Sunday, July 10, 2016

Commissioner of Agriculture Announces New Conservation Services Division Director

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, Don Brown, has named Les Owen of Las Cruces, New Mexico, as the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Services Division Director. Owen assumes his new role in August 2016.

“This is an exciting time for the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado’s agricultural industry; Les will be enhancing our federal lands and issues efforts by leading our Department in federal land use and planning, and conservation and natural resources issues that impact agriculture,” said Commissioner Brown.

“Federal land management, endangered species, and critical habitat designations have a tremendous effect on agricultural producers. It is vital that we collaborate at the state and federal levels to allow for multiple land uses while conserving natural resources,” said Owen.

Owen grew up on a family ranch in Corona, New Mexico, and is the current Natural Resources Program Manager with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA). His duties, in part, included promoting responsible and effective use and management of natural resources in support of agriculture through communication, coordination, and collaboration with federal, state, and local governmental agencies and organizations. He has also held the Natural Resources Policy and Planning Analyst position in which he facilitated conflict mediation between ranchers and federal agencies including the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Other positions in Owen’s career include a 4-H Extension Agent and a research associate with the New Mexico State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Range Science.

The Conservation Services Division at the Colorado Department of Agriculture provides oversight and coordination of the Department's efforts to protect and enhance the state's agriculture activities as they relate to land use and range management, conservation, soil and vegetation management, grazing rights on public lands, water quality and quantity, wildlife habitat, endangered species, and energy development.  The purpose of the unit also includes administrative and financial assistance to the 76 conservation districts; and oversight and administration of the noxious weed, bio-control (insectary), groundwater, chemigation, and weed free forage programs.

A gain for Colorado, but a loss for New Mexico.

Congratulations Les!

1 comment:

Joe Delk said...

Les will be missed in New Mexico but he will always have our back. The Les Owen I know has the prowess of a cougar. Like the big cat lays low and quiet until the right time to spring into action, Les Owen studies an issue, gathers his facts, lays out a plan and then speaks out with accuracy and authority. Yay for Les and his family.