EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Newly elected U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez, D-New Mexico, will serve on two agriculture subcommittees — Livestock, Dairy and Poultry and Forestry.

Vasquez represents New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, which is largely rural and encompasses Southern New Mexico and the western half of Central New Mexico.

“These two subcommittees are incredibly important to New Mexico, as they are both critical to our economy, our agricultural heritage, our farmers, and our farm workers,” Vasquez said. “I strongly believe we have a role to protect our planet for our kids and their kids – to have access to clean water, healthy air, and making sure we employ sustainable agricultural practices to feed our families. We can implement smart solutions to tackle climate action, which impacts New Mexico with record drought, wildfires, and air quality. We can accomplish our climate goals while growing our economy.”

As a member of the Forestry subcommittee, Vasquez’s work will be vital to supporting the U.S. Forest Service and working with the district’s national forests. Serving on this committee will be an opportunity to “uplift New Mexico’s outdoor recreation economy as it directly supports $1.2 billion in income and 33,500 jobs,” according to Vasquez’s office.

As a member of the Livestock, Dairy and Poultry subcommittee, Vasquez will work on policy that impacts New Mexico’s dairy and beef industries – two of the largest commodities in the state. The New Mexico dairy industry alone accounted for $1.3 billion in milk sales in 2020.