Category Archives: NMDA News and Hot Topics

New Mexico Department of Agriculture accepting Healthy Soil Program grant applications until May 12, 2022


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Kristie Garcia
Director of Public Affairs, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu 
Office: 575-646-2804
Cell: 575-339-5011

April 25, 2022

New Mexico Department of Agriculture accepting Healthy Soil Program grant applications until May 12, 2022

 Potential applicants encouraged to act quickly

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 until Thursday, May 12.

Potential applicants include Eligible Entities and Individual Applicants. Eligible Entities are defined in the 2019 Healthy Soil Act as “local governmental [entities] with proven land management capacity to support healthy soil” and include pueblos, tribes, and nations; land grants; acequias; soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs); and New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service. Individual Applicants include farmers, ranchers, and other land managers, as well as businesses and nonprofits engaged in farming, ranching or other forms of land management.

To launch the 8-week application period for fiscal year 2023, NMDA hosted two webinars March 18 to demonstrate how to complete the application for a Healthy Soil Program grant. Recordings of those webinars, along with all application materials, are available on the NMDA Healthy Soil Page web page.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. Thursday, May 12. Late applications will not be accepted.

Close-up of two rows of a green, leafy crop with adequate space between the two rows.
The strip-till conservation system aligns with the Healthy Soil Act’s basic soil health principles. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting fiscal year 2023 grant applications from March 18 to May 12, 2022, for its Healthy Soil Program, which was created in the 2019 Healthy Soil Act. (Photo courtesy of New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

The Healthy Soil Program 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.

Grant funding may be used for on-the-ground 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.

A field of rows of a tall green crop on the right and left sides, with several rows of a yellowish-brown dormant crop in between.
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 fiscal year 2023 grant applications from March 18 to May 12, 2022, for its Healthy Soil Program, which was created in the 2019 Healthy Soil Act. (Photo courtesy of New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

Individual Applicants must have a certified conservation plan to apply for a Healthy Soil Program grant. NMDA advises Individual Applicants to contact their local service center of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to initiate the conservation planning process. Individual Applicants who cannot complete conservation planning by the May 12 application deadline can apply for the Conservation Planning Opportunity instead. NMDA will provide a limited number of such applicants the opportunity to work with a technical service provider to complete a conservation plan in accordance with NRCS standards. 

“We can’t overstate the important role that conservation planning plays within the Healthy Soil Program, at least as far as Individual Applicants are concerned,” said New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte. “The conservation planning process reveals to land managers what exactly is occurring on their land, so they know the state of their soil health and what activities can help them improve it.”

NMDA strongly recommends that Individual Applicants make themselves known as soon as possible to their SWCD or pueblo, tribe, or nation that will support their project.

Visit the NMDA Healthy Soil Program web page for more information and to apply.

###

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

 

 

Grant funding available for New Mexico organic operations


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

April 12, 2022

Grant funding available for New Mexico organic operations

New Mexico Organic Farming Conference to award grants

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – Educational grant opportunities are now being offered to New Mexico organic producers through the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference (NMOFC). This opportunity comes in lieu of the traditional conference, which is no longer being offered. Instead, organic producers may apply to receive grant scholarships. These funds will be distributed in an effort to support educational opportunities and advance organic production knowledge and education through conference or workshop attendance.

While the conference is not being offered in 2022, New Mexico Organic Farming Conference committee member Sage Faulkner said it’s still important that organic producers in the state are granted educational and informational opportunities.

“I think it is really important that the organic farmers of New Mexico continue to network and look at new and exciting ideas in the organic production realm,” said Faulkner, on behalf of the NMOFC committee. “The committee is dedicated to ensuring a continuing successful organic community, and these grants will hopefully provide some meaningful opportunities for organic producers in our industry.” 

Rows of organically grown chile plants inside a sunlit greenhouse.
This organic chile operation is one of the many that may be found in New Mexico. Grant funds from the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference are available to organic producers for educational purposes in 2022. (Photo credit: New Mexico Organic Farming Conference)

Up to 18 scholarships will be granted to separate applicants, at up to $1,500 per applicant. Awards will be granted to applicants no more than one time per year, however, more than one applicant may come from a singular organic-producing farm. Scholarship funds are only applicable for organic educational programs in the continental U.S. Funding may be used for both in-person and virtual events. NMOFC committee members and their families are not eligible for funding.

