agriculture

Turquoise Table via Flickr / Creative Commons


Let’s Talk New Mexico 9/9 8 am:It's chile season, and many of us are celebrating the return of New Mexico’s favorite crop. Green chile lies at the heart of so much of our state’s culture and identity that it’s hard to imagine what life would be like without it. And yet, chile is by no means assured of a prosperous future. COVID and changing immigration policies have created a labor shortage of chile harvesters, and human-caused climate change has resulted in drought conditions that threaten the very existence of chile verde. On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be digging into the issues facing this iconic New Mexican food.

 

A coalition of elected officials, farmers, conservationists and tribal leaders gathered at the Hoover Dam Thursday and called on lawmakers to place a moratorium on “wasteful” new pipelines or dams that would divert water from the parched Colorado River. The announcement came as a severe drought deepens across the West and as a massive infrastructure bill is slowly moving through Congress.

University Showcase, Friday, 12/18 8a: New Mexico and the Southwest are grappling with profound impacts brought by climate change and those will only get worse, so how are we preparing? Journalist Laura Paskus has covered New Mexico’s environment for years and in her new book from University of New Mexico Press, “At The Precipice: New Mexico’s Changing Climate,” she explores the realities of climate change and the havoc it has been wreaking for years in the state.

Democrats once again lost ground in much of the rural West. That includes Montana, where Republicans swept the election for the first time in at least two decades. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., will soon be the lone progressive holding federal office in the state. He's also the only working farmer in the U.S. Senate and author of a new book, Grounded: A Senator's Lessons On Winning Back Rural America. He spoke about lessons learned from November's election with reporter Nate Hegyi of the Mountain West News Bureau.

Laura Paskus

An overwhelming majority of scientists agree that human-caused climate change is real. And along with more heat, drought and wildfires, we are facing an increase in forced migration – people fleeing their home countries for U.S. borders when they lose their crops or conditions become unlivable. No More Normal host Khalil Ekulona spoke with environmental reporter Laura Paskus about how New Mexicans should be preparing for this future, especially when it comes to water use. She says the Albuquerque stretch of the Rio Grande is critically low and could even stop flowing this month.

No More Normal: The Survival Basics

Aug 30, 2020
Robbie Sugg

 


Summer is winding down and harvest season is quickly approaching. The change of the season is always very beautiful, but before the excitement of the leaves changing colors begins, we have to understand the dangers that many people are facing. With food security concerns around the state and a potential eviction crisis on the horizon it is important to ensure that everyone has the basics for survival. In Episode 7, we look at the essentials of survival—shelter, health care and food—and attempt to see not only what the problems are, but how they can be fixed.

 

The pandemic has beef markets on a roller coaster, and Shohone, Idaho's Amie Taber is among the ranchers along for the ride.

 


A little boy in an orange shirt walks up to a grab-and-go meal site at an elementary school in Salt Lake City, Utah. A school worker wearing a mask uses a bullhorn to let kitchen staff know the boy's there. Then a staffer sets a bag lunch and some extra strawberries on a table and backs away.

 


National Park Service

The coronavirus pandemic has upended normal food distribution networks, especially for meat. It has also left ranchers struggling, unable to get their cattle to market as the virus sickens workers in processing plants around the country and slows production. New Mexico ranchers are working on ways around these problems by going directly to consumers, and they’re hoping it will spark long-term change in the industry. 

Chris Descheemaeker ranches black angus, red angus cross with her family outside of Lewistown, Montana. The coronavirus pandemic, she says, comes after a few tough winters and an already tough market.


SupportPDX Via Flickr

Farming and ranching generate nearly half of the agricultural and food processing industry’s revenue in New Mexico - about 4 billion dollars a year. A program that aims to help farmers and ranchers boost crop numbers and protect habitats for wildlife is getting an update. Now, the public can weigh in. 

A Dump Site Becomes A Greenhouse In The South Valley

Oct 4, 2019
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The South Valley near Albuquerque has a long history of agricultural practice. Friday, October 4, marked the grand opening of a state-of-the-art greenhouse that will help local farmers and serve as a site where young people can learn the tradition. The shared greenhouse is the first of its kind, and it sits on land that was once an illegal dumpsite.

Let's Talk New Mexico's Wet Spring

May 22, 2019
OpenThreads via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/23 8a: Higher than average rainfall and snowpack means we're experiencing one of its wettest springs in decades. The Rio Grande is running ten times higher than it was at this time during last year's drought. So much water increases flood risks and challenges us to remain conservation minded. Has all the rain changed your plans for farming or planting gardens? How are you remaining water conscious? Do you plan to go river rafting or sailing on one of our state’s lakes this year? Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet us using the hashtag #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show.

stlbites.com via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Let’s Talk New Mexico 3/21 8a: It’s spring, so planting, sprouting and growing are on the agenda. We’ll look at how farmers are bringing traditional agricultural practices into their fields. We’ll explore what we can learn from past generations about sustainability and talk about local programs to support this kind of work. We want to hear from you! Are you a small farmer or home gardener? What sort of tips do you have to share with aspiring growers? Does your family use heirloom seeds? How did your grandparents teach you to grow food Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org or call in live during the show.

