NMCGA Presidents Letter

by Rex Wilson

New Mexico Cattle Grower’s Association President’s Message

Dear Fellow Cattlemen,

The feel of fall is already in the air and the Farmer’s Almanac is telling us that we can expect a frosty and wetter than usual winter. That’s the best news I have had in awhile. Let’s pray it holds true. We have been blessed with rain in most places this summer, but we know it is going to take a lot more moisture for our ranges to become fully productive again.

As the summer winds down, most of New Mexico’s counties have had their County Fairs. I had the opportunity to attend a couple of them as I have traveled the past several weeks, now that my family has moved past the stage of attending county fairs … at least for the time being. The fairs allowed for some reflection and rejuvenation. We are fortunate to live in a place that we can find hope in our county fairs – and see the leaders of tomorrow developing before our eyes.

A county fair embodies everything we in rural America and especially rural New Mexico hold dear. It lets us show with pride the fruits of our labor for everything from our fruits and vegetables to our indoor and outdoor handy work to our livestock to our future generations. Nothing more clearly demonstrations our values than watching young people get their show animals ready under the watchful eye of mom and dad. Then watching them march into the show ring with the stands full of parents, grandparents and sometimes even great-grandparents anxiously waiting for the handshake of the judge.

There is also the tremendous volunteer structure in place to put on our county fairs. These events would not be possible without volunteers. There are untold man and woman hours that are given freely and willingly to see that their family, friends and neighbors have the opportunity to spend a day or two at the fair.

It really makes me remember why we work so hard every day in the face of the whims of Mother Nature and a conflicted government. It also gives me great confidence that there are generations before and behind us that believe in what we are doing as much as we do.

We had a great Board meeting in Santa Fe with an active and fun legislative training. Thanks to all who participated, particularly the legislators who took time to share their insight as to how we can effectively represent our industry in Santa Fe.

Things are shaping up for a busy fall filled with major fairs, lots of comment deadlines and meetings to attend. There are still three months of interim legislative committee meetings to keep an eye on. The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association (NMCGA) will be holding the fall round of Regional Meeting. It looks like the Northeast Region will gather in Tucumcari on October 14 in a joint meeting with the Quay County Farm & Livestock Bureau, so put that on your calendar. We will share dates of the other meetings as they are planned.

The entire Mexican wolf recovery mess becomes more convoluted almost by the minute. The office staff is working hard to keep up and to build alliances that will help keep us on the ground. We have some allies in West Texas who understand the magnitude of what is about to happen if we cannot redirect the train wreck envisioned by the current set of proposals from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Although the agency is telling Texans that these proposals will eliminate the state from the program. The maps with the proposals tell a different story.

Yes, the FWS is planning to remove the 10(j) experimental, nonessential designation from Texas. In return, any wolf venturing into Texas from New Mexico, Mexico or anywhere else will be FULLY ENDANGERED. With the agency envisioning releasing wolves anywhere between I-40 and at least I-10 (maybe all the way to the Mexican border), it isn’t a far lope into to Texas.

I only have this and three more opportunities to remind you (as if you needed it) that there is still time to join or invite a friend to join NMCGA! We are less than 40 new members from reaching our goal of 400 new members by December 2013.

Be blessed and I look forward to seeing you down the road.

Sincerely, Rex Wilson



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!