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New Mexico State University

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NMSU hosts annual New Mexico Indian Livestock Days

LAGUNA, N.M. - What does enough grass to feed cattle look like? Is the water quality in a dirt catch pond good enough for the livestock? What is the proper way to handle cattle during vaccination?

These are a few of the questions that will be answered during hands-on sessions at New Mexico Indian Livestock Days, which will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, May 10-11 at Route 66 Casino Hotel, west of Albuquerque on Interstate 40.

New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service offers the annual conference to provide Native American livestock producers the latest information on managing their herds.

Each day's activities will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday's sessions include managing fertility in cows and bulls, trichomoniasis, grass feed, information about the beef council and a panel discussion on how to handle feral horses on the reservations.

"Feral horses are a huge problem on Navajo land and somewhat of a problem on the Laguna and Acoma reservations," said Kathy Landers, NMSU McKinley County Extension agriculture agent. "We have assembled a panel of people from various tribes to talk about what has worked and what didn't work for each tribe. This is going to be a sharing of ideas so people don't have to reinvent the wheel to deal with their feral horse problem."

A new conference feature will be hands-on workshops on range and water management, proper cattle handling techniques during vaccinations and horse care.

"Wednesday morning we are going to go to Laguna livestock producer John Romero's property and have three hands-on workshops," Landers said. "People have been asking for these types of programs."

For participants who wish to stay indoors, a session on business planning and estate planning will be held at the hotel.

"People are needing information about estate planning, but haven't really wanted to talk about it," Landers said. "It's something that needs to be discussed so families can be prepared for a smooth transfer of the farm or ranch to the next generation."

Wednesday afternoon will include a presentation on water quality and the latest information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Another new feature of the conference will be sessions at the end of each day for participants to visit with the day's presenters. These sessions will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and from 3:30 to 4:30 on Wednesday.

"These bull sessions are designed to give a person the opportunity to ask questions when they might not have wanted to raise their hand during the presentation's question-and-answer time," Landers said. "They can ask operation-specific questions and get some advice from the Extension specialists."

The registration fee for both days is $50. Single day registration is $30. Lunch is included both days. Deadline for program registration is April 22. Contact McKinley County Cooperation Extension Service at 505-863-3432 or go online at http://indianlivestock.nmsu.edu/ to register.