Writer: Jane Moorman, (505) 249-0527, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALCALDE, N.M. - Helping Native American and Northern New Mexico agricultural producers become aware of federal agricultural programs is the goal of the New Mexico Pueblo and Community Agriculture Conference, scheduled for April 15-16 at the Santa Fe County Extension Office, 3229 Rodeo Road, Santa Fe.
Specialists from New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service will present the latest information on raising crops and livestock.
The first day of the conference will focus on forage, crops and fruit production, with presentations in components of healthy soils, fruit and berry varieties appropriate for Northern New Mexico, marketing strategies, integrated pest management strategies, vegetable production in Northern New Mexico, and weed control in hay fields.
The second day will focus on livestock production with presentations on principles of range management, beef cattle nutrition, irrigated pastures, raising a home sheep flock, keeping beef cattle healthy, and horse care and health.
Representatives from various United States Department of Agriculture agencies will be present to inform participants about services and programs available to agricultural producers.
"The 2007 USDA census of agriculture better reflects the number of Native American operators and farms in New Mexico. There was a 1,056 percent increase in the number of Native American farms reported in 2007 compared to the 2002 census, from 403 in 2002 to 4,660 in 2007," said Edmund Gomez, director of NMSU's Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project.
"Because of the efforts of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service to reach Native American farmers and ranchers, program funding for this community is expected to increase based on conversations with USDA officials and our New Mexico Congressional delegation," Gomez said.
While the data from the 2007 census of agriculture will be used for the 2012 Farm Bill, Gomez said there are many new programs in the 2007 Farm Bill that could impact the New Mexico Native American agricultural producer.
"One aspect of this year's pueblo agriculture conference is to let the producers know about programs offered by the National Resource Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency," Gomez said.
The registration fee, if paid by April 8, will be $15 for two days. Registration for one day, pre-event and at the door, will be $10 per day.
"Pre-registration is important to ensure that adequate seating space and meals are available," Gomez said. "That is why we are asking people to either call our offices at (505) 852-2668, or mail their registration to us at NMSU CES/RAIPAP, P.O. Box 159, Alcalde, NM 87511, attention Augusta Archuleta."
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