Farmer Plants His Life In Harvest Cycle

Jul 24, 2018
Melorie Begay

Life for a farmer revolves around the changing of the season, but one Albuquerque farmer’s developed an even deeper relationship with the cycle. 

In Deep Water

Jan 10, 2018
Laura Paskus / NM PBS

As severe drought returns to New Mexico, farmers and skiers alike fret over the state’s lack of snow. Meanwhile, on a cold, cloudy Monday morning in Washington, DC, attorneys for New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and the United States government grappled over the muddy waters of the Rio Grande.

Leah Todd

Let’s Talk New Mexico 10/26 8a: In New Mexico and across the West, economies are changing. From agriculture to tech startups, health care and business on tribal lands, communities in New Mexico are working to adapt. 

This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’re looking at communities who are coming up with solutions to the economic changes our state is facing as part of our collaboration with the Solutions Journalism Network's State of Change project. 

Community Farm Puts Down Roots In South Valley

Jul 11, 2017
Pixabay via Public Domain

The South Valley near Albuquerque is seeing an agricultural renaissance of sorts. First Choice Community Healthcare just broke ground today on a community farm there. Advocates are fixing their attention on local food as a form of preventative health care.

Local government has to provide millions of meals every year to schools and to people who are incarcerated. It’s big money for whoever’s providing that food. The state auditor found it’s mostly national companies that get those multi-million-dollar food contracts.

The Future of New Mexico Wine

Nov 14, 2016

KUNM Call In Show 11/17 8a: New Mexicans have been growing grapes for more than 400 years. Wine is a part of our religious and cultural history--but what part will it play in our future? 

Rio Grande Community Farms

10/29 Sat 9a:  The KUNM Kids will be getting lost, and hopefully found, in the Rio Grande Community Farms Corn Maze. We'll send kids into the maze with a portable transmitter and a microphone to find their way through.  

Food Security Fallout After Animas River Contamination

Aug 19, 2015
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It’s been two weeks since the Gold King Mine spill closed irrigation on the Navajo Nation and officials say fields around Shiprock are beginning to die off. Farmers there want to know when they’ll be able to water their crops again.    

Shiprock Farmers Scramble To Save Fields

Aug 18, 2015
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It’s been nearly two weeks since the Gold King Mine spill caused the shut down of San Juan River irrigation to farms on the Navajo Nation. Emergency stopgap measures aren’t quite panning out. 

Navajo Farmers: EPA Sent Us More Contaminated Water

Aug 17, 2015
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Update Aug. 18, 11:30 a.m.: The EPA said the water for the Navajo Nation came from nearby Bloomfield and met state and federal quality standards. The trucks came from a division of an Aztec, N.M.-based company, Triple S Trucking, that moves non-potable water. The company also hauls fluids to and from oil fields. KUNM awaits comment from Triple S. 

After Plume Passes, Attention Turns To Sediments

Aug 14, 2015
Rita Daniels/KUNM


Water managers in Northwestern New Mexico are trying to figure out how much contamination from the Gold King Mine spill has seeped into ditch irrigation systems. 

Navajo Farmers Frustrated By Lack Of River Data

Aug 13, 2015
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

SHIPROCK, N.M.—Farmers near the San Juan are frustrated by the lack of data from the Environmental Protection Agency after pollutants were released from the Gold King Mine more than a week ago. 

Toxins traveling through the Animas flowed into New Mexico’s San Juan, but it’s not yet known exactly what’s in the river on the Navajo Nation or at what concentrations. That’s at the root of a lot of worry for farmers in Shiprock, who fear the worst for their crops.

Navajo Farmers Frustrated By Lack Of River Data

Aug 13, 2015
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

UPDATE, Friday, Aug. 14, 5 p.m.: The EPA says testing results from the Navajo Nation should be released on Saturday.   

State Environment Secretary Slams EPA

Aug 10, 2015
Rita Daniels / KUNM

State officials met with the Navajo Nation Council on Monday, Aug. 10, to talk about mine waste contamination of the San Juan River flowing through tribal land. New Mexico's top environment official had harsh words about the EPA’s lack of transparency and support. 

Weeds: Eat, Ignore Or Destroy?

Aug 3, 2015
New Mexico State University

KUNM Call In Show 8/6 8a:

*Editor's note: We regret that because of technical difficulties there is no audio archived for this show.

 

Weeds: Not the kind that you smoke, the kind that are sprouting up in every corner of your yard right now. Goat heads, yellow mustardy things, purslane, lambs' quarters. How can you tell the difference between a plant that will drop spiky demon seeds and a weedy-looking thing that makes pretty flowers? Or tastes good? And once you've identified the ones you want to get rid of, can you do you do it safely and permanently? 

A Bittersweet Farewell To Goats Olaf And Sven

Jul 30, 2015
Rita Daniels

CUBA, N.M.—Kids from Sandoval County have been raising animals in anticipation of the annual fair this weekend. 

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