Category Archives: NMDA News and Hot Topics

New Mexico Department of Agriculture to host virtual export training seminars


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)

March 25, 2021

New Mexico Department of Agriculture to host virtual export training seminars

First seminar is Thursday, April 8

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture will host a series of virtual export training seminars for the benefit of agricultural producers throughout the state. The first of these seminars is Thursday, April 8 at 10 a.m. MT and will feature presentations from the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association, Imalinx and Ottawa’s agriculture attaché. These representatives will help producers set their sights on exporting products to Canada, as well as Latin American countries.

The seminars are designed to educate New Mexico agriculture and food companies about the opportunities in foreign markets and will consist of presentations covering a wide range of topics, including:

  • Market assessments.
  • Technical and logistical information.
  • Insight and export strategies.
  • Available resources.

Presenters for the April 8 seminar will include in-country trade consultants, United State Department of Agriculture–Foreign Agricultural Service representatives, and logistic and banking representatives.

The Western United States Agriculture Trade Association is one of the feature presenters of the export training seminar. 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.

“New Mexico produces agricultural products that are popular not only here, but across the world,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “The export training events serve to showcase opportunities that help our small and medium companies succeed in the export market. These seminars will cover many tools and trade assistance programs that are available to New Mexico food and agriculture companies.”

Register for the April 8 seminar at: https://nmsu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0rduiopzIpE92OAscG4Ox_R8FvOA5U7Kpl

Registration and participation for this event is free of charge, and there is no deadline to register. Upon successful registration, attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the seminar.

Imalinx, an organization focused on the Latin American markets, is one of the feature presenters of the export training seminar. 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.

Details for future export trainings will be announced when available. For more information or inquiries, please contact NMDA Marketing Specialist Juan Sanchez at jsanchez@nmda.nmsu.edu.

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New Mexico Department of Agriculture petroleum inspectors help protect consumers at the pump


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

March 18, 2021

New Mexico Department of Agriculture petroleum inspectors help protect consumers at the pump

Petroleum Standards team inspects fuel pumps, fuel quality

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – Have you ever been at the fuel pump and noticed the New Mexico Department of Agriculture sticker? That sticker is a sign that the fuel pump has been inspected by a professional from the NMDA Standards and Consumer Services Division. The division performs regulatory activities under the authority of the Petroleum Products Standards Act.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture Standards and Consumer Services Division performs regulatory activities under the authority of the Petroleum Products Standards Act. As part of these activities, petroleum inspectors test and screen fuel to ensure the octane and ethanol content is correct. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

The NMDA Petroleum Standards program is responsible for the annual inspection and testing of all commercial petroleum measuring devices used in the state. This program ensures product quality for gasoline, diesel, kerosene, brake fluid, antifreeze and lubricating oil, and is responsible for regulating the advertising and labeling of these products. Precise field standards are used in these inspections and are certified through the NMDA Metrology Laboratory.

With fuel costs rising, it’s important for the public to know that NMDA petroleum inspectors are doing their job to protect consumers, as always. Not only do they inspect fuel pumps across the state, but they collect fuel samples, which are analyzed by the NMDA Petroleum Laboratory to ensure customers get what they pay for.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture Standards and Consumer Services Division performs regulatory activities under the authority of the Petroleum Products Standards Act. As part of these activities, NMDA employees inspect fuel pumps at all gasoline stations in New Mexico once a year on a routine basis. Once the fuel pump is inspected and approved, the appropriate year is marked on the NMDA sticker on the device. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

“Our agency protects petroleum consumers by inspecting fuel pumps at all gasoline stations in New Mexico once a year on a routine basis and whenever we receive a complaint,” said New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte. “The cooperation of the retailers allows our inspectors to continue to do their jobs serving the public, even amidst a pandemic.”

Petroleum inspectors test and screen fuel to ensure the octane and ethanol content is correct.

“We want consumers to be confident that they are receiving a quality product at the pump,” said Witte. “If consumers select premium gasoline, for example, they should get premium gasoline.”

