NM Farmers Still Recovering From Devastating Floods
PHOTO: New Mexico farmers are plowing ahead following September's devastating floods that led to President Obama granting the state a Disaster Declaration. Image courtesy of the American Friends Service Committee.
November 8, 2013
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico farmers are plowing ahead following September's devastating floods that led to President Barack Obama granting the state a Disaster Declaration.
Don Bustos, co-director of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) of New Mexico, which works with farmers on sustainable agriculture practices, says growers are still picking up the pieces.
There are estimates that the flooding may have caused up to $100 million of damage to irrigation systems, roads, bridges, houses and other infrastructure.
Bustos says several fields were pretty much wiped out.
"When the rainstorms started up a few weeks ago, the water jumped the irrigation – or the drainage canals – and flooded the fields that we had," he explains.
In the spirit of not quitting, the AFSC is holding its annual Harvest Dinner in the Las Cruces area on Sunday. The annual meal for invited guests showcases foods grown using AFSC's sustainable farming practices.
The floods may have damaged lands and infrastructure, but Bustos says the spirit and unity of New Mexico's farming community remains strong.
"In several instances, I saw several community members coming together – working to help the community flourish and to continue agriculture as it has been," he says.
Obama’s disaster declaration for New Mexico frees up federal funds to help pay for infrastructure repairs.