Agriculture

Like so many New Mexicans, farming and ranching are in my blood. My grandmother was born in Luna, New Mexico in 1893 and her family drove cattle through the mountains down to the railroad in Magdalena. Farming and ranching are part of our heritage and serve as a key economic engine in our state, accounting for more than $4 billion in our economy. More than 20,000 farms dot the New Mexico map. I am committed to preserving the important role that the agricultural community plays in our state's identity and economy.

Like so many New Mexicans, farming and ranching are in my blood. My grandmother was born in Luna, New Mexico in 1893 and her family drove cattle through the mountains down to the railroad in Magdalena. Farming and ranching are part of our heritage and serve as a key economic engine in our state, accounting for more than $4 billion in our economy. More than 20,000 farms dot the New Mexico map. I am committed to preserving the important role that the agricultural community plays in our state's identity and economy.

I worked with my Senate colleagues to pass a comprehensive, bipartisan farm bill in 2012. It would create a more level playing field for our dairy farmers, providing a safety net that has no regional or size bias. It also contained essential support for livestock providers, streamlined and consolidated programs, strengthened specialty crop provisions, and would have saved $13 billion a year. We need to pass this legislation in the new Congress.

Coping with Drought

In recent years, farms in New Mexico have been feeling the impact of drought conditions. I have pressed for USDA disaster aid to help our struggling farmers. I will continue to push for reinstating drought and disaster relief programs that expired with the farm bill, and for water and other infrastructure projects.

Harnessing Clean Energy

With year-round sunshine and vast, wind-rich plains, New Mexico's farm and ranchland has huge potential for growing American-made energy, and with it clean energy jobs. I'm working to increase incentives for the development of renewable energy throughout our state. I am also pushing for the expansion of a Smart Grid into rural areas where New Mexicans can take advantage of the opportunities for harnessing wind and solar energy.

Investing in Rural Communities

Ensuring that a full range of government services is available to New Mexico's rural communities is one of the most important ways to guarantee the success of our farmers and ranchers. I'm fighting for schools that improve graduation rates and provide a safe and healthy place where our students can excel. I'm also pushing for telehealth initiatives to improve access to doctors and care in rural areas. And I'm advocating for the expansion of broadband Internet connections in rural New Mexico, to provide new educational and economic opportunities in these areas.

In my visits to our rural communities, in meetings with businesses and local leaders, I understand how important these investments are. We need to stand behind rural families.