Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

Briefcase: Applause for New Mexico workers, companies

Jeroen and Traci van der Ploeg

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Jeroen and Traci van der Ploeg of Clovis, who raise wheat, corn, and beef cattle and run a dairy operation, are among the finalists for the National Outstanding Young Farmers Awards program. The van der Ploegs have diversified their farm by incorporating a milk and yogurt company as well as a specialty shop to direct market their products.

Eight finalist individuals and couples, including the van der Ploegs, have been selected. The four final winners will be announced at the 2022 NOYF Awards Congress.

The program is the oldest farmer recognition in the nation, and selected its first group of winners in 1955. The program is sponsored by John Deere, administered by the Outstanding Farmers of America, and supported by the U.S. Jaycees, the National Association of Conservation Districts, and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

For more information or to nominate an agricultural producer for the award, visit or the Outstanding Farmers of America on Facebook.

Spencer Wilcox, the executive director, technology and chief security officer for PNM, has been recognized by Security Magazine as a top cybersecurity leader for 2021. Since beginning his work at PNM in 2018, Wilcox has developed a security program at the company with nearly 100% of cyber analysts achieving nationally recognized certification. His teams have delivered an enterprise-wide phishing awareness program, in partnership with their human resources counterparts, that has demonstrated a best-in-class reduction in phishing susceptibility of below 1%.

Yellowstone Landscape West Region’s Santa Fe Branch has won two prestigious safety awards. The first, the Excellence in Safety Award, recognizes the top Yellowstone branch each year and its strict adherence to safety standards, as measured in quarterly safety audits. The second award celebrates the branch’s admission into the 500 Plus Club for achieving 500 days with no accidents, incidents or claims for injury. The branch is currently approaching 900 days without incident.

Safety at all Yellowstone branches is spot-checked by a traveling auditor who makes surprise inspections four times per year. The safety auditor reviews an extensive checklist that includes whether appropriate equipment is stocked on crew trucks and trailers and if that equipment is actually being used in the field; that crews use personal protective equipment like hard hats, vests and ear protection; branch accident records and more. Yellowstone West Region’s Santa Fe Branch achieved an average of 99% on its safety inspections in the last year.

Items for consideration for Applause should be typed and sent to Business Outlook, P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103. They can also be e-mailed to

Subscribe now! Albuquerque Journal limited-time offer

Albuquerque Journal seeks stories of our community's pandemic loss

If you’ve lost a loved one to COVID-19 and would like for the person to be included in an online memorial the Journal plans to publish, please email a high-resolution photo and a sentence about the person to Please email
Please include your contact information so we can verify, and your loved one’s name, age, community where they lived and something you want our readers to know about them.