Category Archives: NMDA News and Hot Topics

NMDA 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
 
July 24, 2020

NMDA accepting Healthy Soil Program grant applications

 
Farmers and ranchers, Eligible Entities invited to apply
 
 
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. 
“Range”
Cattle graze on rangeland in New Mexico. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting Healthy Soil Program project grant proposals from Eligible Entities until Oct. 3 at 5 p.m. The program is a result of the Healthy Soil Act signed into law in April 2019. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)
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.
 
New Mexico farmers and ranchers interested in applying must do so by 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31 through an Eligible Entity, such as a Soil and Water Conservation District; a tribe, nation, or pueblo; or a land grant or acequia. Eligible Entities will conduct preliminary reviews of the applications they receive, then forward the applications they approve to NMDA by 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8. Eligible Entities are also invited to apply to NMDA on their own behalf; such applications are also due by 5 p.m. on Oct. 8. Late applications will not be accepted.
“Crop Closeup”
A crop in New Mexico thrives. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting Healthy Soil Program project grant proposals from Eligible Entities until Oct. 3 at 5 p.m. The program is a result of the Healthy Soil Act signed into law in April 2019. (Photo courtesy 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. “We received 84 applications as part of the pilot program last year. Based on feedback from applicants and Eligible Entities during the program’s first year, our team has made several improvements to the entire process.”
“Ranch”
Cattle roam on a New Mexico ranch. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting Healthy Soil Program project grant proposals from Eligible Entities until Oct. 3 at 5 p.m. The program is a result of the Healthy Soil Act signed into law in April 2019. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)
NMDA strongly recommends that farmers and ranchers who intend to apply make themselves known as soon as possible to the Eligible Entity through which they intend to apply.
 
For more information or to download a streamlined, fillable application, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu or call 575-646-2642.
 
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New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture appointed to USDA Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

July 23, 2020

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture appointed to USDA Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte was appointed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a new member of the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics (ACAS). Secretary Witte is one of 22 committee members who will represent a broad range of agricultural disciplines and interests.

The purpose of ACAS is to advise the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on the conduct of agricultural censuses and surveys.

ACAS members represent a variety of agricultural sectors across several U.S. states and districts allowing for a broad representation of perspectives on various agricultural disciplines. Secretary Witte will serve his term providing insight on a state-agency level.

Jeff Witte – Podium

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte was appointed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a new member of the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics (ACAS). The purpose of ACAS is to advise the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture and the National Agricultural Statistics Service on the conduct of agricultural censuses and surveys.

“It is a great honor to have been appointed by the USDA as a distinguished member of the ACAS,” said Secretary Witte. “I look forward to serving on this committee and having the opportunity to provide perspective as a state government agricultural agency to ensure that all agricultural activity is accurately recognized and accounted for.”

NASS New Mexico State Statistician Longino Bustillos believes Secretary Witte will be a valuable asset to the ACAS.

“I am very pleased to see that Jeff Witte has been selected to the USDA Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics,” Longino said. “As a native New Mexican, his broad knowledge will provide an informed view of the unique challenges – as well as the data needs – of farmers and ranchers in the southwest.”

Secretary Witte will serve as an ACAS member through June of 2022.

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Los Regentes de NMSU aprueban la enmienda propuesta por NMDA a la regla de Pienso Comercial


PARA DIFUSIÓN INMEDIATA:

18 de septiembre de 2020

Los Regentes de NMSU aprueban la enmienda propuesta por NMDA a la regla de Pienso Comercial

La enmienda aborda la nueva sección de la regla “Tasa del programa de esterilización”

Click here for the English version of this article.

LAS CRUCES – La Junta de Regentes de la Universidad Estatal de Nuevo México aprobó la enmienda propuesta a la regla de Pienso Comercial del Departamento de Agricultura de Nuevo México (NMDA) en su reunión ordinaria del 18 de septiembre.