Inspectors also check the safe operation of the pumps for leaks, accuracy, price calculations, and price-sign verification, including special offers, such as cash or loyalty discounts.

(Photo taken pre-pandemic.) The New Mexico Department of Agriculture Standards and Consumer Services Division performs regulatory activities under the authority of the Petroleum Products Standards Act. As part of these activities, petroleum inspectors collect fuel samples, which are analyzed by the NMDA Petroleum Laboratory. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

The NMDA Petroleum Standards team offers these tips and facts:

  • Don’t idle your vehicle while waiting in line.
  • Don’t overfill your tank.
  • Temperature does not matter. The pumps dispense the legally-defined 231 cubic inches of fuel when the pump indicates 1 gallon.
  • Shop around.
  • Drive slower to save on fuel costs.

Consumers may call the NMDA Standards and Consumer Services Division at 575-646-1616 to report an issue related to fuel or a fuel pump.

“Next time you fuel up, be sure to look for the NMDA sticker on the pump,” said Witte.

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New Mexico Department of Agriculture to host pesticide disposal event for the public in Portales March 30


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)

March 16, 2021

New Mexico Department of Agriculture to host pesticide disposal event for the public in Portales March 30

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture will host a pesticide disposal event in Portales from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 30. Held at the NMDA Peanut Grading Station at 721 E Lime St., the event is free and available to all business owners, farmers, ranchers and all other New Mexico residents. Any type of pesticide, treated seed or rinsate will be collected.

Many types of pesticides were properly disposed of at a disposal event sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture in Los Lunas on Nov 12. NMDA will host a pesticide disposal event in Portales from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 30. (Photo courtesy of New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

Held periodically throughout the state, the pesticide disposal events provide the agricultural industry, pest control industry and the general public the opportunity to properly dispose of unwanted pesticides. Most recently, NMDA sponsored pesticide disposal events in Vado and Los Lunas, Nov. 10 and Nov. 12, respectively.

“Last year’s events were a huge success,” said Stephen Baca, NMDA Pesticide Compliance Section Assistant Division Director. “We hope that we can replicate that with our March event. We want to reach as many people in the state as we can with this service and hope that homeowners in Portales and the surrounding area take advantage of this opportunity.”

NMDA will partner with CleanEarth Environmental Solutions for the disposal event in Portales.

Many types of pesticides were properly disposed of at a disposal event sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture in Vado on Nov 10. NMDA will host a pesticide disposal event in Portales from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 30.  (Photo courtesy of New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, participants are asked to follow all proper COVID-safe practices and procedures. Staff will direct the flow of traffic and participants should not leave their vehicles unless otherwise instructed. Face masks/coverings are required to be worn when interacting with all staff and disposal assistants. No registration is required.

For more information, please call 575-646-2134 or email pesticides@nmda.nmsu.edu.

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New Mexico ag businesses encouraged to apply for Good Food Foundation opportunity


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

March 15, 2021

New Mexico ag businesses encouraged to apply for Good Food Foundation opportunity

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

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LAS CRUCES – New Mexico businesses are encouraged to apply for a chance to be featured on the Good Food Foundation Virtual Mercantile Event Wednesday, May 26. The application deadline is Tuesday, April 6.

New Mexico businesses are encouraged to apply for a chance to be featured on the Good Food Foundation Virtual Mercantile Event Wednesday, May 26. 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. (Logo courtesy Good Food Foundation)

Companies with products that meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  1. Products must be New Mexico-grown specialty crops, such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, culinary herbs and spices. Visit https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/specialty-crop for a list of products that meet the United State Department of Agriculture’s specialty crop definition.
  2. Products must fit into one of the Good Food Foundation’s categories – excluding beer, spirits or hard ciders – and meet at least one standard within the selected category. Visit https://goodfoodfdn.org/awards/categories/, and click on the individual category to view the standards.
  3. Products must be non-perishable and shelf stable for shipping purposes.