If you are interested in applying for a grant scholarship to fund an organic educational program, please email NMOFC@mail.com to request an application. Applications are reviewed monthly by the NMOFC committee and will be accepted and reviewed until all funding is allocated and distributed.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) also has a number of organic program resources available to producers in the state. NMDA staff is dedicated to ongoing organic education, support and promotion of all new and continuing New Mexico organic operations. To schedule a consultation or learn more about organic operations within the state, visit the Organic Program page on the NMDA website.

###

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

Chile Labor Incentive Program funding available


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Kristie Garcia
Director of Public Affairs, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu 
Office: 575-646-2804
Cell: 575-339-5011

April 8, 2022

Chile Labor Incentive Program funding available

Haga clic aquí para español.

LAS CRUCES – As part of the fiscal year 2023 state budget signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in March, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture received $1,000,000 in appropriations to continue the Chile Labor Incentive Program, which was created by the governor in August 2021 to assist chile farmers and processors.

The program supports chile farmers and processors by supplementing the wages of workers to incentivize hiring and retention of the seasonal workforce necessary to harvest and process New Mexico chile crops.

The deadline for all applications is May 1, 2025, and funds will be disbursed on a first-come-first-serve basis until the allocated funds have been fully utilized.

Bright red chile pepper pods are visible on plants in a crop field.
As part of the fiscal year 2023 state budget signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in March, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture received $1,000,000 in appropriations to continue the Chile Labor Incentive Program. The intent of the program is to support both the chile farmers and chile processors in their effort to incentivize hiring and retention of the seasonal workforce necessary to harvest and process New Mexico chile crops from the 2021 harvest season through the 2024 harvest season, or until funding has been exhausted. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

“By having the Chile Labor Incentive Program funding available, we will be able to continue assisting the chile industry by distributing the labor-wage supplemental funding as needed in order to ensure the crop is harvested and processed,” said New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte.

Approximately $2.8 million in support was successfully delivered to New Mexico chile growers and harvesters after Gov. Lujan Grisham created the Chile Labor Incentive Program in August 2021 in response to labor shortages reported by the industry.

“The Chile Labor Incentive Program provided much needed relief to members of our industry and their ability to harvest and process chile during the 2021 season,” said Travis Day, New Mexico Chile Association Executive Director. “We are thankful to see the program continue providing further relief for our industry, while we work toward long-term solutions to address labor shortage issues.”

Funding application information is available on the New Mexico Department of Agriculture website.

###

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

AgriFuture event registration deadline fast approaching


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NMDA Contact: Brandon Larrañaga
Communications Assistant, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
blarranaga@nmda.nmsu.edu 
575-646-1864
March 29, 2022

AgriFuture event registration deadline fast approaching

April 7 last day to register for agriculture education and networking event

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

ALBUQUERQUE – The AgriFuture Educational Institute is returning to New Mexico, and the deadline to register is rapidly approaching. The three-day event will take place at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque May 17-19. The last day to register for AgriFuture is Thursday, April 7. To register for the event, visit the AgriFuture page on the New Mexico Department of Agriculture website.

The registration fee for “Future Ag Producers” – registrants that are students or newly entering the agriculture industry workforce – is $50, which includes a two-night hotel stay. The registration fee for “Current Ag Producers/Mentors” is $100 and does not include the two-night hotel stay.

Additionally, the first 150 registrants will receive copies of the book Connectable: How Leaders Can Move Teams From Isolated to All In by Ryan Jenkins and Steven Van Cohen. Jenkins, an internationally acclaimed speaker and author, is slated as one of the event’s keynote speakers. Tim “The Dairy Farmer” Moffett, a third-generation farmer and an accomplished agricultural speaker and comedian will also be a keynote speaker at AgriFuture.

