The New Mexico State Land Office and the NM Healthy Soil

Working Group have teamed up to offer a series of informative webinars for state trust

land agricultural lessees and the greater agricultural community. The first in the series

will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, October 13 th , from 1:00 – 2:00 pm (MDT) on Zoom.

The first webinar in the series, titled “Groundwater, Soils & Management: Complexities

and Connections” will feature Dr. Kate Zeigler of Zeigler Geologic Consulting, and Emily

Cornell, owner of Sol Ranch outside of Wagon Mound, NM.

Dr. Zeigler is the owner and senior geologist of her Albuquerque based consulting

business. Born in Montana and raised in Texas, she came to New Mexico in 1999 to

continue her studies of geology, earning her Ph.D from the University of New Mexico.

Kate found her calling using her skillset to provide information about groundwater

resources to agricultural producers and rural communities.

“The webinar title, ‘Complexities and Connections’ really only scratches the surface

when we consider what New Mexico farmers and ranchers face in their daily lives. In my

career, I’ve focused on the challenges of groundwater resource management and now

am learning to think about the connection to the soil, ,” Dr. Zeigler said. “What I hope

people come away with after the webinar is an understanding of how complicated this

system is and how to better assess how they use these resources in their operations.”

Emily Cornell runs a cow-calf, grass-fed beef ranch. It’s part of the same ranch she grew

up on and where her parents still run a cow-calf operation. Emily returned home to

lease part of her family’s land after receiving her B.S. in Environmental and Organismic

Biology from Ft. Lewis College in Durango, CO and then working for the Manti-La Sal

National Forest in Utah as a range technician.

“Sol Ranch strives to manage for biologically diverse ecosystems with healthy soil by

using innovation in our approach to grazing management, infrastructure development,

monitoring, and collaborating with scientists and neighbors,” Emily said. “I want to

share my experience with this approach to range management along with some ideas

I’ve gained through my continuing education in land management with others in the

state who may benefit.”

The State Land Office leases nearly 9 million acres of state trust land to ranchers,

farmers, and agricultural producers across the state. The webinar series with the

Healthy Soils Working Group is part of a continued engagement effort to provide

resources and information to nearly 3,500 grazing lessees.

“My family operated ranches on the eastern plains and northern mountains of New

Mexico, and I understand that these operations can, at times, be under a lot of strain,”

Commissioner Garcia Richard added. “Whether it is drought and climate change,

or changes in production prices, or just keeping up with new science – we want our

agricultural lessees to know that we care about them and want to help them succeed at

every turn.”

The collaboration with the NM Healthy Soil Working Group is not the first instance of

the State Land Office engaging with an organization to offer informative webinars to

agricultural lessees. Three drought related webinars took place in the summer of 2020

in partnership with the Quivira Coalition, the Coalition to Enhance Working Lands, and

the Western Landowners Alliance.

The second webinar in the series with the NM Healthy Soil Working Group, “Greater

Profitability Through Soil Health,” will take place Tuesday, November 10 th , from 1:00

pm to 2:00 pm.

Registration is required for each webinar, and can be found online here. Those wishing

to access the webinar by phone can call 505-231-8471 to register.

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