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Livestock production in the Rocky Mountain Southwest is the focus of the 2018 New Mexico Sustainable Agriculture Conference Dec. 12. The free conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus in Los Lunas, 289 La Entrada Road. Register online at http://rsvp.nmsu.edu/rsvp/sustainable2018. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman.)

Livestock production in New Mexico is valued at $2.2 billion, according to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. To maintain and improve this sector of the state’s $3.2 billion agricultural income, producers are encouraged to adopt sustainable production practices.

Livestock production in the Rocky Mountain Southwest is the focus of the 2018 New Mexico Sustainable Agriculture Conference Dec. 12.

The free conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus in Los Lunas, 289 La Entrada Road. Register online at http://rsvp.nmsu.edu/rsvp/sustainable2018. Free lunch will be provided for all participants.

The Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education sponsored event is hosted by New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Keynote speaker Jim Freeburn, WSARE professional development coordinator and rancher in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, will highlight western ranchers who have made important contributions to sustainable livestock production.

Panel discussions will include issues in sustainable ruminant livestock, goat and sheep, and poultry production.

Topics to be shared during the discussions will be:

• Livestock: management-intensive grazing, bison: a sustainable choice in the arid Southwest, marketing the grass-fed label, supplemental feeding during drought.

• Goat and sheep: using guardian animals to protect flocks from predators, launching a legal dairy, breed selection for increased sustainability, when to call the vet.

• Poultry: grazing poultry, meeting egg production regulations, fencing options for livestock.

Derek Bailey, NMSU range science professor; Joseph Alfaro, traditional methods of pest mitigation; and Melanie Kirby, Rocky Mountain Survivor Queenbee Cooperative, will talk about the work they have done with SARE grants, and how producers can obtain support for their efforts to increase sustainability.

Posters featuring the sustainable agriculture research by NMSU students will be on display during the conference.

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