GO Bond D will shape NM's future - Albuquerque Journal

GO Bond D will shape NM’s future

A very important project of New Mexico State University and its College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is the Agricultural Modernization and Educational Facilities – 2018 General Obligation Bond D. This is not to be confused with the GO Bond that was just voted for in Las Cruces last August.

For GO Bond D, NMSU requested from the New Mexico Legislature $25 million to plan, design, demolish, renovate and construct agricultural and educational facilities at NMSU in Las Cruces.

These modern facilities will lift NMSU and New Mexico’s agriculture and related industries to higher levels because they will provide faculty and students with better tools and technology for their education and research activities.

At the Nov. 6 election, voters will have the chance to increase educational opportunities for students and contribute to economic growth, thus improving the lives of New Mexicans. All without increasing taxes! We cannot continue losing New Mexican students to other universities because we lack adequate and modern facilities to properly train them. I invite you to watch some GO Bond D testimonial videos at http://aces.nmsu.edu/go_bond.

Why are we discussing the modernization of agriculture at the university, state and national levels? Because we face some real and pressing challenges related to water management, and drought- and salt-tolerant crops, a reduction in the ag labor pool, and aging farmers and ranchers, traditional ag operations in need of technological advances, few value-added businesses in New Mexico, low consumer agriculture literacy, and the pressures and demands of global markets, including food safety and security.

The challenges are real, and the need to deal with them now and in the future requires well-formed professionals in a number of disciplines backed by strong research capabilities. They need to be prepared to approach urgent issues in a broader way, as proposed by the recent report “Science Breakthroughs to Advance Food and Agricultural Research by 2030,” for which NMSU President John D. Floros was co-chair.

Agriculture and food processing are a central part of New Mexico’s economy, accounting for about $4 billion in sales and generating nearly $11 billion of New Mexico’s gross state product and 51,000 jobs. Because ACES is the only college of agriculture in the state, we take our mission of being an engine for the economic and community development very seriously. We understand that to continue contributing to bettering the lives of New Mexicans, we need to be intentional about the modernization of agriculture.

We count on you to be bold on Nov. 6 and shape the future of our state in a positive way.

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