Dairy spokesperson and lobbyist Beverly Idsinga didn't seek the job. But when Gov. Susana Martinez asked her to take it, Idsinga said yes without hesitation.
Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
Idsinga, the governor's office announced Wednesday, is the newest appointment to the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces.
Idsinga said she will be the only dairy representative on the board of the museum, a sprawling 44-acre interactive agricultural display with 24,000 square feet of exhibit space that celebrates farming and ranching in New Mexico.
"We (dairies) need to make sure that we're represented on that board," said Idsinga, who is executive director of the Dairy Producers of New Mexico. Idsinga points out that in terms of dollars generated each year, agriculture is the number two industry in the state. And in agriculture, dairy is number one in production.
The state Department of Agriculture calculates the 152 dairy farms in the state on average produce 677,660,541 pounds of milk each month and a produced a total of 8,131,926,494 pounds last year. That means more than 169,000 tanker loads of raw milk a year are generated by dairies across New Mexico, according to the department's website.
Idsinga is no stranger to dairy or spreading the word of its importance to the state. One of her functions for the dairy producers is as a lobbyist for the industry at the Legislature. She grew up on her parents' dairy farm in southern California and she and her husband, Doug, run the 2200 milking-cow Crosswinds Dairy near Portales.
Idsinga holds a bachelor's degree in justice studies from Arizona State University and a master's degree in public administration from California State University-San Bernadino.
As a lobbyist, Idsinga said she monitors legislation that affects dairies and helps spread the word to those who make their living in the state's top agricultural business.
Most recently, Idsinga said, she, Doug and their newborn 3-month-old daughter Charley— "My little lobbyist," she said — traveled to Washington D.C. to help push for adoption of a Farm Bill, which eventually was not adopted by Congress before it adjourned until after the November general election.
As a lobbyist and from her new post on the museum board, Idsinga said she sees it as her duty to protect the agricultural industry and the dairy business.
"Obviously," Idsinga said, "We're such a big part of the industry."