State organic-certification program struggling with budget

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico’s organic-certification program is at risk as the Department of Agriculture faces a $125,000 budget shortfall.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that since 2011 the Department of Agriculture has overseen the organic farming program with funds coming from fees charged to organic farmers and food processors. Now the program is underfunded and has just two people overseeing certifications and in sections for about 150 producers statewide.

The Department of Agriculture is meeting with organic growers, processors and farmers looking for advice on how to sustain the program.

Some farmers say they believe the Legislature set up the program to fail by pulling funding. New Mexico’s organic produce used to be overseen by a private commission.

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