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2501 Grant Helps Spread Regenerative Agriculture Knowledge throughout Taos County

Posted by Lillie Caudle Valdez, Intern, Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement in Equity Initiatives
Jun 27, 2024
Three men talking in a field

The Taos County Economic Development Corporation (TCEDC) has been serving the members of Taos County and northern New Mexico for over 35 years. The organization supports the food, land, water and cultures of the people of Northern New Mexico by practicing regenerative agriculture and spreading knowledge of sustainable farming.

“Regenerative agriculture works with nature,” said TCEDC Executive Director Mercedes Rodriguez. “It’s about reversing soil degradation and prioritizing efforts to build up the soil to make it healthier.”

TCEDC staff wanted to share information about regenerative agriculture practices to members of the Taos County community. To help fund these efforts, the organization applied for and secured United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2501 Program grants.

TCEDC promotes and hosts information and education events. With a recent 2501 grant, the organization hosted a large collaborative training earlier this year on regenerative agriculture and soil health practices applicable to both irrigated and unirrigated lands. Attendees received introductory and educational information in the classroom as well as hands-on activities out in the field to practice working these techniques.

“Bringing experts to show practical demonstrations of how to move forward with regenerative agriculture, and bringing ranchers together with nonprofits and agencies to learn together is really helpful,” said Pat Pacheco from Los Pachecos Ranch. “The collaborative is creating a local network and helping us with land access, marketing, education and support.”

TCEDC continues to work closely with local veteran farming organizations to share regenerative agriculture strategies and encourage their adoption. Staff also work with individual farmers and ranch owners to help them incorporate high-intensity rotational grazing practices. This system divides large grasslands into smaller area that animals graze before they are moved to a different area, allowing for more recovery time of previously grazed sections.

“The goal of TCEDC is to bring together the powers that be to make great things happen in Taos,” said Rodriguez. “The 2501 grant helps make that possible.”

USDA is accepting applications for this year’s 2501 Program grants until July 5. To apply, visit

Category/Topic: Equity Initiatives