These keynote speakers are not the only highlight of AgriFuture. The conference consists of a multitude of panels and breakout sessions, each specifically catered to address relevant issues and aspects of the agriculture industry- especially for those that may be relatively new agriculture practitioners. The list of sessions and topics featured at AgriFuture include:

  • Farm-to-Table Reception Led by New Mexico–Taste the Tradition Chef Ambassador Rocky Durham
  • Future of Agriculture
  • Opportunities for Military Families and Veterans
  • Financial Management
  • Generations of Agriculturalists: The Louis Family from the Pueblo of Acoma
  • Experiences with Using Agencies
  • Food Hubs
  • Marketing Your Agribusiness
  • Transition and Land Succession
  • Stress Management
  • Opportunities for Getting Started
A blue and orange colored logo that reads “AgriFuture: Traditional Values + Digital Connections”
The registration deadline for the AgriFuture Educational Institute is Thursday, April 7. AgriFuture 2022 will be held from Tuesday, May 17 to Thursday, May 19 in Albuquerque.

Each of these topics will be extensively covered by panels of experts with countless years of combined experience in their respective fields. A number of agencies host the event, including Dairy Producers of New Mexico, Farm Credit of New Mexico, New Mexico Acequia Association, New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts, New Mexico Beef Council, New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, United States Department of Agriculture and many more.

AgriFuture serves as a unique opportunity to not only learn from, but network with professionals from a number of different fields in the agriculture industry. According to New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte, this opportunity is not one that should be taken for granted.

“AgriFuture is an incredible event that opens a number of doors in our industry, especially for younger, new agriculturalists,” said Witte. “I encourage all young ag practitioners and professionals, as well as anyone new entering the industry, to attend this conference. AgriFuture not only provides a chance to become established in this industry, but also a chance to collaborate with other passionate individuals and ensure stability in agriculture for future generations.”

AgriFuture aims to connect, inform and inspire the next generation of farmers, ranchers and all people involved in agriculture. The event is held during even numbered years and 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.

For more details on AgriFuture, including hotel information, detailed conference agenda, and a full list of sponsors, visit the AgriFuture webpage.

###

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

New Mexico Department of Agriculture plans pesticide disposal event in April


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

March 29, 2022

New Mexico Department of Agriculture plans pesticide disposal event in April

Free community event held in Albuquerque

Haga clic aquí para español.

ALBUQUERQUE ­– The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) will host a pesticide disposal event in Albuquerque Tuesday, April 12. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Helena Chemical, located at 6280 Desert Road SE.

This event is open to agricultural producers, licensed pesticide dealers, pest control companies, golf courses, farmers, ranchers, homeowners and any other members of the community that need to safely dispose of pesticides. These events come at no cost to participate. Any and all types of pesticide, treated seed or rinsate will be collected.

A forklift loads large containers on a flatbed trailer pulled by a pickup truck in a parking lot.
Pesticide containers are gathered for disposal on a trailer during a past pesticide disposal event. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture will host a pesticide disposal event in Albuquerque Tuesday, April 12. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

Held several times 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 Deming and Santa Rosa in October.

“We had two successful events this past fall in Deming and Santa Rosa,” said Stephen Baca, NMDA Agricultural & Environmental Services Assistant Division Director. “We hope we can replicate that with our upcoming spring event. Pesticide disposal should be handled in a safe, proper manner, and that’s why these events are critical. We want to assist as many people in the state as we can with this service and hope that homeowners, business owners, and all others with pesticides to dispose of in Albuquerque and the surrounding areas take advantage of this opportunity.”

A collection of large barrels and boxes stacked on palettes and grouped together in a parking lot.
Unwanted pesticides of all variety are amassed at a past pesticide disposal event. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture will host a pesticide disposal event in Albuquerque Tuesday, April 12. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

The amount collected at the Deming event (36,182 pounds) was the fifth-largest amount collected since NMDA began holding disposal events in 2007. Over the past 14 years, NMDA has partnered with recycling companies and hosts to hold these events, at which over 750,000 pounds of unwanted pesticides and their containers have been collected.

No registration is required to participate. Staff will direct the flow of traffic and obtain information as needed. Participants should not leave their vehicles unless otherwise instructed.

For more information on pesticide disposal events, please call 575-646-2134, email pesticides@nmda.nmsu.edu, or visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu/pesticides/.

###

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