Issue: Agriculture

Legislation & Policy Change


New Mexico First supports legislation that is based on the Ag Plan. The plan was developed as the result of the Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture project that began in 2016 to address unprecedented challenges to the health of the industry.


Current Legislation (Track legislation)

NM HB315 - NM Agricultural Workforce Development Program Act

A resilient agriculture sector in New Mexico relies on creating and retaining a well-trained and highly skilled agricultural workforce. Currently, our state’s agriculture industry lacks enough labor pool. Young people are struggling to break into agriculture, and most producers are nearing retirement. Currently, there are not enough young, trained growers to keep the industry strong. Agricultural value- added and food-related businesses have also reported serious needs for well-trained employees. Preparing the next generation of the agricultural workforce for long-term success is an issue New Mexico must address now.

On behalf of the Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture project:

  • New Mexico First advocates for Agriculture Workforce Development.

New Mexico First’s town hall implementation thus recommends the following actions for the 2019 legislative session:

  • Support HB 315: NM agricultural workforce development program act, sponsors: Rep. Paul C. Bandy (R) Rep. Joseph L. Sanchez (D)
  • New Mexico First, in partnership with the National Young Farmers Coalition, proposes to run legislation to establish the New Mexico Agricultural Workforce Development Program. The program would help attract and retain new entrants to New Mexico’s agricultural industry by expanding hands-on training opportunities for aspiring farmers and ranchers.
  • An appropriation to provide agricultural business internships and to administer the New Mexico agricultural workforce development program.


  • New Mexico First Legislative Brief: Agriculture Workforce Summary New Mexico First Legislative Brief: Agriculture Workforce Summary

  • 2017 outcomes

    HM 61: Protect programs vital to NM economy (memorial on re-authorization of the federal farm bill): authored by New Mexico First, outlines the economic importance of the federal farm bill to New Mexico, and calls on legislators to protect New Mexico’s interests in the drafting of the next farm bill. The farm bill is highly relevant to multiple goals and recommendations within the ag plan. Passed and signed by legislature

    HM 55: Reduce school food waste: requests the LESC and the legislative health and human services committee to review existing programs to reduce school food waste, and to study ways to create and expand policies allowing unused food to go to the benefit of hungry children. Passed and signed by legislature

    HB 246: Establish advanced mapping fund: appropriates $1 million from the general fund to the newly-created advanced mapping fund administered by the OSE for water resource mapping. Unanimously passed by legislature, pocket-vetoed by governor

    2016 outcomes

    HM 27: Resilience in NM agriculture task force: with support from multiple stakeholders, New Mexico first authored house memorial 27 asking policymakers to support the resilience in New Mexico agriculture, which is developing strategies to overcome challenges facing New Mexico agriculture. The memorial expresses support and endorsement for the projects one-year task force. The task force is developing recommendations and strategies that support New Mexico agriculture in meeting present and future challenges. Passed

    HB 24: State trust lands restoration fund: creates the state trust lands restoration and remediation fund to administer efforts to reduce surface damage as well as conduct forest and watershed restoration projects on state trust lands. Passed, signed by governor

    Some of Our Sponsors