Feb 28 2018

Cattle Growers Honor Ray Keller at Convention



Cutline: Ray Keller (left) accepts his award from former NMCGA President Pat Boone. 

Ray Keller, Carlsbad, received the 2017 Ayudando Siempre Alli Award from the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association (NMCGA) at the Joint Stockmen’s Convention, recently held in Albuquerque.

“We truly appreciate the work that Ray has put into improving landscapes in southeastern New Mexico,” said Tom Sidwell, NMCGA President, Quay.  “He helped bring together landowners, local businesses and industry, land management agencies, private organizations and state and local officials work cooperatively on invasive species control, and much has been accomplished.  Ray’s ability to lead by example has inspired industry, agencies as well as landowners to improve stewardship of the lands that we all depend upon.”

Keller, who will soon retire from the Carlsbad office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), spearheaded the Restore New Mexico program that put funds from the National Resource Conservation Service’s (NRCS) EQIP program together with private dollars to change the face of the landscape of southeastern New Mexico. Over the years, he has worked with more than 300 partners including Soil & Water Conservation Districts in several counties in New Mexico and groups including the New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts (NMACD), CEHMM (Center of Excellence), the Wild Turkey Federation, New Mexico State University, Dow Chemical, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, NRCS, Watershed Alliance, Bureau of Reclamation, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, and the New Mexico Highway Department.      

Through his efforts, over 3 million acres have been treated with programs ranging from invasive species control – mesquite, cat-claw/creosote, and shin-oak; noxious weed treatment – African Rue, Malta Star-thistle, salt cedar; and restoration and reclamation – including abandoned well pads, caliche pits and oil field roads. 

            Keller worked cooperatively with the Carlsbad Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) as well as other State and Federal agencies to treat and eradicate salt cedar and Russian olive infestations along the Pecos River, the Delaware River, and the Black River.  His efforts and multiple year work with an in-house crew resulted in the Delaware River receiving a National Riparian award from the American Fisheries Society.  In addition, he laid the ground work for all the Federal lands in Eddy County along the Pecos River to be aerially sprayed in the fall of 2003. 

“Nearly every day one or more of our members are interacting with US Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management staff on a wide variety of challenges and opportunities from regulations to restoration and enhancement of these lands,” Sidwell noted.  “The results of Ray Keller’s hard work, and willingness to work with anyone who was interested in helping are visible and ongoing today.  It’s a great example of how relationships between land management agencies and others should work, and we’re glad to have the opportunity to say thank you.” 

The Ayudando Siempre Alli Award (Always There Helping) is given by the Association each year to an individual who has given of their time and talents on behalf of the industry, but is not necessarily actively involved in cattle production.  Some years, the winner is a NMCGA member, but often they are not.  Past winners include bankers, elected officials, an attorney, an artist, a publisher, state legislators and other agricultural organizations.  The award is sponsored by Farmway Feed Mills, Las Vegas, NM.

“There are countless people behind – and sometimes in front – of the scenes who support and make the work of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association possible,” Boone pointed out.  “These people come from all walks of life and all sorts of careers but they all care about ranchers and our families. Some of them we have known forever, others are newer friends, but they all give of themselves for our benefit — they are always there.”

The NMCGA has represented the beef industry in New Mexico and the West since 1914 and has members in all 33 of the state’s counties as well as some 14 other states. The Association participates in venues necessary to protect beef producers and private property rights including litigation, state and federal legislation and regulatory affairs.  

For further information, contact:  Caren Cowan

505.247.0584 phone / nmcga@nmagriculture.org email


Feb 23 2018

Chance Named CowBelle of the Year

Chance Named CowBelle of the Year

Carolyn Chance, Peralta, was named the New Mexico CowBelles’ (NMCB) 2017 CowBelle of the Year at the Joint Stockmen’s Convention, held recently in Albuquerque.

Chance is a 12-year member of the Chuckwagon CowBelles, who nominated her for the award.  Her nomination cites her energy and dedication in all she does.  “Carolyn actively and continually supports the beef industry with her involvement at the local and state levels.  She strives to involve others and volunteers with dedication and a “get it done right” attitude.”

A native of eastern New Mexico, Chance worked for the Cooperative Extension Service for 25 years in Lea, Bernalillo and Valencia Counties, then worked for the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association for six years before “retiring” and becoming active in the CowBelles and other groups.

“We truly appreciate Carolyn’s efforts on behalf of the New Mexico CowBelles to promote beef and educate the public about agriculture,” said Ashley Ivins, NMCB President, Capitan.  “The generosity and dedication of women like Carolyn is and always has been the backbone of our Association, and we are glad to have this opportunity to say thank you.”   

She is a former president, vice president and program chairman, and beef promotion chairman for the Chuckwagon Cowbelles, and is very active in both local and state CowBelles’ activities including ag days, county fairs, Indian Livestock Day, Galloping Grace Ranch’s Pumpkin Patch, the newly instituted “Valencia County Food Camp for Kids” and more.  On the state level, she has held several offices including membership chairman, state secretary and District 1 Representative.   

She is also active in her community and church, is a member of the Sunshine Mid-Valley Extension Club and helps judge 4-H entries at the county and state level.

