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New Ways to Connect with Food Producers

by Mike White,
President New Mexico Farm &Livestock Bureau

New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau strives to represent all of agriculture in our state – large, small, crops, livestock, conventional and organic. We represent wine growers, ranchers, cotton and wool producers.  We advocate for dairy families and alfalfa, wheat, chile and onion farmers. We support pecan, pistachio, peanut and apple growers. We are agriculture in New Mexico.

And New Mexicans love agriculture.  From the open space and scenic vistas, to the boost in the arm agriculture provides to rural areas, our state’s citizens recognize the value of farms, ranches and dairies. In fact, as we all become more passionate foodies, New Mexico’s farmers, ranchers and dairy producers have benefited significantly from the “Eat Local” movement. A renewed interest in where and how food is grown has put a focus on some of our favorite items such as chile, pecans, beef and milk. As consumers look for locally grown products they find producers who are also neighbors. Shoppers begin to recognize the value of area agriculture, appreciate New Mexico’s long agricultural traditions, and develop a relationship with our state’s food producers.

In our Spring issue available online at you’ll find a story about one of Albuquerque’s leaders in the Eat Local movement, Skarsgard Farms. Monte Skarsgard has combined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model with a farmers’ market approach to create a unique hybrid that is growing by leaps and bounds.

Speaking of growing, Nery Martinez is an organic grower in the northern part of the state who was recently recognized as the Young Organic Farmer of the Year. Considering that over 600 people attended the recent New Mexico Organic Farming Conference, it is safe to say there is a significant interest in this method of agriculture.

We know that all farming depends on water. Studies have shown that while use of agricultural water is down, productivity of agricultural goods is up. This demonstrates that farmers are doing a great job of conserving water. One of the ways they’re accomplishing this is through drip irrigation. This issue features the advantages of drip systems and how they’re being used to grow your favorite foods.

Finally, thank you for your membership.  We appreciate your help in ensuring a successful future for agriculture in New Mexico.