by Rex Wilson
New Mexico Cattle Grower's Association President's Message
Dear Fellow Cattlemen,
The moisture situation remains good as we head into winter. Hopefully our prayers for rain and snow will be answered into the New Year.
We got a reprieve on the looming wolf issue via the government shutdown. The Albuquerque public hearing is on November 20 and our comments aren’t due until December 17. But that doesn’t mean we should wait until the 16th to think about them. I cannot encourage you strongly enough to participate in both the hearing and written comments. While the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association (NMCGA) and other trade organizations do our best to represent our members and the entire agricultural community, there is nothing to replace your personal efforts in these situations.
We have been told repeatedly that if canned comments are sent in they will be considered as only one comment no matter how many are sent in. That means that we cannot write a general set of comments for each of our members to send in. We need you to tell your own personal story about what wolves have done, or will do, to you, your family, your wildlife, your community and everything around you.
To help you get started, the NMCGA officers and staff will create a short set of questions to provide you some help in getting your personal story on the record. Those will be distributed via email, posted on the website at www.nmagriculture.org , and on Facebook. If you need them by regular mail, we can accommodate that too, just let the office know and we will get them to you. Please just stand for your rights and for all our rights.
There is hope on the Lesser Prairie Chicken that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service endorsement of the Five-States Conservation Plan will alleviate the desire for an endangered species listing. This was a groundbreaking effort that could lead to a whole new way to look at species conservation. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the state wildlife directors from New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas. Without their valiant efforts this plan may not have been possible.
It is with deep regret that we say goodbye to former New Mexico Department of Game & Fish Executive Director Jim Lane. He has been responsible for the path toward rebuilding trust between the landowner and land managers of our state as well as the hunting community. We appreciate all of the work Jim has done during his tenure at the Game Department.
We are fortunate that R.J. Kirkpatrick has stepped in to take the reins of the Department. We have worked with R.J. for many years and look forward to continuing to enhance working relationships with the folks who care for wildlife every day.
Convention is around the corner and I hope you have already made plans to be there. We have a tremendous group of sponsors who have been generous in making sure that we can keep the convention affordable for ranch families. There will be a great line of speakers and there is never a shortage of issues for us to address in the Policy & Resolution Sessions that will follow each of the General Sessions. If you have policy or resolutions to bring forward that is the place to do that.
I am proud to report that we are just about 10 members away from fulfilling the goal we set nearly two years ago. YOU could be the one who pushes over the mark! If you are not already a member, please join. Or, please ask just one more friend, neighbor or business associate to join today.
Safe travels and I hope to see you in December at the Convention.
Sincerely, Rex Wilson