American Indian pueblo farmers and ranchers of northern New Mexico continue to be a vital economic component to the region with the longest continuous farming history in the continental United States, dating back more than 800 years.
While the tribal culture is based around agriculture, and traditional ways have been handed down from generation to generation, modern farmers and ranchers are learning how to blend modern methods with tradition.
During the past 18 years, New Mexico State University has received federal grant funding to provide research-based agricultural information to pueblo farmers and ranchers through workshops, conferences and one-on-one consultation.
The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences has received a $197,492 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for the 2019 fiscal year.
“The funds will be used to continue our outreach program to farmers in the 10 southern and eight northern pueblos in our state,” said Edmund Gomez, NMSU program director. “This funding will allow access to our workshops and ag days to all pueblo farmers and ranchers.”
Through a coordinated effort led by the Cooperative Extension Service’s New Mexico Pueblo Outreach Project, the pueblo agricultural producers are made aware of USDA programs that can benefit their ability to own and operate their family farms and ranches; be individually assisted in obtaining participation in these USDA programs; develop markets to increase profitability; and utilize research-based educational and technical assistance programs that are specifically developed for the target audience.
The funds are from the USDA Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers, and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program.
“From the beginning of this Administration, USDA has focused on increasing rural prosperity and how to best serve our veterans and underserved farmers and ranchers,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue while announcing this year’s issuing of $9.4 million in grants. “Helping those who served our country and assisting the disadvantaged is at the heart of our motto at USDA to ‘Do Right and Feed Everyone.’”