Agricultural listening session, drought strategies workshop slated for May 31 in Belen

By Jane Moorman

New Mexico State University

Belen will be the next stop for the agricultural listening sessions held by New Mexico’s top agricultural leaders.

New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Dean Rolando A. Flores and New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte will host the session from 6 to 8 p.m. May 31 at the City of Belen Convention Center, 719 S. Main Street in Belen.

The listening session will follow a day-long workshop on drought strategies for livestock and a free dinner.

“As representatives of NMSU we address the agricultural needs through research, teaching and Extension,” Flores said. “The best way to know about the agricultural issues is to listen to the stakeholders in the state.”

“We look forward to meeting with New Mexico residents in the Middle Rio Grande region and listening to their concerns,” Witte said. “The listening sessions provide New Mexicans with the opportunity to engage in face-to-face conversation with us, while allowing us to answer questions they may have regarding agriculture in our state.”

This year’s first listening session was held in Roswell on March 28. Topics ranged from the education of future agricultural leaders to agricultural projects that will be included in the state general obligation bond in November.

“There were a number of concerns raised that are best addressed at the federal level, however, it is important to have those discussions, so I can help carry the issues to other agencies and push to address the concerns,” Witte said.

Prior to the listening session, the Drought Strategies for Livestock workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It will include the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District irrigation outlook, drought monitoring and climate expectations, and updates from the U.S Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency programs, as well as information about herd management and rangeland stocking.

To register online for the Drought Strategies for Livestock workshop visit

“We hope people will stay for dinner and attend the agriculture listening session,” said Newt McCarty, NMSU Extension agricultural agent in Valencia County. “This day’s discussions will be beneficial in many ways.”

For more information, call McCarty at 505-565-3002.