Ag appropriations pass committee

Freedom New Mexico

WASHINGTON — A bill that would help fund a new dairy consortium and other agriculture initiatives affecting New Mexico was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday, according to press releases from the offices of Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.

The measure is now ready for consideration by the full Senate, according to the releases.

The bill contains millions for New Mexico’s agriculture industry, including $250,000 requested by Domenici and Bingaman for a new consortium intended to improve the competitiveness of New Mexico’s dairy and agriculture industry.

Led by New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, the consortium would work to develop new technologies and procedures to improve production efficiency, herd health, milk quality, forage production, water-use efficiency, environmental quality, biomass waste utilization for energy, and nutrient recovery. The funding would have a direct impact on the programs at the NMSU Ag Science Center at Clovis, according to the releases.

NMSU’s agriculture program will also benefit from $1.75 million contained in the measure for its Agricultural Products Food Safety Laboratory.

Language in the bill also compels the USDA to direct attention and resources toward New Mexico’s Bovine TB testing program to restore New Mexico’s split-state status.