by Pat Boone
New Mexico Cattle Grower’s Association President’s Message
Dear fellow NMCGA members and friends of agriculture
At this writing it is four days before Easter. The grass is green and the cattle are working it pretty hard. It’s been a while since we had a winter and spring this wet in our country. The cattle market is good and our product is worth a lot of money. I pray it’s this good for all of you, and if it’s not soon will be.
We just wrapped up the 60 day legislative session in Santa Fe. After a slow start, with everyone getting adjusted to the leadership change in the House from Democrat to Republican, (the first in 60 years) they settled down and got to work. When the dust settled and the smoke cleared, not a whole lot of legislation made it through the whole process. In fact, out of 1,365 bills introduced, only 191 made it to the governor’s desk.
Our ag group worked on several issues affecting our industry. SB 226 sought to define ownership of the stream beds under public waters, and to provide protection from the AG’s opinion of 2014. I have not heard if the governor has signed it or not. Bills to ban coyote calling contests, ban trapping, and bills to stop transport of horses to slaughter were stopped in committee.
Two things I came out of this session absolutely sure of: there are a lot of people out there who don’t understand our way of life, and have no great concern for our private property rights, or our ability to make a living, pay our taxes, or provide food and fiber for a hungry world. Mark Twain once said, ‘’No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.’’ So true. We MUST remain diligent and continue the fight.
As always, Caren and Michelle’s knowledge and leadership, and ability to navigate the difficult waters of New Mexico politics was most evident and impressive. Alicia Briggs did an outstanding job in her first year at the Legislature. A great big ‘thank you’ to them for always being there. Give them a hug and a word of thanks for all they do. We are blessed to have them on our side. Also, thanks to Phil, Bert, and Jose for filling in for me at times.
I look forward to seeing you all in Ruidoso June 14-16 for our Mid-Year meeting. I am humbled and proud to be serving this great organization.
Until we meet again,