Tag Archives: New Mexico agriculture

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

###

AgriFuture returns June 21


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)

April 19, 2021

AgriFuture returns June 21

Shortened event returns in virtual format, highlighting New Mexico products

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español.

LAS CRUCES – The taste of New Mexico cuisine is one like no other. That’s why this summer, you are invited to indulge in and learn all about New Mexico homegrown and -made products, all from the comfort of your own home.

A shortened version of the AgriFuture Educational Institute will take place from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Monday, June 21. The conference, which is typically a biennial in-person event, will be presented in a virtual format this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with hopes of returning to the full conference in 2022. Registration is $15 per attendee, and the deadline to register is 5 p.m. Thursday, May 13. For more information and for registration details, visit https://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/agrifuture/.

Graphic of turquoise box with lid open and the word AgriFuture
The 2021 AgriFuture Educational Institute is a creative way for those interested in production agriculture to become immersed in the industry over a virtual format. The AgriFuture event will take place on June 21 at 4 p.m.

AgriFuture is a collaborative event hosted by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and numerous other organizations and agricultural agencies that gives those interested in being a part of the future of agriculture a chance to connect with and learn from current New Mexico agricultural producers. Typically hosted in even-numbered years, the 2020 event was postponed.

Past participant Matthew Denetclaw said that attending the 2018 AgriFuture Conference helped him gain valuable knowledge that he would go on to implement later in his career.

“When I landed my dream career working in agriculture and governmental affairs close to home at the Intertribal Agriculture Council, the privilege of attending the AgriFuture Educational Institute proved to be extremely valuable in building my network with fellow peers and professional mentors, creating a seamless transition in building collaborative relationships that will enhance the future of New Mexico agriculture,” said Denetclaw.

Denetclaw currently works as a technical assistance specialist for the Intertribal Agriculture Council.

Shelby Herrera, who currently serves as the program coordinator of recruitment & retention in the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, recommends AgriFuture to college students.

“As a college student at the time, the AgriFuture Conference was a great opportunity for me to connect with potential employers and colleagues, all while advancing my knowledge of the agricultural industry and learning how I could be involved after graduation,” said Herrera. “I would highly recommend attending this conference to all students!”

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte has been involved with the conference since its inception.

“The AgriFuture concept was born to showcase opportunities in production agriculture,” said Witte. “This year’s event continues that tradition, while using a virtual format.” 

This year, the planning committee has come up with an innovative way to engage attendees despite being unable to gather in person. Attendees will receive an Enchanted NM Box prior to the event that will contain a number of New Mexico agricultural products as part of an interactive component. Attendees will be able to sample products from multiple industries of production agriculture in New Mexico, all while learning more about the various industries from producers and about how their marketing strategies changed during the pandemic.

A hand holding a turquoise box with words "Enchanted NM Box" in front of a door to a home
The Enchanted NM Boxes that 2021 AgriFuture participants receive will spotlight a handful of unique New Mexico-made products meant to both enjoy and educate. The AgriFuture event will take place on June 21 at 4 p.m.

“Success in production agriculture means you have to connect to the consumer among many things,” said Witte. “This year the AgriFuture event will provide an inside look at connecting from farm to consumer. We are excited to showcase how New Mexico products can reach the consumer through this hands-on virtual session. Expect a good time, while learning about direct marketing, AND enjoying some great products.”

 ###

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