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.

New Mexico businesses are encouraged to apply for a chance to be featured on the Good Food Foundation Virtual Mercantile Event Wednesday, May 26. A value-added snack product, such as salsa – made from the New Mexico-grown specialty crop, pepper – is an eligible product. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

The Good Food Foundation has designed a weekly series of events to connect U.S. companies directly with retailers via a virtual platform in April and May. During the 45-to-60 minute May 26 event, up to eight New Mexico companies/agricultural producers will lead 20-to-25 buyers and retailers through a tasting session. During the tasting session, each New Mexico company 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.

NMDA staff will screen New Mexico companies to ensure they align with the Good Food Standards and that their products consist of a New Mexico specialty crop. Ultimately, the Good Food Foundation and its partner retailers will select up to eight New Mexico companies to participate in the virtual mercantile.

The Good Food Foundation will conduct outreach recruiting of targeted buyers and will assist New Mexico companies by providing them with best-practices information and video tutorials on virtual pitches. The Foundation will consolidate an address list of buyers and support in coordinating sample shipments. The selected New Mexico companies will be responsible for shipping their 20-to-25 samples to NMDA prior to the virtual event.

New Mexico businesses are encouraged to apply for a chance to be featured on the Good Food Foundation Virtual Mercantile Event Wednesday, May 26. Pecans – a New Mexico-grown specialty crop – is an eligible product. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

New Mexico companies should click here to apply to be featured on the Good Food Foundation Virtual Mercantile Event. For more information, please email zbarela@nmda.nmsu.edu.

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New Mexico Department of Agriculture to host Healthy Soil Program virtual listening sessions


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

March 9, 2021

New Mexico Department of Agriculture to host Healthy Soil Program virtual listening sessions

Eligible Entities, farmers and ranchers invited to participate

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Healthy Soil Program is hosting four virtual listening sessions in an effort to gather input, encourage soil health project ideas and discuss grant application steps.

Eligible Entity leaders and representatives – as well as farmers and ranchers who are members of the Eligible Entities’ communities – are invited to participate. As defined in the 2019 Healthy Soil Act, Eligible Entities include tribes, nations and pueblos; land grants and acequias; Soil and Water Conservation Districts; and New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service.

The strip-till conservation system aligns with the Healthy Soil Act’s basic soil health principles. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is hosting four virtual listening sessions for its Healthy Soil Program in an effort to gather input, encourage soil health project ideas and discuss grant application steps. (Photo courtesy of New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

The listening sessions are designed to hear from Eligible Entity communities and the farmers and ranchers within them:

  • Tuesday, March 23: Nations, tribes and pueblos.
  • Thursday, March 25: Land grants and acequias.
  • Tuesday, March 30: Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
  • Thursday, April 1: NMSU Cooperative Extension Service.

To view times and to register for a listening session, please go to: https://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/nmda-homepage/divisions/apr/healthy-soil-program/.

“We are focusing on specific Eligible Entity communities during each session, so those individuals may be heard,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “We aim to improve upon the entire Healthy Soil Program process every year. The listening sessions will allow us to gather input regarding the program, to encourage soil health project ideas and to discuss the next steps, including applying for grant funding using our new web-based process.”

NMDA will host a final session for all Eligible Entity types in mid-May. During that session, NMDA staff will introduce the new web-based application that Eligible Entities and farmers/ranchers will use to apply for a Healthy Soil Program grant.

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 hosting four virtual listening sessions for its Healthy Soil Program in an effort to gather input, encourage soil health project ideas and discuss grant application steps. (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 named in the Healthy Soil Act: keeping the soil covered; minimizing soil disturbance on cropland and minimizing external inputs; maximizing biodiversity; maintaining a living root; and integrating animals into land management, including grazing animals, birds, beneficial insects or keystone species, such as earthworms.

Created in 2019, the purpose of the Healthy Soil Program 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.

For more information, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu, email hsp@nmda.nmsu.edu or call 575-646-2642.

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