and a list of licensed pecan buyers may be found at https://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/list-of-pecan-buyer-licenses/.

The interior and exterior quarantine rules may be viewed in their entirety at https://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/agricultural-environmental-services-statutes-rules/.

For more information about pecan buyers’ licenses or the pecan weevil quarantines, please call NMDA at 575-646-3207.

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Chile Labor Incentive Program extended to Jan. 31


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

Nov.  17, 2021

Chile Labor Incentive Program extended to Jan. 31

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SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture on Wednesday announced the state of New Mexico’s Chile Labor Incentive Program has been extended to the end of January 2022 to cover the New Mexico red chile pepper harvest.

Gov. Lujan Grisham announced in August that the state was committing $5 million to form the Chile Labor Incentive Program (CLIP), a wage supplement program for the chile industry to combat concerns of a labor shortage that could have impacted the 2021 production of the state’s signature crop. Administered by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, the program has supplemented wages for nearly 3,000 New Mexico chile harvest workers since its launch and ensured a successful green chile harvest in the fall of 2021.

Claims may be made for financial assistance for labor expenses incurred through Jan. 31, 2022 or upon full utilization of allocated funds. The deadline for all applications and claims is Feb. 28, 2022.

fresh red chile growing in a field
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture announced the state of New Mexico’s Chile Labor Incentive Program (CLIP) has been extended to the end of January 2022 to cover the New Mexico red chile pepper harvest. Gov. Lujan Grisham announced in August that the state was committing $5 million to form CLIP, a wage supplement program for the chile industry to combat concerns of a labor shortage that could have impacted the 2021 production of the state’s signature crop. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

“I’m glad to have been able to work with chile producers statewide to ensure the success of this year’s chile harvest,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “New Mexico chile is an all-important symbol of our state’s agriculture and commerce, and with the support of the Chile Labor Incentive Program, our chile will continue to be enjoyed across the state and around the world.”

“We have allocated over $2.6 million in program funding thus far, and it’s important we continue the program’s efforts to ensure a timely harvest of the red chile crop,” said state Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte. “I look forward to our agency continuing to work with industry partners to successfully carry out the governor’s vision for these funds and this support. Information about the program can be found on our website at www.nmda.nmsu.edu.”

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Firewood consumers are encouraged to know the law


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

Nov. 4, 2021

Firewood consumers are encouraged to know the law

State law requires firewood to be advertised and sold by the cord or fraction of a cord

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LAS CRUCES – If you plan to buy firewood this year, know what to avoid in order to get your money’s worth.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) Standards and Consumer Services Division enforces the state’s Weights and Measures Law, which includes how firewood must be advertised and sold in order to maintain fairness in the marketplace.

State law requires firewood to be advertised and sold by the cord or fraction of a cord. A cord is legally defined as 128 cubic feet of wood and is commonly seen in a tight stack 4-feet-wide-by-4-feet-high-by-8-feet-long, with logs stacked parallel to one another. State law also requires the seller to provide a receipt or invoice noting what fraction of a cord is being sold and the type of wood.

State law allows for firewood to be sold by the pound in lesser amounts, but the seller must declare the price-per-cord equivalent. This does not apply to firewood sold in packaged bundles less than 100 pounds.

pile of cut wood
State law requires firewood to be advertised and sold by the cord or fraction of a cord. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture Standards and Consumer Services Division enforces the state’s Weights and Measures Law, which includes how firewood must be advertised and sold in order to maintain fairness in the marketplace. (Stock photo)

Keep in mind the following when buying firewood in New Mexico:

  • The buyer should have the firewood stacked and measured while the seller is present.
  • It is illegal to sell firewood in unspecified quantities such as load, truckload, face cord, rack, pile or loose cord.
  • If firewood is sold by weight, the seller must declare the price per unit of weight and the equivalent price per cord. This does not apply to fuel wood sold in packaged bundles less than 100 pounds.
  • Each delivery of firewood must be accompanied by a receipt or invoice containing the name and address of the buyer and seller, date of delivery, quantity delivered, identity of the commodity and the total selling price.
  • If possible, the buyer should get the seller’s phone number and write down the license plate of the delivery vehicle.
  • Bundles of kindling wood or similar packages must be labeled with a statement of net content in terms of weight or measure.
  • The label must include the name and place of business of the packager or distributor and a word or phrase identifying the product.

For more information about firewood sales, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu/scs/firewood or call NMDA’s Standards and Consumer Services Division at 575-646-1616.

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Nov. 15 pecan weevil exterior quarantine public hearing terminated


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Kristie Garcia
Public Affairs Director, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-2804
Oct. 27, 2021

Nov. 15 pecan weevil exterior quarantine public hearing terminated

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LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) has terminated the public rule hearing previously scheduled for Monday, Nov. 15 regarding proposed amendments to 21.17.28 New Mexico Administrative Code, Pecan Weevil Exterior Quarantine rule, to remove several West Texas counites from New Mexico’s list of quarantined counties, add a cold-storage treatment post-entry requirement, and add a second cold storage treatment option. 

A Notice of Rulemaking was provided in Volume XXXII, Issue 19 of the New Mexico Register. NMDA issued a termination notice in accordance with Subsection C of Section 14-4-5 New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978.

