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Hart finds success through Arrowhead program

Roch Hart ’83 has found success for his small business through an NMSU program that offers training and mentoring for New Mexico entrepreneurs.

Hart, who earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, is a retired officer with the Albuquerque Police Department. After his retirement, he began managing a 20,000-acre ranch, and became the founder and CEO of Wildlife Protection Management. He led a team in developing the WPM Remote Wildlife Vaccine Delivery System as an alternative to roundup methods that utilize single-shot dart guns. 

This remote inoculation system safely vaccinates and gives contraception to wild horses. Horses are attracted to a feeding station to receive vaccines and an RFID tag to ensure they are not receiving multiple doses, and to monitor their health, track locations and capture data about migratory and roaming patterns.

In order to navigate federal funding, Hart found support through Arrowhead Center’s New Mexico Federal and State Technology program, or NM FAST, which offers targeted support and proposal development assistance for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. These highly competitive programs promote technological innovation by providing non-dilutive funding to small businesses engaging in research and development. 

Hart has participated in Aggie I-Corps and AgSprint. Through these, Hart’s team has conducted valuable customer discovery to realize the validity of their technology. Through NM FAST’s assistance, WPM patented its technology, developed a prototype and secured a Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation STTR program.

“The NSF grant gives our company credibility,” Hart says. “The fact that NSF says, ‘This is a company that we’re willing to invest in,’ tells other federal agencies they saw something they should pay attention to.” 

WPM is partnering with NMSU’s College of Engineering to continue refining their innovation, moving away from using RFID tags to implementing facial recognition software.

Eleven federal agencies have SBIR/STTR programs and collectively provided more than $4 billion in early-stage seed capital in 2021. Since NM FAST began in 2015, it has helped 300 businesses throughout New Mexico secure $11.6 million in SBIR/STTR awards. 

To learn more about NM FAST, visit And to learn more about WPM, visit


Roch Hart is founder and CEO of Wildlife Protection Management, which has received support from programs offered by NMSU's Arrowhead Center.