Albuquerque lawmaker hopes to help agriculture business in Bernalillo County

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico lawmaker is trying to offer a boost to farmers and ranchers in Bernalillo County. He says they need help to stay in business just like producers in other parts of the state, but they don’t get enough of it.

“We’re asking for $300,000 to contract with Bernalillo County to support Bernalillo County agriculture,” said State Rep. Andres Romero.

House Bill 249 is how Rep. Romero hopes to lend a helping hand to the agriculture business here in Bernalillo County.

“We have a lot of small farms and small livestock growers in Bernalillo County, and this would be a way to support them,” said Romero.

Romero says the frustration for farmers and producers near the metro is that they typically don’t get as much attention as those in less densely populated areas of the state.

“So much of the state is already agricultural. Bernalillo County gets looked at as being urban, and not necessarily agricultural,” said Romero.

Romero says because of that impression, many of these farmers and producers miss out on certain grants.

“When you have rural area grants, since we’re considered by the USDA to be urban, farmers and livestock growers don’t have a chance at some of these grants,” said Romero.

With this bill, Romero is hoping the $300,000 he’s asking for can go towards services to help producers expand their products nationally and internationally.

“Providing services to small growers, or livestock growers, that don’t already have access to maybe packaging, or labeling, distribution,” said Romero.

Romero also says the bill can be applied to any farmer or producer here in Bernalillo County, including livestock and vegetable farmers.

Romero tried to have a similar bill passed last year during the session, but it was tabled. He’s hoping for better luck this time around.

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