The first local chapter of the New Mexico CowBelles was founded in 1957, following the lead of a group of Douglas, Arizona, ranch wives and daughters who first established the CowBelles in 1939.  The group has evolved today as a leader in providing consumer information on the benefits of beef to the American diet. The New Mexico CowBelles is an affiliate of the American National Cattlewomen’s Association (formerly the American National Cowbelles) who sponsor the bi annual National Beef Cook-off as well as the Beef Ambassador contest which develops young spokespersons for the beef industry. Additionally the CowBelles provide social support for their fellow members and local charities.


For further information, contact:  Caren Cowan

505.247-0584 phone / nmcga@nmagriculture.org email

Feb 23 2018

2017 Cattleman of the Year

2017 Cattleman of the Year

(l to r)  (back) Shacey Sullivan, Beverly Merritt, Rex Wilson, (front row) Wynn, Lauren, and Joe Bill Nunn, Mitch Selking, Al Porter, both with Farm Credit of New Mexico and CoBank; Michelle, Justin, Kelsey and Tristen Nunn


     There are cowboys and there are cattlemen. The distinction is subtle and many times they are one in the same. The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association takes great pleasure in honoring one of these cowboy/cattlemen each year. These individuals are pillars of their communities and all have many unique qualities they share more than generously with their time, talent and resources.

     This year’s honoree has a story that is similar to many in New Mexico. Today there are four generations of the family working side by side on the family ranches with the elder keeping a close eye on the grandkids and great grandchild to make sure they are safe. This man believes that he belongs in the saddle every day, a place he has been since he got his first saddle and began learning from his legendary father and mother.

     But that doesn’t keep him from serving his local community and the ranching community. You may not see him in the halls of the Roundhouse often, but he has logged his share of miles back to DC and spends a more time than he would like to on the phone with legislators at the state and federal level.

     He was a star on his FFA and New Mexico State judging teams, but star is hardly a word that he would apply to himself. He still regularly is asked to judge sale range bulls. He has been a CowBelle Man of the Year and Border Belles Father of the Year. He is on the Board of the NMCGA and has served numerous terms, the New Mexico Federal Lands Council, the Southwest Grazing Association, several State Trust Lands Advisory Committees, and in 2014 was honored with the Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman’s Award in Midland. He was recently named the Ag Business Man of the Year by the Deming Chamber of Commerce.

     Joe Bill Nunn has never turned away an opportunity to educate the public, elected officials, youth and the media about raising livestock and caring for the land and wildlife. He knows the challenges of the past and accepts the challenges in today’s ever-changing world.

     While he is a quite man, he knows where to speak up and to stand up for what is right. You don’t find Joe Bill behind a computer much, but he expresses himself very well in the written word. His letter to the Fish & Wildlife Service about the Mother’s Day one of his cows spent after the early morning kill of her calf by a Mexican wolf.

     Once asked by a reporter why he continued to ranch when it is such are hard way to make a living, Joe Bill responded “We don’t make much monetary profit, that’s true. But the real profit is in being able to work outside with my family.”

     He takes great pleasure in the quality of the cattle he has raised and raises, whether they are the big healthy weaned calves and stockers he rears or in a judged competition. Joe Bill and his wife, Lauren, have a son and a daughter and their spouses, Justin & Michelle & their children Tristen & Kelsey; Tamijo & Phil Treadwell & their daughters Starlyn and Shandy; great granddaughter Wynn.



Feb 23 2018

Ranchers invited to meet in Quay County

Ranchers invited to meet in Quay County with NMSU livestock production experts

TUCUMCARI, N.M. – Agricultural producers will gather with New Mexico State University livestock experts Tuesday, Feb. 27, for presentations on cattle-related topics and a Ranchers’ Roundtable discussion of range livestock production at the Tucumcari Convention Center, 1500 Route 66 in Tucumcari.

“We are sponsoring a breakfast with an Extension Animal Science and Natural Resources program,” said Shad Cox, superintendent of NMSU’s Corona Range and Livestock Research Center. “Producers will have a chance to hear updates on the Tucumcari Bull Test and ACES High calf program, and hear a presentation on applied reproduction techniques.” The Roundtable discussion will follow the breakfast.

The event will be presented in partnership with the Quay County Cooperative Extension Service office.

Topics of discussion at the Quay County event, “Let’s Talk! Breakfast in Town,” will depend partly on ranchers’ questions, but experts on hand will be especially well-versed in cow/calf/stocker nutrition, reproduction and management.

The event will start at 8 a.m. with a free breakfast. The event is free to attend.

Among the experts from NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences planning to be on hand are professor Eric Scholljegerdes in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences; Marcy Ward, Extension Livestock Specialist in Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources; and Craig Gifford, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, also in Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources.

The Quay County program follows a similar event that took place Feb. 14 in Chaves County.

Feb 20 2018

Raising Ranchers Program

Thank you for your interest in the Raising Ranchers program! Please find the following applications below: Landowner Application and Participant Application.

Landowner application

Participant application

For more information or to return your application, please contact the Cattlegrowers Foundation at:
(505) 247-0584
2231 Rio Grande Blvd. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87194

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Original Environmentalist