Watch SOIL STORIES recordings on the NM Healthy Soil YouTube Channel:
Online conversations on soil health
Our guest starts with a short presentation, followed by conversation with participants.
Jeff grew up on his family’s ranch on the Rowe Mesa between Moriarty and Las Vegas, New Mexico, and currently lives with his wife Janet in southern New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley. He graduated from New Mexico State University (NMSU) with degrees in agricultural business management and economics.
After college, Jeff worked for New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau as the field representative. During this time, Jeff worked to bring farmer groups and rancher groups together. The Ag Group, as it’s loosely known, still gathers every year prior to the legislative session to set policy priorities that will benefit all of agriculture. When the session gets going, the group hosts Ag Fest to showcase the diversity of New Mexico agriculture. Jeff was instrumental in making this an annual event.
Jeff first came to NMDA in 1994 as the assistant director alongside Director/Secretary Frank DuBois and then went to work as the director for the Office of Agricultural Biosecurity for NMDA and NMSU. He later launched the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center at NMSU.
Jeff was named New Mexico’s fifth permanent Director/Secretary of Agriculture in May 2011. Currently, he serves as the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) President. He is past president of the Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture. He’s also past Chair of Natural Resources, Pesticide Management and Environment Committee for NASDA.