Monday News Roundup: Number Of Young Farmers Rising In New Mexico

Feb 24, 2014

 Number Of Young Farmers Rising In New Mexico - The Associated Press

A new government survey shows New Mexico has more farms and ranches than it did five years ago.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture survey also shows the state has seen significant increases in the number of young and minority farmers in recent years.

State Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte says he's glad to see a wider diversity of people getting into farming and ranching across the state. He says that diversity will help create more opportunity.

The 2012 agriculture census shows there are more than 24,700 farms and ranches in New Mexico, an 18 percent increase since 2007. That bucks a long-term national trend that has seen the number of U.S. farms drop. Meanwhile, the amount of land for farming in the state has remained steady at about 43.2 million acres.

The survey also found that the number of minority-operated farms rose in the last five years, especially in the Hispanic community. The number of Hispanic-operated farms climbed from about 6,400 to more than 9,300.

The value of New Mexico agriculture products in 2012 came to $2.6 billion, a 17 percent jump from 2007.


New Mexico Rep. Anna Crook Of Clovis To Retire  - The Associated Press and Clovis News Journal

Republican Rep. Anna Crook is retiring after 20 years of serving in New Mexico's House of Representatives.

The Clovis News Journal reports that Crook announced Saturday that she would not run for re-election.

She plans to serve on her legislative committees until Dec. 31.

Crook represents District 64, which includes Clovis and Curry County.

Crook says it's been a wonderful experience but it's time to let someone else do it.

She counts pushing a 2011 bill that allowed farmers to sell irrigation water among her accomplishments.

Clovis City Commissioner Randy Crowder and Wade Lopez, a previous candidate, say they plan to seek the Republican nomination for her seat in the June 3 primary election.


Technology Keeps US-Mexico Border School In Touch - The Associated Press and Las Cruces Sun News

A southwestern New Mexico school by the U.S.-Mexico border is using technology to keep in touch with hundreds of parents, some who they have yet to meet in person.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that more than 300 students come every day from Palomas, Mexico to various schools in Luna County, including Columbus Elementary School.

The students are U.S. citizens who were born in Deming, N.M., which has the closest hospital to Palomas.

Officials say the children are allowed through the U.S. port of entry in Columbus daily to attend school through an agreement dating back to the 1950s.

The school is using technology such as Skype to video-chat and keep parents informed.

Similar to other schools in southern New Mexico, Columbus is dealing with students from low-income backgrounds with little English proficiency.

Historian Named Interim Director New Mexico Museum - The Associated Press

 New Mexico State University history professor Jon Hunner has been tapped to serve as interim director of the New Mexico History Museum and the Palace of the Governors

Hunner will start in early May after the spring semester.

The museum's current director, Frances Levine, will be heading to St. Louis this spring to take over at the Missouri History Museum. Her last day is March 16, when the exhibition Cowboys Real and Imagined is set to close.

The New Mexico museum's board of regents has established a search committee for a permanent director. A national search will be conducted.

Hunner served as a consultant on the development of the New Mexico History Museum, which opened in 2009. He also worked as an exhibition preparer for the Museum of Fine Arts.