Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District released the following statement today to celebrate San Ysidro feast day and the patron saint of farmers.
"Today families in farming communities across New Mexico will recognize San Ysidro feast day and honor the patron saint of farmers. San Ysidro feast day marks the time of year that crops can be planted without the threat of frost and ushers in the warmer months that brings with it the promise of a bountiful harvest in the fall.
"One of many essential components to maintaining a strong agricultural foundation in New Mexico is protecting our acequias, which provide our communities with life-sustaining water that helps us grow our crops and provide for our livestock and families. Caring for our acequias goes beyond their physical condition. We must ensure that there is water flowing through them. As many regions across New Mexico struggle through drought and climate change threatens our traditional water systems, we are reminded of the importance of being good stewards of the land and our environment in order to protect our acequias and the water that they bring to our communities. That is why I introduced the Forest Stewardship and Fire Fuels Reduction Act of 2012. Many of New Mexico's critical watersheds reside on National Forests and public lands, and we need to have the tools to protect them from catastrophic wildfires.
"San Ysidro feast day serves as a reminder of the role that agriculture and farming have played in New Mexico for hundreds of years and the connection that our communities have to the land and water that are vital to sustain our way of life. Generations of New Mexicans have worked the land to provide for their families, and it is critical that we continue to preserve agricultural vocations that are significant to our culture, our traditions, and our economy."