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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Indian Livestock School Beefs Up Tribal Production

ALBUQUERQUE - Native American and other livestock producers can learn about animal identification, nutrition and healthcare at this year's Indian Livestock School May 10-11 at Acoma Pueblo's Sky City hotel.

The school is an annual event that New Mexico State University and the University of Arizona jointly launched in the early 1980s. The workshop helps tribal producers improve production and increase profits, said Kathy Landers, with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service office in McKinley County.

"The school teaches producers about modern methods to raise and market livestock," Landers said. "Many tribal producers have limited resources, so it's an opportunity for them to learn about programs, projects and production techniques that can make their operations more efficient and profitable."

The workshop is open to everyone, but presenters will focus on issues that affect tribal producers, Landers said.

"Federal animal identification laws are new for everybody, and all producers need to learn about them," she said. "But this workshop will specifically address how these laws affect tribal producers who raise livestock on sovereign reservations."

Daniel Manzanares of the New Mexico Livestock Board and veterinarians Scott Bender and Glenda Davis will discuss the animal identification laws. Veterinarian Paul Kohrs will cover animal diseases such as West Nile virus, mad cow and pinkeye. Ron Parker, former head of NMSU's Extension Animal Resources Department, will discuss the Beef Quality Assurance program. Navajo Nation Extension agent Grey Farrell will present a new Rez to Rail program that helps producers improve animal care and marketing.

Dina Reitzel of the New Mexico Beef Council will talk about the Beef Checkoff Program. Caren Cowan of the New Mexico Cattelgrowers Association will analyze issues affecting the cattle industry. Jeff Bader, Bernalillo County Extension agent, will review horse feeds and nutrition. Vernon Casados, a horseman from Tierra Amarilla, will offer a hands-on horse training demonstration.

A panel of Extension, Bureau of Indian Affairs and U.S. Department of Agriculture specialists will discuss brush control. The BIA's Wilbur Lewis will explain how to form local livestock associations. Members of the Acoma, Newslands and Black Mesa associations will talk about the benefits of such organizations. Pat Melendrez, Extension natural resources specialist, will cover sheep and wool production, including a hands-on shearing demonstration.

The workshop costs $20 for both days, or $15 for the first day and $10 for the second. It runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 10 and 8:30 a.m. to noon May 11. Participants are encouraged to preregister.

For more information, or if you are an individual with a disability in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate, call Landers at (505) 863-3432 or e-mail her at kalander@nmsu.edu.