LAS CRUCES, N.M. – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.) met with students and leaders from Hatch Valley Public Schools on Thursday to discuss how direct federal investments are opening the door for more students to house and care for livestock and strengthening the pathway to careers in animal science and agriculture.
“I am so impressed by the students and leaders from Hatch Valley Public Schools who Representative Vasquez and I met with today. The direct federal investments we are delivering will allow more students to house and care for livestock, and be inspired to build careers in animal science and agriculture,” said Heinrich.
“Farming and agriculture is a vital part of our economy and for keeping our families fed. That is why it was incredible to hear from young students - the next generation of agricultural leaders - sharing their passion and aims in the industry. The Hatch community is proud of their farming impact in New Mexico. I look forward to seeing the next generation of farmers progress with this federal funding,” said Vasquez.
Senator Heinrich secured $200,000 in the Omnibus Appropriations Agreement for Fiscal Year 2023 to complete the construction of an Animal Science Lab as part of Hatch Valley Public Schools agriculture program and the Building Experiences through Agriculture Resources (B.E.A.R) Initiative.
The BEAR initiative teaches more resilient agriculture practices to students from first grade all the way through graduation, while also bridging the gaps of language, norms, and culture to provide opportunities of engagement.
The Animal Science Lab will create a community veterinary clinic that will largely be run by students, while under close supervision of teachers and veterinarians. The facility will allow area students to log internship hours in order to qualify for industry certification. These opportunities will be key in furthering access to this type of education, while addressing a community workforce need at the same time.