NMACD Outstanding Awards

Awards were given during the NMACD Annual Meeting banquet on October 25th at the Courtyard Marriott Conference Center in Farmington.

The Caballo District, Region 3, is the recipient of the



          Caballo District’s proudest accomplishment was the Garfield Dam Sediment Removal Project.  The district began the project in 2003 with the introduction of the NRCS Watershed Rehabilitation Program. The intent was to remove sediment from the pooling are of the structure bringing the dam back to its original capacity, using this program, but changes to specs and standards of the Dam Safety Bureau, the structure designed to control flood water for a 50-year flood, would now need to meet standards for a 100-year flood.  NRCS designs and plans projected the cost at about $500,000.  Upon in depth soil sample studies, added measures would be necessary to insure the integrity of the Spillway, raising the cost of the project to over $3 million.  The required 10% match funding for the project was beyond reach for the Caballo district. 

          But, the District wanted to show due diligence in maintaining and protecting the health and safety of the residents and ag land below the Garfield Structure, so the Caballo district began lobbying for Capital Outlay Funds to begin the rehabilitation of the structure.  Over several years, the Caballo district was able to attain $300,000 and made plans to remove 12 feet of sediment from the pooling area of the Garfield Structure.  On April 13, 2016, thirteen years after the project began, the Caballo District removed the first load of sediment and the estimated date of completion is Fall of 2016. 

          There were many funding and permitting obstacles along the way, but the District Board adapted and deserve this shining district achievement award!


This year as always we had several deserving land stewards, but The 2016 Outstanding Land Stewardship award goes to the Johnson Family Ranch:  Steve and Maureen, the Taos District Board Chair, Jes and Clay.


          The Johnson family has been in the district thirty years.  Their ranch is located in the northern most part of Taos County.  They own 8,332 acres, 7800 of which is improved pasture land, several acres of hay land, brush land and 80 acres of forest and lease additional acres of range and hay land.

          They have a cow/calf operation, 65 head with a Carson National Forest permit.   They have a commercial herd of Sale X Angus cows and registered Limousin herd.  They consider themselves grass farmers first and ranchers second. Their conservation practices are brush management, managed rotational grazing, cross fence to rotationally graze pastures, monitored grazing areas; rotate supplement and feeding areas; NUTBAL PRO, wildlife set aside pastures and water escape ramps. They take time to observe the results and adjust accordingly. 

          Keeping water and soil on the land is their number one priority; their dedication is evident in the abundance of grass and healthy livestock.

Congratulations to NMACD’s



Gary Hathorn, the 2016 NMACD OUTSTANDING CONSERVATIONIST, sponsored by the San Juan SWCD, gets things done!



        He has dedicated his career and his “retired” life to conservation.  Gary is out in his community daily, applying for grants, meeting with landowners, chasing his cows or volunteering at one of the many ag-related organizations he is involved within San Juan County.  If you want to get a conservation project completed, you want Gary on your team.

        Gary retired from the NMSU Extension Service, but is still a trusted source of knowledge for many in the San Juan County community.  He’s constantly teaching conservation!   

        Gary has worked relentlessly since 2009 to address the huge problems of Russian olive and salt cedar in the San Juan district.  As the Invasive Weed Coordinator for the District, with over 16 grants, totaling more than $5.5 million, Gary spearheaded removal of over 6,000 acres of invasive weeds posing fire hazards.

        For the San Juan district Gary has tirelessly pushed invasive Phreatophyte removal, partnering with San Juan County, NM Game & Fish, New Mexico Sate Park, the BLM and the cities of Aztec, Bloomington and Farmington.  The City of Farmington is a great example of his continued push to enhance their understanding of conservation.  Gary worked with staff at the fire department, parks and recreation and public works over several years.  His goal was to get them to finally understand and address the high risk of fire due to invasive Russion olive growing for years, due to misplaced desire "not to cut down trees."  He then successfully applied for funds to remove invasive trees on their property, with little or no cost to the city.  Several of these projects are being revegetated in 2016 and will be a lasting gift to the people of Farmington, with over four miles of riperian revegetation along the San Juan and Animas Rivers. 


 Deming is the 2016 Outstanding Soil & Water 

Conservation District.        

          The district sponsored a legislator appreciation Banquet and annual meeting.  The district continues to take a leadership role in holding Local Work Group meetings to provide input for EQIP activities. 

