NMCGA Presidents Letter

Howdy Folks,

Spring has sprung and I hope the winter wasn’t too hard on you. I pray that El Niño and La Niña get in a big family squabble and cry their hearts out over New Mexico. It would be wonderful to see our lakes full and our rivers flowing bank to bank for most of the year. Of course we have to put up with the wind, but it wouldn’t be spring in New Mexico without it.

The only bright spot about the wind — scientists say that Wyoming is a better state for wind generators. It is all perspective. It is like the story of the fellow that was on the expedition to the North Pole. He woke one morning to a howling blizzard and made the comment — “I bet it’s cold in Dalhart, Texas this morning.” We just have to remember that no matter how bad it may look, it’s probably worse somewhere else. Let’s all keep in prayers the peoples of the world that have been hit by natural disasters. The flooding in the eastern U.S. seems insignificant compared to the tsunamis of Japan. Wildfires have caused huge amounts of devastation across the West. Millions of dollars worth of property has been damaged or destroyed by these fires. Many areas are sitting on a powder keg with a short fuse. Let us all be vigilant in keeping that fuse unlit. There has been so much turmoil in the world this winter with unrest in the Middle East, earthquakes, floods, fires, tsunamis, and blizzards that sometimes it is hard to see the good, but it is out there.

The Legislature has come to an end and at the time of writing this letter, it doesn’t appear to have hurt us in agriculture too much. I again want to thank all those that have stepped up to the plate and helped with bill readings, attending meetings, feeding the group, feeding the legislators, and any other work behind the scenes. Without you, Santa Fe would be overwhelming to staff. Hat’s off to Rex — he represented us magnificently in this 60-day session.

While Governor Martinez has until April 8 to sign, veto or pocket veto bills, I think we came out of the Session pretty well. Legislation that the Governor got for signature included a bill that increases the fine for leaving a gate open (yes, that has been New Mexico law since 1890) from a range of $5 to $10 to $250 to $1,000; a bill that allows the New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB) to set up its’ own livestock crime-stoppers fund; and a bill that allows the NMLB to charge a nominal fee to manufacturer’s of licensed veterinary products sold in New Mexico.
We also got a House Memorial passed that asked the federal government to take a look at the costs of the Endangered Species Act and other designations to private business and to compensate appropriately.

Three issues we devoted a lot of time but died were defining and settling ownership of pore space; prohibiting the federal government from seizing livestock without a court order; and creating enforcement for railroads refusing to obey fencing laws.

Regional meetings are in the planning stages and if any member has a topic of special interest for your area please let the office know. These meetings are focused to problems in your region. Last year, we discussed at great length to ONRW in Cuba, the border crisis in Deming, trich in Roy, and the TB status in Portales. Each of these topics was affecting that region more than the others and the attendance and participation was great. I hope this year’s meetings are as informative and helpful. We will have places and times sometime in the future. I hope you can make a meeting in your region.



God Bless Us All,
Burt Ancell, President





PS:  I knew I would leave a legislator out last month
and sure enough I did. I don’t know how any of us could
overlook President-Pro Tem Tim Jennings.  Sorry Senator!