WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, jmoorman@nmsu.edu

ALBUQUERQUE – Laguna native veterinarian Tolani Francisco will be the keynote speaker at the New Mexico Indian Livestock Days.

The largest agricultural conference in the Southwest designed for Native American livestock producers will be May 9-11 at the Route 66 Casino and Hotel in the Legends Theater.

The annual event is presented by New Mexico State University's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Francisco is currently with the U.S. Forest Service in Albuquerque as the wild horse and burro coordinator and has served as a veterinary epidemiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One of her lifelong ambitions has been to provide not just adequate but superior veterinary care to tribal animals.

"Dr. Francisco is a wonderful role model for Native American youth," said Kathy Landers, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service McKinley County agent. "We are excited to have her as our keynote speaker where she will share insights from her life."

Session topics will range from information regarding cattle, sheep and horses, to updates by federal agencies and the state veterinarian.

Craig Gifford, NMSU Extension beef cattle specialist, will present information about the ACES High calf certification program, designed to help producers prosper in the competitive market.

Weather and the drought are always on the minds of agricultural producers. Dave DuBois, NMSU state climatologist, will present a Cattleman's Weather report and Richard Bonine will give a drought follow-up.

Returning to the Indian Livestock Days are the outdoor sessions on Thursday, May 10.

"Last year we were unable to offer these outdoor sessions, and our participants requested that we bring them back," Landers said.

There will be two one-hour sessions before lunch, and four 30-minute sessions after lunch. During the morning sessions outdoors, there will be an indoor session on diabetes and traditional cooking.

Registration fee is $100, which includes lunch on Thursday. Registration and additional information about the presentations are available online at indianlivestock.nmsu.edu.

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