New Mexico’s Pecan Weevil Exterior Quarantine rule was promulgated in 1969 for the purpose of reducing the risk of importing pecan weevil in to New Mexico from weevil-infested areas exterior to New Mexico, areas of West Texas, Arizona and California. The rule requires all in-shell pecans and other regulated articles that originated in pecan weevil quarantined counties to undergo a cold storage treatment to kill pecan weevil prior to entry into the state.

A news release will be distributed when a new date has been set for the public hearing.

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Four individuals receive 2021 Rounders Award


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Brandon Larrañaga
Communications Assistant, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
blarranaga@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-1864
Oct. 26, 2021

Four individuals receive 2021 Rounders Award

Etcheverry, Hillerman, West, Zimmer celebrated as champions of Western culture

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LAS CRUCES – New Mexico cartoonist Etienne “A-10” Etcheverry, author Anne Hillerman, rancher/musician/actor Archie West and writer Stephen Zimmer all received a 2021 Rounders Award for their contributions to preserving the Western way of life. 

The award is named after “The Rounders,” a classic Western novel written by New Mexican Max Evans. Created in 1990 by former New Mexico Agriculture Secretary 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 27 previous honorees, including Evans as the inaugural award recipient. Evans passed away in 2020 at the age of 95.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte presented the awards to Etcheverry, Hillerman, West and Zimmer Oct. 26 at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces.

Witte said that these four recipients wholly embody everything that Evans and the Rounders Award represent.

“Max and I discussed the future of the Rounders award several years ago, and he was adamant about it continuing,” said Witte. “I am proud of the legacy Max has left in Western culture, and this year’s award winners are perfect recipients who ‘live and articulate the Western way of life’ – the words that serve as the foundation of this award. We miss Max, but his impact lives on through the Rounders!”

Cartoonist Etienne Etcheverry with a horse.
Cartoonist Etienne Etcheverry is a 2021 Rounders Award recipient. The Rounders Award, named after the classic Western novel written by Max Evans, serves to honor those who live, promote and articulate the western way of life. (Photo by Kathy Smith)

Etcheverry is a second-generation Basque-American who was raised in southeastern New Mexico and attended New Mexico State University. He is a renowned cartoonist best known for his depictions of Wild West tales through illustrations featured primarily on his calendars. Etcheverry received the Academy of Western Artists Award for 1998 Cowboy Cartoonist of the Year. In 1999, he was elected into the Cowboys Cartoonists International Organization. He is always looking for new tales and stories to translate into one of his trademark cartoons.

Author Anne Hillerman wearing a grey jacket and green scarf
Author Anne Hillerman is a 2021 Rounders Award recipient. The Rounders Award, named after the classic Western novel written by Max Evans, serves to honor those who live, promote and articulate the western way of life. (Photo by Jean Fogelberg)

Hillerman thoroughly enjoys living in the West, especially after moving from Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of New Mexico before working as a newspaper journalist for several years in Santa Fe and Albuquerque and eventually beginning a career as a non-fiction author. When her father, mystery author Tony Hillerman, died in 2008, Anne determined that the series he had started more than 50 years prior would continue. Her central character, officer Bernadette Manuelito, famously solves mysteries on the Navajo Nation and beyond. Her inaugural novel, “Spider Woman’s Daughter,” received the prestigious Spur Award from Western Writers of America. That book, and the five that followed it, all became New York Times bestsellers.

Black and white photo of rancher Archie West sitting on a saddle
Rancher and musician Archie West is a 2021 Rounders Award recipient. The Rounders Award, named after the classic Western novel written by Max Evans, serves to honor those who live, promote and articulate the western way of life. (Photo by Stephen Guion Williams, All Rights Reserved)

West was born on a homestead south of Santa Fe in 1937. His family moved to another homestead in 1943 – the same house West continues to live in to this day, over 80 years later. After serving in the Army, West started his own cow/calf operation in 1962. He has been in the cattle business for over 50 years. Soon, West’s reputation as a cowboy found its way into the spotlight. His neighbor, Marc Simmons, used West as a model for photos of a cowboy that Simmons needed while writing a book. Author Jack Schaefer, author of western novels “Shane” and “Monte Walsh,” used West – his neighbor – as the inspiration for the ideal cowboy. West continues to live the ranching lifestyle to this day.

Western writer Stephen Zimmer wearing a black cowboy hat
Writer Stephen Zimmer is a 2021 Rounders Award recipient. The Rounders Award, named after the classic Western novel written by Max Evans, serves to honor those who live, promote and articulate the western way of life. (Photo by Toby Kessler)

Zimmer has studied and written about the cattle industry for more than 50 years. For 25 of those years, he served as the Philmont Scout Ranch Director of Museums in Cimarron. He has written hundreds of articles about Western art and ranch life that have appeared in such magazines as Western Horseman, Ranch Record, Cowboy Magazine, Southwest Art and New Mexico Magazine. He is also the author of more than 10 books, including “Horses and Cattle and A Double-Rigged Saddle” and “All in a Day’s Riding: Stories of the New Mexico Range.”

For a list of past Rounders Award recipients, visit https://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/rounders-awards-ceremony/.

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