If the Texas Grain Sorghum Association has its way, dairies in New Mexico will be feeding their cattle primarily Texas grain sorghum by the year 2002.

That's the goal of a major push to convince New Mexico dairymen to use Texas grain sorghum as their primary feed source. The drive, which is being spearheaded by TGSA field representative Joe Ben Chote, focuses on the large and growing dairy industry in eastern New Mexico.

According to Chote, if TGSA could convert the dairies in the Clovis and Roswell strsd alone to 100 percent Texas grain sorghum, they would consume 6.25 percent of the total sorghum produced in the Texas Panhandle. Other New Mexico dairies included in the push are near Portales, Artesia, Las Cruces, Lovington, Hobbs and Albuquerque. TGSA also is marketing to the Texas Panhandle and Mexico.

To get a better understanding of the dairies' needs, Chote recently traveled to eastern New Mexico and met with dairy industry representatives and toured feeding operations.

"It's important for us to identify the needs of the dairies and how sorghum producers can best meet those needs," Chote said. "Then our challenge will be to develop a strategic plan to meet those needs and go to work putting that plan into action."

Part of his strategy includes setting up meetings between TGSA and dairy representatives and sponsoring experts to educate dairies about the benefits of sorghum as a high-quality, cost-effective food source.

TGSA hopes to accomplish this by mailing information to the dairies, sponsoring expert speakers at conferences and trade shows.