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Gonzalez appointed NMDA director

I. Miley Gonzalez, president of Gonzalez and Associates of Phoenix, was unanimously selected to serve as the director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture by the Board of Regents of New Mexico State University Friday, May 30.



I. Miley Gonzalez, president of Gonzalez and Associates of Phoenix, was selected to serve as the director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

z, who will start July 1, said "I'm looking forward to working with all members of the agricultural community and other groups related to that industry."



"Miley is nationally respected for his knowledge in agriculture," Governor Bill Richardson said. "Most importantly, he understands the essential role agriculture plays in New Mexico's economy. I'm confident Miley's background in water issues and international trade will allow agriculture to flourish in our state."

"This was an excellent search process. We had very qualified candidates and it was a tough decision," said Laura Conniff, president of the Board of Regents. "We felt that Dr. Gonzalez is extremely qualified."

"Dr. Gonzalez is an excellent selection and will serve our state well," said Jay Gogue, president of New Mexico State.

Before being the president of Gonzalez and Associates of Phoenix, Gonzalez was the interim vice provost for research and the associate dean and director for the Agricultural Experiment Station for the College of Agriculture and Home Economics at NMSU from 2001 to 2002. He was the under secretary for research, education and economics for the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., from 1997 to 2001.

"We know agriculture is important to the economy of New Mexico," Gonzalez said. "People need to know where food comes from. New Mexico has a lot of dedicated growers and processors that will help us tell their story."

Gonzalez has been a member of the National Board of Directors of the University of Arizona Alumni Association, the Rural Telephone Bank Board (appointed by former President Bill Clinton), the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and was named as one of the top 100 most influential Hispanics by the National Hispanic Business Magazine in 1999.

Gonzalez earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural education from the University of Arizona and received his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.

The director is hired by the NMSU Board of Regents, reports to the Board of Regents and also serves as a member of the governor's cabinet.