Monday, May 2, 2016

Registration deadline extended for AgriFuture conference

Registration deadline extended for AgriFuture conference Registration closes this Friday for May 16-18 event in Las Cruces (LAS CRUCES, N.M.) – People who want to farm, ranch, or land another career in agriculture now have until May 6 to register for the AgriFuture Educational Institute, happening May 16-18 in Las Cruces. The AgriFuture conference aims to inform, inspire, and connect those who will produce our food and fiber (cotton, wool, etc.) going forward. Dozens of people will lend their talents and tales of experience during the event, including: • Mesilla Valley farmer, entrepreneur, and past member of the national Faces of Farming and Ranching program Jay Hill • Ruidoso-area ranchers and entrepreneurs Laura Jean Schneider (author of a series on ranching in High Country News) and Sam Ryerson • Former National FFA officers Paul Moya, a native New Mexican, and Wiley Bailey • Farm kid-turned Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell The farm-to-retail sector, value-added production, and international trade will be addressed during the institute’s breakout sessions. Then attendees will board several buses to take private tours of a wide variety of agricultural businesses in and around Las Cruces. New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) and a dozen other agencies and organizations involved in New Mexico agriculture are coordinating and hosting AgriFuture, which is open to future agricultural producers age 40 and under; veterans are encouraged to attend. It is also open to current agricultural producers of all ages in hopes that they will serve as mentors going forward. “AgriFuture is an excellent way for existing agriculture producers to impart generations of knowledge to young producers and future producers,” said Beverly Idsinga, executive director of Dairy Producers of New Mexico, one of the conference’s sponsors. “This knowledge is vital to keep agriculture thriving and to pass the torch on to the next generation.” People who want to attend must register at http://2016-agrifuture.eventbrite.com by Friday, May 6. Event updates are being posted at www.facebook.com/NMDepartmentofAg. The registration fee for future agriculture producers is only $50 for the Institute and includes lodging. The fee for current agriculture producers (those who can potentially mentor beginning farmers and ranchers) is only $100. Institute activities are being planned by NMDA and several of the state’s agricultural organizations: Ag New Mexico Farm Credit Service, Dairy Producers of New Mexico, Farm Credit of New Mexico, New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts, New Mexico Beef Council, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau, New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service, New Mexico Wool Growers Inc., USDA-Farm Service Agency, and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service. Institute activities are also being funded by these and other organizations, as well as a long list of individuals. To help sponsor the institute in any amount, please call NMDA at 575-646-5063.

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