Durante la sesión legislativa de 2020, se promulgó el proyecto de ley 57 del Senado “Tasa de alimentos para mascotas por Esterilización y Refugio.” Ésta enmendó la Ley de Pienso Comercial de Nuevo México (Sección 76-19A NMSA 1978), al agregar una nueva sección titulada “Tasa del programa de esterilización.” La legislación ordena que NMDA imponga una tasa adicional en el registro de alimentos para mascotas, específicamente para perros y gatos, para financiar el programa de asistencia de esterilización y la ley de refugio de animales.

 “Alimentos para mascotas”
La Junta de Regentes de la Universidad Estatal de Nuevo México aprobó la enmienda propuesta a la regla de Pienso Comercial del Departamento de Agricultura de Nuevo México en su reunión ordinaria del 18 de septiembre. Esta enmienda a la regla 21.18.3 NMAC, Pienso Comercial agrega nuevas definiciones y una nueva sección titulada “Tasa del programa de esterilización.” Durante la sesión legislativa de 2020, se promulgó el proyecto de ley 57 del Senado “Tasa de alimentos para mascotas por esterilización y refugio.” (Foto cortesía del Departamento de Agricultura de Nuevo México)

NMDA acogió una audiencia virtual el 29 de julio para recibir comentarios del público sobre una enmienda a la regla 21.18.3 NMAC, Pienso Comercial. Esta enmienda agrega nuevas definiciones y una nueva sección titulada “Tasa del programa de esterilización.”

La autoridad legal que autoriza la enmienda de la regla se otorga a la junta de regentes de la Universidad Estatal de Nuevo México bajo la Ley de Pienso Comercial de Nuevo México, Capítulo 76, Artículo 19A Secciones 1-17, Compilación NMSA 1978.

El texto completo de la enmienda a la regla está disponible en www.nmda.nmsu.edu/nmda-homepage/laws-regulations/.

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USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program deadline is Aug. 28


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

Michael S. White
State Executive Director, USDA–Farm Service Agency, New Mexico
Michael.White4@usda.gov
505-761-4900

July 17, 2020

USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program deadline is Aug. 28

New Mexico Agriculture Secretary encourages local producers to apply

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – It’s not too late for New Mexico farmers and ranchers to apply for financial relief as a result of impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. The deadline to apply for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is Friday, Aug. 28.

Applications from New Mexico producers should be submitted through USDA Farm Service Agency New Mexico offices. Contact information for local offices may be found at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap by scrolling to the bottom of the page.

“We want to make sure New Mexico producers are aware of this much-needed program,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “We have all endured challenging times during this pandemic, and farmers and ranchers are resilient. They have and will continue to provide food and other resources for New Mexicans. We encourage producers to reach out to our partners at the USDA FSA New Mexico offices to start the process.”

Lettuce
The deadline to apply for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is Aug. 28, 2020. Producers of crops, such as lettuce in New Mexico, are eligible for payments if certain eligibility criteria are met. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

USDA-FSA will assist individuals with completing their application via phone, email, fax, mail or online tools. Also, a CFAP call center has been established for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee.

“New Mexico agriculture has endured hardships in the past, and we know our farmers and ranchers are facing a tough time now,” said USDA-FSA New Mexico Executive Director Michael S. White. “We are making every effort to provide much needed support as quickly as possible. The CFAP financial assistance gives New Mexico farmers and ranchers the ability to absorb some of their lost sales and increased marketing costs associated with the economic havoc caused by the global pandemic. We strongly encourage all farmers and ranchers to apply for these funds to help support their operation.”

While New Mexico has 25,044 farms and ranches as reported in the most recent Agriculture Census, only 2,356 applications have been received as of July 15. According to the USDA-FSA New Mexico office, over $61 million in payments have been disbursed to New Mexico producers as of July 15.

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NMDA takes innovative approaches to serve the public amid COVID-19 pandemic


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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

July 13, 2020

NMDA takes innovative approaches to serve the public amid COVID-19 pandemic

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – New Mexico’s agriculture industry provides many resources that are crucial to the state’s communities and economy. To ensure these resources remain available to the public, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is taking innovative approaches to continue offering services while adhering to the state’s public health emergency orders and COVID-Safe Practices.

