Monday, November 28, 2016

Cattle Growers/Purina Mills’ Scholarship Deadline Approaching

Cattle Growers/Purina Mills’ Scholarship Deadline Approaching November 1, 2016, is the deadline to apply for the annual scholarships awarded by Purina Mills and the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association’s (NMCGA’s) Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Committee (YCLC). “We are pleased to be able to offer these scholarships once again, and appreciate Purina Mills and our Allied Industries Committee making it possible,” said Pat Boone, NMCGA President, Elida. “We have some great young people in New Mexico agriculture, and want help them as much as possible as they look to the future.” The $1,000 Purina Mills scholarship will be awarded to a New Mexico student who is a member of the NMCGA, the New Mexico Junior Cattle Growers Association, or the child of an NMCGA member. Graduating high school seniors, and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors in good academic standing are eligible to apply for the award. In addition, the Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Committee and the Allied Industries Committee will also be presenting two $500 scholarships – one to a high school senior and one to a continuing college student – at this same time. “College can be very expensive for students and their families. We are pleased to be able to offer these scholarships and encourage all eligible students to apply,” Boone said. “We want to help NMCGA members and their families continue their education and hopefully return to the agriculture business.” The three scholarships will be presented to the top three applicants during the Joint Stockmen’s Convention slated for December 1 through December 4, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Albuquerque. For more information please contact the NMCGA office at 505.247.0584 or via email at

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Should you hire your kids? Experts answer this common tax question Oct 27, 2016 By Larry Stalcup

Depending on whether it’s a higher- or lower-income year, farmers or ranchers may consider altering their retirement plans or putting family members on the payroll to improve tax and income situations, says Tina Barrett, executive director, Nebraska Farm Business Inc. NFB is an independent company spun off from University of Nebraska Extension. It now has private clients who need help with taxes, estate planning and financial analysis. “In a year like this, there are things you can do to reduce taxes owed,” she says. “If money has been put into a traditional retirement plan in years of high profit, you can’t remove it without penalties — but perhaps some of that money can be moved to a Roth IRA, which allows the money to grow tax-free. The amount that is rolled into a Roth IRA is taxable income but could offset losses in a low-income year.” When cattle or crop prices turn around and tax burdens increase, it may be time to pay family members for their labor. “You must pay a reasonable wage for the work done,” Barrett says. “For example, you can't pay a 2-year-old $10,000 per year to help around the farm. But many kids do considerable work around the operation and can be compensated. This expense reduces your farm income and could be tax-free if their total income is under the standard deduction. “This also gives the kids earned income that they could contribute to a Roth IRA. These funds can be used to pay for college expenses but are not looked at for federal financial aid purposes,” she says. Of course, many spouses do much of the farm or ranch work. “Paying your spouse is another option to consider,” Barrett says. “While this doesn't create the tax savings that paying your children can, it may mean we can create an employee relationship that you can provide with benefits.” There can be tax questions if a farm or ranch has Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” health insurance coverage. “So it’s important to consult a tax professional about your unique situation before implementing any of these plans,” Barrett says.

Beck joins NMSU as State 4-H Department leader

Beck joins NMSU as State 4-H Department leader DATE: 11/08/2016 WRITER: Shelby N. Herrera, 575-646-5368, CONTACT: Stephen Beck, 575-646-1157, The new, New Mexico State University 4-H Department Head started began his new job in mid September, and hopes to continue and build on the success of the program. Originally from Oklahoma, Stephen Beck has been involved in the 4-H program for 20 years as a parent, 4-H agent, 4-H specialist and now department head. Beck said that his role will largely be assisting county agents in order to help their county programs support their county programs. This will help insure that NM 4-H continues to be one of the most successful youth development programs in the nation. Beck said he feels at home at New Mexico 4-H. He said that it feels very similar to Oklahoma 4-H, and the people are warm and friendly, making him excited to be working for the program. Majoring in Agriculture Education, Beck graduated from Oklahoma State University with his B.S. in 1991, with the intention of eventually teaching agriculture education. After graduation, he worked for a corporate hog farm for six years, but Beck wanted to work directly with people. Beck took an agriculture/4-H job at the Harper County Extension Office in rural Oklahoma. He was originally interested in the agricultural side and working with the producers, but Beck said he fell in love with the 4-H program and working with 4-H families. After nine years, Beck took a position in another county, where he could be a full time 4-H educator. He served there for three years. Beck then began his job as an Oklahoma Cooperative Extension 4-H Specialist, where he oversaw the companion animal program, the camping program, the outdoor adventures program and the State 4-H Officers. These jobs led him to his new position as NM 4-H Department Head. “I want to see New Mexico 4-H continue to be a successful program having the positive impact that it’s had in the lives of so many youth,” Beck said. “But at the same time I want to look for opportunities to expand 4-H programming and new strategies to introduce 4-H to underserved audiences.” Realizing that a lot of the youth they are missing live in more urban areas, Beck said they have to do something to spur their interests in the 4-H program. Beck attended his first large New Mexico State 4-H event in September. The State 4-H Rodeo Finals were held the Sept. 23-25 in Albuquerque, where the top competitors from across the state competed for a champion title. Beck said he believes the event went well and he was impressed by skills of the 4-H members. 4-H is the Youth Development Program of New Mexico State University. For more information about 4-H or how to join contact the New Mexico State 4-H Office at 575-646-3026 or visit