2023 Legislative Priorities
Building the next generation of agriculturalists is imperative to our domestic food, fiber, and fuel supply. We support expanded funding for opportunities that provide exposure to agricultural education, culture, and experiences.
Animal health and care are of utmost importance to NM’s farmers and ranchers. NMF&LB will continue to support the ability of producers to utilize generally accepted agricultural practices that are science-based in the production of livestock, poultry, and other animals.
NM producers need affordable and secure sources of energy to meet their production needs. We support domestic energy production which benefits local economies and reduces our dependence on foreign sources. Agriculture will play a vital role in the deployment of renewable energy and the diversification of our energy portfolio.
Secure labor is essential to the agriculture sector. We support efforts to improve the agricultural guest worker program to better meet the needs of agriculturalists while addressing the labor shortage. We support efforts that allow farmers and ranchers to remain profitable as well as programs that look to develop the agricultural workforce.
Private property is the producer's largest and most valuable business asset. We will continue to advocate for policies that honor private property rights and support agricultural production while opposing additional regulations which limit producers' ability to fully utilize their land.
Natural Resources & Environment
Agriculture is a vital component of the sustainability and conservation of our natural resources and the environment. We will work with policymakers to ensure climate incentives and policies do not negatively impact the viability of our farmers and ranchers or the tools they use. We oppose a hands-off protectionist approach to resource management. We will continue to support voluntary and incentive-driven approaches to conservation that support multiple-use and active management principles.
Rural communities face many unique challenges especially as the rural-urban divide grows. We will prioritize our rural communities and support policies, programs, and opportunities that work to build economic resilience. We support funding, deployment, expansion, and access to services such as broadband, cellular service, and healthcare. We support economic efforts that assist producers in diversifying their operations.
Value Added and Local Food Systems
Rural economies are strongly supported through agricultural production. We support efforts to improve resiliency throughout the food supply chain while providing opportunities for producers to enter the value-added sector.
Agricultural water rights and interests must continue to be acknowledged and protected. Efforts to address water management, development, conservation, efficiency, storage, and compact compliance must honor agricultural use and rights. New Mexico’s prior appropriation doctrine should serve as a compass for water management. We oppose any effort to utilize a highest and best-use model that departs from the traditional understanding and utilization of the principle of beneficial use.
Agriculture plays a major role in providing wildlife habitat and water resources. We will pursue active management approaches that reduce conflict and provide incentives for landowners for damage caused by wildlife.