Livestock Dreams

Dream: Certified organic or certified grass-fed raised and processed beef sold within State is 50% local by 2020. Local consumers are willing to pay higher prices for their value-added product. Mutton, broilers, and turkey can also reach 50% of the natural or organic local market by 2020. Pork might strive for 15%.

Dream: Local slaughter houses and packaging plants return to New Mexico to support local beef production and sales.

Dream: Beef checkoff funds create local economy, free range (grass fed) ranch management, healthy beef, bio-safety, dust cloud control, advertising to public.

Dream: USDA and New Mexico support mobile abattoirs and writes standards and rules for small, local slaughter and packaging facilities.

Dream: Tax incentives given to livestock raisers who raise grass fed (vs. feedlot) beef and dairy.

Dream: All meat products labeled by site of origin and processing (e.g., feedlot with antibiotics, grass-fed ranch, cruelty free beef). Local cattle mature on grass, receive crisis-only antibiotics and humane branding and slaughter.

Dream: The consumer receives a clear, transparent value-chain label for retail-cut beef aged for taste and flavor.

Dream: The value-chain steps and financial transactions circulate within the foodshed. Consumers know whether workers have a living wage, health insurance and safe working conditions.

Dream: For local cattle finished on local feedlots, the feedlots must be small with short residence times, hormone-free (no implants and ionophores), serving feed derived from plants. They must have access to fresh air and sunshine, well-managed living conditions and be able to walk or minimally ride to the slaughterhouse with cruelty-free slaughter. (In the near future the feed should be adjusted to reduce greenhouse gases and the feedlots designed with superior manure and wastewater management.)

Dream: Livestock raisers receive compensation based on their provision of ecological services – gradually replacing or complimenting fees based on forage production, animal units, and private market values.

Dairy Dreams

Dream: Commodity value-chain partners pay increasing attention to milk cow, veal calf and human health risks as well as consumer desires for eco-friendly, humane and local dairy products, and start to re-design their operations to accommodate new market demands, preventing both company and market downturns.

Dream: Scale up a local organic dairy industry with value-added products and transparent labels. 15% of all dairy products come from in-State organic dairies by 2020. A major effort occurs to create an organic dairy cooperative and distribution system.

Dream: Federal and State payments provide a level playing field with special grants and loans to help transition to certified organic and institutional purchases of organic milk and dairy products.

Dairy & Beef Dreams

Dream: Cattle and dairy raisers who receive state and/or federal funds, agree to sell a percentage of their product to local wholesalers and retailers by special contracting. Connect to lunch programs?

Dream: Tax incentives provided to all ranchers and dairymen who switch to organic production.

Dream: Federal and state funds commit to the removal of exotic weeds and some invasive natives to help protect semi-desert grassland habitat and ranchland.

Dream: A southwestern crash program for ranchland to design management strategies to increase resilience to new combination of rain and temperature that are likely under climate change.

Dream: The development of an adaptive management strategy for all federal and state grazed lands (including stocking rate and stocking rotations) based on new predictions of water/ temperature relations.

Dream: Sales of ranches for commercial development include a tax or donation that helps protect native grasslands and wetlands.

Dream: New Mexico, pueblo and tribal governments encourage markets and extension services for legacy livestock such as churro sheep.


  • Sites of origin, range/pasture, feedlot (or unknown)
  • Method of weight-gain (pasture, range, and/or feed-fed or unknown)
  • Whether the pasture grazed is certified organic
  • The type of feed (certified organic, “natural,” commodity or unknown)
  • Feedlot care (use of non-therapeutic antibiotics, implants, and ionophores)
  • Slaughter house care (animal welfare certification that minimizes stressful slaughtering–aka “cruelty free beef”)
  • Healthful meat concerns (dairy cow beef)
  • USDA meat quality grades