Jeff Witte, Secretary, NM Dept. of Agriculture

Air Dates: January 19-21, 2013

This week on Report from Santa Fe, Lorene interviews Jeff Witte, the Director/Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. Agriculture is a vital part of the state culturally and economically, and Mr. Witte gives an engaging interview about what his department is doing to keep the industry strong. Secretary Witte presents information about two upcoming events that are sure to provide much needed economic stimulus for New Mexico and expand opportunities for our agricultural community. New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is hosting the seminar, “Explore Exporting – The World is Waiting” on January 23 in Albuquerque, aimed at helping food and agriculture companies of all sizes learn how to build their business by exporting their products. The 2013 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference the largest agricultural conference in New Mexico, takes place February 15-16 in Albuquerque. Organic farming and ranching is the fastest growing segment of New Mexico agriculture. Last year, organic farming and ranching in New Mexico had an economic impact of more than $53 million. Quotes: “In New Mexico, I like to say we produce the entire plate. Some states are known for cheese or whatever. We produce the entire plate – beef, salad, products between lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, green chili, potatoes, all the way to your pecans and some of your dessert products. We produce the entire plate...we have got the best producers and we have got some of the best soil – just add water, stir it up and we get the best crops.” “The exports, and New Mexico is in a unique situation because we have such great identifiable specialty crops all across the state. And this export seminar that we have got coming up really provides a good opportunity for our producers and processors to learn about what it takes to enter the export market. You don’t have to be big. You don’t have to be small. In today’s world, even the smallest producers and processors can ship across the world and they want our products.”