Agriculture could be economic answer when power plants close | KOB 4
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Agriculture could be economic answer when power plants close

Meg Hilling
April 24, 2018 09:37 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – When the power plants in the Four Corners and people need work, one expert says agriculture is the answer.

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Bonnie Hopkins, an agriculture agent for New Mexico State University in San Juan County, said farming and ranching have always been a cornerstone to the community, which is exactly why some are looking to it as a lifeline.

"We have a lot of challenging situations coming up, with everything that is happening out at the mines," she said.

Over the next few years, the Four Corners is expected to see the closing of coal powered plants, leaving many in the region without jobs.

"So many people participate in small gardens or farms or they help their families' members, so they already have these skill sets," Hopkins said.

It's prompting agriculture experts in the region to see this as an opportunity to really return to the region.

"Agriculture continues to come up on our radar as a path forward," Hopkins said. "That has a lot of potential."

What aspects of agriculture would be best for here in the Four Corners? Growing alfalfa and raising livestock are two of the most popular options in the region.

"So we are really looking at this gaps as to how do we get these people from the jobs they are in now that may not be here in a few years to creating jobs that not only benefit them but the local economy as well," Hopkins said.

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Meg Hilling

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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