Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business
Frank A. Ward presented at the International Commission and Drainage Conference held in Saskatoon, Canada, for the week of August 12-17. His talk at an UN-FAO event held on Wednesday August 14 addressed methods to overcome barriers between researchers who conduct water policy analysis for handling climate stressed water supply shortages and communication to policymakers. His talk described an interface on water economics and policy for the Rio Grande Basin, currently posted at Cybershare. The web-posting gives NMSU's southwest regional water stakeholders an opportunity to simulate all major water sources, sinks, uses, and losses as well as economic values of water and institutional constraints governing water supply and use for the Middle Rio Grande downstream of Elephant Butte. FAO is investigating development of similar analytical capabilities to support their overseas farm and food development work in Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Dr. Michael Patrick, from the Extension Economics unit, in collaboration with the state USDA RD office, assisted in the formation of two new Stronger Economies Together (SET) regions – the Mid-Central Rural Corridor region (Bernalillo, Sandoval and Los Alamos counties) and the Southeastern region (Curry, Roosevelt, Chaves, Lea and Eddy counties). Civic Engagement Forums were held in August and September in the regions to facilitate citizen participation in identifying strengths, challenges, and opportunities for promoting regional economic development.
Four NMSU Water Science and Management PhD students attended a USDA project planning workshop (attached agenda) held at UTEP on Wednesday, March 15. The students are Sarah Sayles, Befekadu Habteyes, Sarah Acquah, and Dina Salman. The workshop’s goal was to coordinate plans on the USDA project “Sustainable water resources for irrigated agriculture in a desert river basin facing climate change and competing demands: From characterization to solutions.” The project’s core question was, “How can water be managed so that three sectors: ag, urban, and environment, can secure a sustainable future?” Meeting participants discussed the status and plans for a ‘bucket model’ under development by NMSU and other project investigators. The model is designed to track sources, uses, and economic values of water for irrigation, urban, and environmental protection in the Paso Del Norte region downstream of Elephant Butte Reservoir.
Extension Economics - Dr. Michael Patrick coordinated three important economic development activities. He facilitated a workshop in Santa Rosa, engaging 32 elected officials, community leaders and residents from Quay, Guadalupe, De Baca, and Torrance counties to establish regional economic development goals, identify assets and potential barriers, and strategies for the East Central New Mexico Stronger Economies Together (SET). Stronger Economies Together (SET) is a national USDA RD and Land-Grant universities initiative designed to enable communities and counties in rural America to work together in developing and implementing an economic development blueprint for their multi-county region that strategically builds on the current and emerging economic strengths of that region. He also led a meeting of the Resiliency in New Mexico Agriculture Task Force, which is composed of farmers, ranchers, industry and agency leaders, and is charged with developing a strategic plan to establish a resilient New Mexico food and agriculture system capable of addressing current issues, withstanding new challenges, and advancing to new successes, with roots in a strong export-oriented commodity agriculture sector and a robust local food system of small and medium-sized family farms and ranches. The Resiliency in New Mexico Agriculture project is spearheaded by New Mexico First and the NMSU CES, with funding from the Thornburg Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and the McCune Charitable Foundation. Dr. Patrick also taught the New Mexico EDGE Certified Public Officials class (CO 272) Community Economic Development Practices, Tools and Resources at the Winter Session, in Santa Fe, NM. The New Mexico EDGE (Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the Public Sector) is an umbrella organization operated through NM Cooperative Extension Service under which the County College (founded with NM Association of Counties), the NM Certified Public Manager® Program, and other continuing education certification programs are administered.
Five NMSU ACES graduate students (Sarah Sayles, Curt Pierce, Sarah Acquah, Befekadu Habteyes, Dina Salmanmade) presented posters at a water resources symposium in El Paso on January 4-6. Below Elephant Butte Reservoir the Rio Grande is the only renewable source of water for water users. Due to recent severe periods of drought and growing demand, the river alone no longer meets regional water needs, leading to increased groundwater use and dropping water tables. This symposium allowed NMSU students to report on results of an integrated research, extension, and education project informing water managers in New Mexico. Lasting impacts of our institutional strengthening activities will result in effective training of water resources professionals for the 21st century, many of whom are Hispanic.
NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association) students hosted a fund raising Social Mixer with live music on February 27 at the NMSU Golf Course Club House. A silent auction was held during the event. The students held their annual scholarship golf tournament on February 28th. These events helped them raise scholarship money for NAMA students, and travel expenses for the students to attend the National Marketing Competition held in Kansas City in April 2015.
Dr. Terry Crawford, Department Head for Ag Econ and Ag Business, was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Mexican Agricultural Business Society May 25-28, in San Jose, BSC. Dr. Crawford spoke on "Does The Experience with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Indicate the Future for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) or Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (US-European Union) Agreements?" Conclusion was that NAFTA has formed the basis for all of the United States Regional Trade agreements since NAFTA, and will also influence both the Pacific, and European Union Trade Agreements.
Dr. Saud Amer and Dr. Verne Schneider OF United States Geological Survey visited faculty of AEAB and Water Resources Research Institute regarding ongoing NMSU research in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. Dr. Amer presented a seminar on the use of satellite scanning to locate new sources of water in Ethiopia.
Jan. 29, 2014's Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 30 university students to attend USDA's 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum, titled "The Changing Face of Agriculture," to be held Feb. 20- 21, 2014, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. Twenty university juniors and seniors were chosen on the basis of their essays on "Agriculture as a Career," and 10 graduate students were selected for their response to "The Greatest Challenge Facing Agriculture over the Next Five Years." Hector Luis Hernandez, majoring in Agricultural Economics in the college of ACES, was selected for this honor.