Soil Stories: Online Conversations about Soil Health
July 5, 2022 5:30 PM
My name is Jim Armendariz. I am the State Rangeland Management Specialist for the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in New Mexico. I am originally from the Santa Rosa/Fort Sumner, NM area where I grew up ranching. My family and I worked for ranchers in the area all of our lives and still do, all while having the dream of a ranch of our own. We weren’t born into one, weren’t able to marry into one, and we don’t have anybody to inherit one from, so we decided to build one from the ground up. We started out with a small grazing lease for 12 head of cattle outside of Santa Rosa, NM about 18 years ago, and have since then been blessed to grow to a 200 cow herd where we are now filling a small Grass-Finished Beef Niche market here in New Mexico (A&G Family Meats L.L.C.).
I got a degree in Animal and Range Science from New Mexico State University (NMSU) and have worked on and off for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Bureau Of Land Management (BLM) for the last 16 years as a Wildland Firefighter and a Rangeland Management Specialist. I am passionate about agriculture and helping farmers and ranchers get to better days through better ways. The Soil Health Movement in particular has really caught my attention, because it is such a simple concept. You can pull up thousands of pages of literature and research and studies the talk about healthier rangelands and croplands, most of which are too long and complicated for the practitioner on the ground (farmers and ranchers) to understand and implement. That is not the case with the Soil Health Movement though. It is the easiest concept to wrap your mind around. And the Results are very evident once you start to implement the soil health principles.