New Mexico Department of Agriculture

State program that certifies organic farms, ranches,
other food/ag businesses turns 25

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the state program that inspects and certifies farms, ranches, and other New Mexico businesses that want to label their food and agricultural products as organic.

In 1991, the New Mexico Legislature created the Organic Commodity Commission.  It became known as the Organic Program in 2011 when the legislature relocated the program to NMDA.  The Organic Program offers nationally accredited organic certification for farmers, ranchers, and food processors throughout New Mexico, as well as application and marketing assistance.

NMDA’s Organic Program is among three entities coordinating and hosting what’s become the best-attended agricultural conference in the state.  The 2016 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference happens Friday and Saturday, February 19 and 20, at the Marriott Albuquerque Pyramid North.

Learn more about NMDA’s Organic Program, as well as the upcoming organic farming conference, here.

tiny AgriFuture

SAVE THE DATE for #AgriFuture!  And stay tuned for event updates.

AgriFuture aims to inform, inspire, and connect the next generation of farmers, ranchers, and other food producers.  The 2016 AgriFuture Educational Institute builds on the success of the inaugural event held in Albuquerque in 2014.


Deadline for Livestock Owners Affected by Snowstorm Goliath
to Apply to USDA for Potential Loss Coverage

Posted December 30, 2015 / Updated February 5, 2016

Dairy farmers, ranchers, and other livestock owners whose animals have been impacted by recent snowstorms in New Mexico are encouraged to contact their county office of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) as soon as possible to make their losses known.  FSA may be able to help such producers cover some of their financial losses.

Additional details from FSA’s New Mexico Office:

If the livestock died in 2015, that is a 2015 loss.  The deadline to file an application for payment for this year was initially February 1, 2016, but the Washington, DC, office of FSA has since extended it to March 31, 2016.

If the livestock died in 2016, this is a 2016 loss, giving the producer until January 30, 2017 to file an application for payment.

An affected producer must still call the county office within 30 days of the date he/she realized his/her livestock died.


Nine-year-old Kaleb Rodriguez grew this 14-pound head of cabbage last year. He earned a $1,000 college scholarship from Bonnie Plants, the national company whose greenhouses supply vegetable, herb, and flower plants to retailers across the country.

Nine-year-old Kaleb Rodriguez won a $1,000 scholarship from Bonnie Plants after growing this 14-pound head of cabbage last year.

 Carlsbad kid grows giant cabbage, wins some cabbage for college

After growing a 14-pound head of cabbage last season, one elementary school student in Carlsbad has added $1,000 to the account for his future college expenses.

Kaleb Rodriguez, a nine-year-old 4th grader at Pate Elementary School, was honored at a school assembly last week with the presentation of a $1,000 scholarship from Bonnie Plants, a national producer of vegetable, herb, and flower plants.  Mark Alvarado of the Bonnie Plants greenhouse in McIntosh, N.M., presented the award during a student assembly at Kaleb’s school.

Kaleb’s name was drawn from among several finalists in New Mexico who each successfully grew a large cabbage last year while in 3rd grade.  Those students – and others like them across the country – each started out with a two-inch transplant provided at no cost by Bonnie Plants.  The company awards a $1,000 scholarship to one cabbage-growing student in each state, each year.

Learn more about the skills Bonnie Plants’ 3rd Grade Cabbage Program aims to give young people.


Photo credit: Jay Hill Photography

Photo credit: Jay Hill Photography

New Mexico’s 2014 agricultural statistics released

Each year, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture works with USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service to publish a new round of data that shows what agricultural items are being produced commercially in New Mexico, what they’re worth in their raw form (agricultural items take on additional value when they’re processed, such as when chile is turned into enchilada sauce), and more.

Browse the most recent data set, which points back to 2014.


Register for the “Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture” community meetings

Beginning December 2015 and continuing through March 2016, New Mexico First and New Mexico State University’s County Extension Service will convene a diverse group of agriculture stakeholders at 11 meetings across the state to identify industry trends, challenges and solutions.

Learn more about these meetings and reserve a seat at the one nearest you.

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