New Agricultural Tip Line Helps Protect Industry
New Mexico Livestock Board
Agriculture in New Mexico covers a lot of ground, both in what is produced and the large amount of land across the state that is involved and it can be difficult for individual producers or even regulatory agencies to be aware of everything that’s taking place. A new Agricultural Tip Line, which allows anyone to call and report on agricultural issues of concern, will be a useful tool for agricultural producers and agencies and members of the public.
By calling 575-646-9191 or 800-646-9191, members of the public, neighboring agricultural producers or just someone passing by on the highway can anonymously report information – whatever it is – and know that it will be seen by the appropriate agency. Callers to the tip line will leave a recorded message with their information. That information will then be electronically disseminated, and the appropriate person will take responsibility and respond.
Depending on the information, a response could come from several agencies, including the local sheriff, the New Mexico Livestock Board, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture or the Department of Homeland Security. In the event of a livestock disease outbreak or some other biosecurity issue, the Tip Line could also work as a way to get information out to agricultural producers.
The Tip Line is not an emergency response line. If someone sees a situation in progress that needs an immediate response – like theft or a bio security threat – they should immediately contact their local law enforcement agency or call 911.
The Tip Line is a joint effort of many agricultural groups and agencies, including the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Livestock Board, and the Cooperative Extension Service, through New Mexico’s Agri Guard Bio Security program. “New Mexico is one of the better prepared states when it comes to bio security. The industry works closely with regulatory agencies and we’re trying to be proactive rather than reactive,” said Kelly Hamilton, Bio Security Director for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.
“We’ve all had something to eat and drink today, thanks to agriculture,” he continued. “Without agriculture we will cease to be a society. We recognize it as critical to our survival, and want to do what’s needed to help protect that infrastructure and we’re asking people to open their eyes and ears and help.”
Often, people see something that doesn’t look right to them, but don’t know who to contact, either because they are not knowledgeable about the industry, or are unsure about land ownership. By calling the Tip Line, they can help, get the information where it needs to go, and make a difference for their community. “In addition to helping protect our agricultural industries, we hope this will help open lines of communication,” Hamilton noted.