Many of NMDA’s services normally provided in person, such as licensure trainings, have temporarily been moved to an online format. Necessary in-person activities, including certain inspections by NMDA field staff, have continued with use of proper personal protective equipment and social distancing procedures.

Livestock Scale
The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is taking innovative approaches to continue offering services – such as livestock scale inspections – during the pandemic, while adhering to the state’s public health emergency orders and COVID-Safe Practices. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

“Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, we at NMDA have dedicated ourselves to finding and creating innovative avenues that allow us to continue providing services necessary to commerce,” New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte said. “Virtual trainings and classes, as well as routine inspections, are just a few of the activities that remain available to our constituents.”

Some of the many services NMDA continues to provide include the following:

Dairy: Dairy inspections have been conducted routinely. Milk hauler certification classes can be completed virtually.

Hemp: Hemp cultivation license applications are continually processed.

Laboratory operations: Laboratory operations and sample testing within the NMDA Metrology Lab, Petroleum Standards Lab, State Chemist Lab and State Seed Lab have continued. Before submitting samples or artifacts for calibration, please call 575-646-1551.

Market news: NMDA continues to provide livestock and grain market news data. This was made true under a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture.

Organic program: The NMDA Organic Program continues to provide United States Department of Agriculture/National Organic Program-accredited organic certifications. These are for farmers, ranchers and processors/handlers throughout New Mexico.

Peanut inspections: All necessary services and operations have continued at the NMDA Peanut Grading Station in Portales.

Peanuts
The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is taking innovative approaches to continue offering services – including operations at the peanut grading station in Portales – during the pandemic, while adhering to the state’s public health emergency orders and COVID-Safe Practices. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

Pecan weevil: Pecan nut pest insect surveillance has continued. The pecan weevil residential program in quarantined counties will proceed as scheduled.

Pesticide applicator certifications: Temporary drive-up pesticide applicator certification testing sessions have been offered on a needed basis. The drive-up procedure was originally implemented as a result of limited computer-based testing sites in Las Cruces and Portales due to closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The procedure allows applicants to complete exams required for licensure to work in industries including agriculture and pest management. This is a temporary service and not intended as a replacement to the testing services that were in place prior to the pandemic.

Produce inspections: Agriculture commodity graders have continued routine produce inspections.

Produce safety: Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Workshops are available virtually. The workshops are geared toward produce growers who must comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act – Produce Rule requirements as well as those looking to enhance their knowledge in farm food safety and agricultural practices.

Public hearing: NMDA will host a virtual hearing July 29 at 9 a.m. to receive public input on an amendment to the 21.18.3 NMAC, Commercial Feed rule. This amendment adds a new section titled “Spay and Neuter Program Fee.”

Scale and fuel pump inspections: Inspections of livestock scales, large capacity scales, fuel pumps and petroleum sampling have continued. Other scale inspections have continued to take place where proper social distancing is feasible.

Veterinary diagnostic services: NMDA’s Veterinary Diagnostic Services Division in Albuquerque continues to maintain normal diagnostic analysis of animal specimens either on a referral basis from veterinarians and agencies or directly from animal owners and industry to determine the cause of deaths or to identify diseases.

VDS
The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is taking innovative approaches to continue offering services during the pandemic, while adhering to the state’s public health emergency orders and COVID-Safe Practices. NMDA’s Veterinary Diagnostic Services Division in Albuquerque continues to maintain normal diagnostic analysis of animal specimens on a referral basis from veterinarians and agencies to determine the cause of deaths or to identify diseases. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

NMDA’s agriculture biosecurity staff has also been heavily involved with the state’s emergency operations center (EOC) during the pandemic, spending the majority of the time at the EOC since the state’s initial public health emergency order went into effect in March. The NMDA Office of Agriculture Biosecurity strives to protect New Mexico agriculture’s critical infrastructure. This is accomplished through planning, training and, when necessary, assisting in the response to all-hazard events. Whether it has been helping secure food, animal feed, or personal protective equipment, the ag biosecurity staff continues to assist with logistical needs.

For more information regarding NMDA’s ongoing services, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu, email nmagsec@nmda.nmsu.edu or call 575-646-3007.

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