Agriculture

Farmers and ranchers play a critical role in New Mexico’s economy. As a $4 billion industry, our farmers help drive the economy and have shaped our state’s history, as many growers in New Mexico come from families that have cultivated land for generations. However, many challenges today such as water shortage and wildfire have made farming difficult.

I am strong proponent and cosponsor of Senate’s bipartisan farm bill, which aims to help our farmers and ranchers who face difficult times because of the severe drought affecting the country. The bill reforms a number of the existing subsidies for crops, and eliminates the direct subsidy payments that farmers don’t need, providing a saving of about $5 billion per year. It reauthorizes federal funding for important programs including, soil and water conservation, rural economic development, disaster assistance, renewable energy, and food and nutrition programs.

Latest

  • N.M. Democrats Introduce Bill To Help Farmers In Underserved Communities

    Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Lujánintroduced bicameral legislation to improve access to assistance for certain groups of farmers. The Assist Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Act of 2018 would reauthorize, strengthen, and improve the Outreach to Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program at the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Read More


  • Senators raise concerns over retaliatory pecan tariffs

    U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich on Friday sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to express concern with the retaliatory tariffs implemented by the Chinese government on 128 American product lines, including an additional 15-percent tariff on U.S. pecans. Read More


  • Udall, Heinrich Raise Concerns With Retaliatory Chinese Tariffs That Hurt N.M. Pecan Growers

    Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to express concern with the retaliatory tariffs implemented by the Chinese government on 128 American product lines, including an additional 15 percent tariff on U.S. pecans, in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum products imports. New Mexico is the second largest pecan-producing state in the U.S. Read More


  • NM Democrats Urge USDA to End Hiring Freeze, Restore Critical ‘Customer Service’ Staff at NRCS, FSA

    Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M) urged U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to lift the USDA's current hiring freeze and restore staff field-based positions at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Services Agency (FSA). In a letter to Perdue, the lawmakers said that severe understaffing at these agencies -- an existing problem made worse by the hiring freeze - is hampering the delivery of the technical assistance, reimbursement, and support that New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers need. "These agencies are past the point of being able to do more with less and are now having to do less with less," the lawmakers wrote.  Read More


  • Udall, Heinrich Introduce Legislation to Help Acequias and Land Grants Better Access Federal Conservation Programs

    WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall introduced a bill to help acequias and land grants in New Mexico access additional federal resources for water and resource conservation projects. The bill, Providing Land Grants and Acequias Conservation and Environmental Services (PLACES) Act of 2017, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, will allow acequias and land grants access to federal programs that provide funding and technical assistance to farmers to increase agricultural water efficiency and further conservation of soil, water and other natural resources.   Read More


  • Require GMO Labeling

    Like parents across New Mexico, knowing what's in the food I buy for my family is important to me. This is one of the main reasons why I think it’s so important that Congress act to require products sold in grocery stores to be clearly labeled if they are genetically modified. Providing transparency to consumers will ensure they are able to make informed decisions about the food they purchase. Read More