November 2015

Agricultural Newsbites – November 2015


Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Regional Meetings

It takes a diverse network of farmers, ranchers, processors, distributors and market organizers to make a difference in the future of agriculture. New Mexico 1st, a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to build consensus among groups and inspire legislative action, is organizing a series of meetings around New Mexico to discuss ideas for ensuring a robust food and agriculture system in the state.


Eleven meetings are scheduled from December through March to bring together agriculture stakeholders to identify industry trends, challenges and solutions. The stakeholders New Mexico 1st is seeking include farmers and ranchers, commercial producers and marketers (e.g., those that process, store, distribute or market agricultural products), educators and researchers, government employees (e.g., extension agents, those engaged with water and environmental policy, food safety, etc.), financial lenders and grant makers (e.g., bankers or philanthropists), advocates, policymakers and consumers.


The meetings will take place in Albuquerque–Jan. 13; Crownpoint (tribal)–March 3; Española (northern pueblos)–Feb. 10; Farmington–March 2; Laguna (southern pueblos)–Jan. 14; Las Cruces–Jan. 7; Roswell–Dec. 2; Shiprock (tribal)–March 4; Silver City–Jan. 15; Taos–Feb. 11; and Tucumcari–March 9.


Lunch will be served at each meeting. There is no registration fee, but registration is requested. To learn more, call 505.225.2140, email or visit


Agritourism Conference in Albuquerque Nov. 12-14
Agricultural businesses looking for alternative ways to diversify their operations and bring in additional income might want to consider agritourism. This industry, which is widespread in the United States, offers activities for agritourists, such as picking fruit and vegetables, riding horses, tasting honey and learning about wine- and cheese-making, as well as shopping in farm gift stores and farm stands for local and regional produce or hand-crafted gifts.


The 2015 New Mexico Agritourism Conference will take place Nov. 12 to 14 at the MCM Hotel Elegante, 2020 Menaul Blvd. in Albuquerque. New Mexico State University’s Small Farm and Ranch Task Force is hosting the conference, which, on Nov. 12, will include tours of several agritourism operations in the Albuquerque area.


A general session will be held the mornings of Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13 and 14, with breakout sessions Friday afternoon. Topics will include successful methods of agritourism and how to build a business brand, how to deal with liability issues, how to build relationships with similar producers to develop festival events, marketing and promotion. Session tracks will include cultural and educational tourism, farm diversification, expanding direct marketing and dude ranch, bed & breakfast and recreational vehicle operations. Registration at the door will be $150. For more information or to register, call 505.983.4615 or 505.852.2668 or visit


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