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NMSU to host Indian Livestock Days May 15-16 in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Cattle producers, including Native Americans, are facing many challenges because of the ongoing drought. Helpful information will be available to producers during the annual New Mexico Indian Livestock Days conference, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, May 15-16, at the Route 66 Casino and Hotel west of Albuquerque on Interstate 40.

New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service agricultural agents and specialists, as well as private industry experts, have designed sessions addressing many issues that producers are facing.

"In addition, there will be a full day of outdoor activities, which has been brought back after the success of last year," said Kathy Landers, McKinley County Extension agricultural agent. "While the outdoor activities are going on, we will also have indoor session provided by our home economists."

The drought is a very real threat to the survival of livestock operations, and that fact has shaped the conference agenda this year.

Among the first day's sessions, Manny Encinias, Extension beef cattle specialist, will talk about supplemental feeds to use during the drought; Gary Sides, cattle nutritionist from Pfizer, will discuss trends going on in the cattle industry.

Representatives from USDA agencies, such as the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the National Agricultural Statistics Service, will discuss programs that are available to help producers during the drought.

"One of the sessions on Tuesday that I'm looking forward to is a report on the Horses For Heroes and Cowboy Up programs," Landers said. "These are for wounded warriors who have lost a limb from recent war action and who have come home to New Mexico and are establishing their own ranches. We will hear from a panel of the men on how they are progressing."

Another important issue that will be discussed is the wolf recovery program. Adam Ringia of Laguna Pueblo will talk about how the government arranged for Native Americans to do wolf releases. "He's going to speak on how Native Americans have a voice on this issue and how they need to express it," Landers said.

Also during the opening day, Karen Budd-Falen of Budd-Falen Law Offices will give an industry update. "She made a presentation at the New Mexico Joint Stockman Convention and was well received. I think our producers will learn a lot from this session," Landers said.

Other sessions on the first day will include a presentation about the cattle market by Jerry Hawkes, NMSU Extension economics specialist, and an update on the sheep industry by Ron Cole, American Sheep Industry wool education consultant. John Wenzel, NMSU Extension veterinarian, will discuss reproductive diseases and trichomoniasis.

Jon Boren, NMSU Extension director, will give an update on NMSU's Extension program and the research being done at the university's agricultural science centers.

The conference's second day will open at the conference facility with a presentation by several young ranchers, followed by two tracks of outdoor sessions. Horse sense and cattle handling will be the morning options. After lunch, Tom Sidwell of JX Ranch's natural beef program will present a rancher's insights and an additional outdoor session will focus on water for livestock.

Meanwhile, NMSU home economists will present indoor sessions on food safety, MyPlate nutritional food servings, diabetes education and food preservation.

"Across the northern part of the state, the home economists are getting requests for canning classes. So they will be speaking on that during the food preservation session," Landers said.

The registration fee is $65 for both days or $35 for individual days, including lunch.

Registration deadline is May 1. Online registration and payment can be done online at http://indianlivestock.nmsu.edu, or submitted by mail to McKinley CES, Star Rt. 2, Box 59, Gallup, NM 87301. Make money orders payable to McKinley CES; no personal checks will be accepted.

Route 66 Casino Hotel registration may be made at 1-866-352-7822. Deadline for special room rate is May 1. Ask for the Livestock 2012 group rate of $69.