by Rex Wilson
Dear Fellow Members,
Thankfully the Stockman’s Directory issue deadline allowed me to wait to write this until most everyone has had a little rain and the Mid Year Meeting was concluded. The world is a much brighter place than it was two weeks ago, at least for most of us.
On the good news side, we had a tremendous Mid Year Convention, the first ever that included the New Mexico Cattle Growers, the New Mexico Wool Growers, the New Mexico CowBelles and the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau. There were well over 500 people in attendance from the U.S. and Mexico. We had speakers from Washington, D.C. to Utah. While everyone who attended was special; among the most gratifying were the number candidates, elected officials and members of state government who made time in their schedules to be with us.
We had the Lt. Governor, three members of the Martinez cabinet, one candidate for the U.S. Senate, as well as two candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and staff representation from two sitting members of Congress who are currently running for federal office. In addition to that we had a bi-partisan group of more than 15 candidates for the New Mexico Legislature. You aren’t going to find this many decision makers in one room any place beside the Roundhouse during the Legislature.
These folks know the importance of agriculture to the state and the nation. We need to be sure that we keep them and everyone else running for office informed about our family businesses and rural New Mexico.
In November New Mexico will not only participate in the presidential election, but we will be electing a senator, three congressmen and every member of the New Mexico Legislature. This is the second time in my lifetime that we have had such a great opportunity to take leadership and elect leadership who will do what the country and the state need as well as what we need.
Four years ago we elected a president, a new senator and three new members of Congress and a new Legislature. We have seen change, both good and bad. Now we have the opportunity to make that monumental difference again. The General Election is still months away, but that time will fly. Now is the time to get to know who is running for office in both parties. Let them get to know you and your family. We cannot wait until after the election to try and make an impression. If you need assistance in scheduling a meeting with a candidate, please let the office know and they will make every effort to assist.
Unfortunately for the past two months we have had to sit by and watch our precious land go up in flames as a result of misguided federal policies developed in Washington, D.C. or in courtrooms by people who have little to no understanding of the world we live in and have cared for over the generations. While the fires have everyone stirred up right now, the real problem is the mismanagement of forests that, for decades has created the perfect storm for the horrific fires we are now experiencing.
Today’s real losers are the peoples who lost their homes and businesses. While my family was fortunate during this fire our friends and neighbors weren’t so lucky. Watching the financial and emotional toll that the catastrophe is taking and will continue to take for years to come is heart-wrenching. There is not enough insurance in the world to replace what has been lost.
On the other hand, the way our communities have pulled together to help our friends in need is truly amazing. It certainly restores faith in a cynical world.
This is two years in a row that our summer meeting has faced the consequences of fire. We are a little hesitant in selecting a location for next year.
With that off my chest, we now look forward to a round of great county fairs and the New Mexico State Fair in the months to come. The State Fair has shortened to 12 days, September 12 to 23, which should provide the opportunity for there to be livestock in the barns every day. Hopefully this will return the Fair to its roots, allowing the country to come to town and help let city folks know where their food, fiber and open space come from.
Thanks to everyone who came to Mid Year, and special thanks to that long list of folks who sponsored the event so that it was affordable for our members. Be sure to do business with those who support you and let’s all pray for more rain!