          Pennie Hooper is in a unique position as the NMACD’s Farm Bill Program Specialist, assisting NRCS’ Team 7, and the Deming District Clerk.  She and four supervisors attended the NACD annual meeting in New Orleans and one supervisor gave a presentation on the WSA resolution.    

          With the Federal Range Improvement Funds (FRIF), 50% Luna County and 50% rancher funding, four projects were completed for a total of $38,888.  The district attended a FSA producer meeting and Luna county commission meeting to educate them about the FRIF program.     

           Working with the New Mexico Forestry, the district provided 900 tree seedlings at a minimal cost for farmers, ranchers and landowners to plant for erosion control or windbreaks.

          The Deming district hosted booths for conservation education projects at the SW NM State Fair, Border Belles meeting and the Deming High School. The district donated to the New Mexico Envirothon. One of the Deming supervisors hosted Conservation Planning at his farm for two days for NRCS employees. 

          The district works tirelessly to provide leadership in the conservation of water and natural resources to preserve the cultural heritage and tax base for future generations.  That is the mission of the Deming District, this year’s Outstanding District!




(These were presented during the 2016 Region meetings.)

(First ten years from 2016 (2006) recognition, then in increments of 5 years)

10 years (2006)                                                                                    BY – Region:

Vern Andrews                                      San Juan                                REGION 1

Paul Bandy                                            San Juan                                Vern Andrews                      San Juan                 10

Scott Daniel                                           Upper Hondo                       Paul Bandy                           San Juan                 10

Mark Daugherty                                   Lea                                          Julian Sanchez                     Cuba                       10

Steve Harkey                                        Carrizozo                                Timothy Johnson                 Cuba                       30

Rhea Howe                                            Lea                                        REGION 2

Julian Sanchez                                      Cuba                                      Steven Trujillo                       Taos                        10  

Steven Trujillo                                      Taos                                        Maureen Johnson                Taos                        20

 Ronnie Woolf                                       Sierra                                    REGION 3

15 years (2001)                                                                                   Ronnie Woolf                       Sierra                      10

Justin Bennett                                       Northeastern                      Walt Anderson                     Hidalgo                   20

20 Years (1996)                                                                                   Russell Walraven                 Salado                     25

Lewis Derrick                                        Central Valley                      Jack Bruton, Jr.                     Salado                     35

Lawrence Herron                                  Mesa                                    David Ramos                         Hidalgo                  35 

Tommy Holmes                                     Border                                  REGION 4

Maureen Johnson                                Taos                                       Justin Bennett                       Northeastern       15

Larry Perkins                                        Canadian River                      Lawrence Herron                 Mesa                      20                                    

Robert Runnels                                    Upper Hondo                        Harry Hopson                       Ute Creek              40

Eddie Vigil                                              Otero                                     REGION 5

25 years (1991)                                                                                    Tommy Holmes                     Border                   20

Russell Walraven                                 Salado                                     Larry Perkins                         Canadian River     20

30 years (1986)                                                                                    REGION 6

Walt Anderson                                     Hidalgo                                   Scott Daniel                           Upper Hondo        10

Timothy Johnson                                  Cuba                                       Mark Daugherty                   Lea                          10

 35 years (1981)                                                                                    Steve Harkey                        Carrizozo                 10

Jack Bruton, Jr.                                     Salado                                      Rhea Howe                           Lea                           10 

 David Ramos                                         Hidalgo                                   Lewis Derrick                       Central Valley         20

40 years (1957-1966 & 1986 – 2016)                                                Robert Runnels                    Upper Hondo         20  

Harry Hopson                                       Ute Creek                                 Eddie Vigil                            Otero                       20


  The 70th NMACD Annual Conference theme in 2016 was

Watershed Health: Past, Present and Future!

Many photos were taken of the different events.  Those photos have been developed into an album that is available at the bottom of this page.  To access a specific group of photos, please see the second page for a listing of headings.  The Memorial presentations from the Conference and prepared by Kim VanDyke are also contained in the two files below.

NMACD Admin,
Feb 2, 2017, 8:14 PM
NMACD Admin,
Nov 5, 2016, 1:21 PM
NMACD Admin,
Nov 5, 2016, 12:59 PM