Here’s a look at the local headlines:

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that farmers, ranchers and land owners may now sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  The CRP helps farmers and ranchers lead the nation in preventing soil erosion, improving water quality, and restoring wildlife habitat.  Vilsack also announced that retiring farmers enrolled in CRP could receive incentives to transfer a portion of their land to beginning, disadvantaged or veteran farmers through the Transition Incentives Program (TIP).  The TIP is designed as a useful tool to help new farmers and ranchers get started.  To learn more about these programs, visit

The New Mexico State Library kicked off a statewide summer reading program yesterday in Rio Rancho.  Each year the New Mexico State Library leads and supports summer reading in over 100 public and tribal libraries statewide. Last year, New Mexico public libraries provided a total of 1,758 program events for their communities, which were attended by 78,673 participants.

Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, along with US Representative Ben Ray Lujan honored the life and service of Chester Nez, the last of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers, who died Wednesday morning.  Udall remarked, “Let us honor his memory with a renewed inspiration to preserve our Native languages, and rededicate ourselves to keeping alive the story of our Code Talkers and the patriotic spirit that has always run deep in New Mexico and our nation.”  Representative Lujan added, “While we are saddened by the loss of Chester Nez, we are inspired by his service to our nation and the efforts of all Navajo Code Talkers who played a critical role in World War II.  We thank them for their service.”