The bill, co-sponsored by Representatives Candie Sweetser of Deming, Nathan Small and Bill Gomez from Las Cruces and Debbie Rodella of Española opens the statewide Economic Development Department funding to value-added agriculture.
The bill originated from numerous meetings with constituents during the House Democrats’ Jobs Listening Tour before the legislative session.
Rep. Sweetser said, “Agriculture plays a major role in my district’s economy, and this bill will allow our farmers and ranchers to tap into the entrepreneurial spirit and create new jobs in their industry.”
Value-added agricultural products are agricultural commodities transformed into products ready for sale, like salsas, jams, milled flour, cheese, etc. Value-added agriculture builds on New Mexico’s existing agricultural sector and seeks to expand the industry to create jobs and spur economic development.
The bill passed the house last week and now moves to the Senate.