June 13, 2014
The New Mexico FFA Association annual state convention was conducted on the NMSU campus. A total of 577 FFA members and 380 guests were in attendance for the proceedings. Dean Lowell Catlett offered the official "Welcome to the University" during the first general session at the 86th NMFFA State Convention. He also accepted the sponsorship award on behalf of NMSU and the College of ACES, recognizing the universities support as a 1 Star Partner through our New Mexico FFA Foundation. NMSU is FFA's largest foundation contributor, and the only organization in their 1 Star Partner Categories. Ten leadership competitions were conducted with the winning teams or individuals qualified for national competition in Louisville Kentucky in October. The Agriculture Science fair was also conducted with first place teams and individuals qualified for national competition. Eighty four FFA members received their state FFA degree which is the highest level of membership that a student may receive from their state association. Ten adults from across the state were installed as honorary members. Guest speakers for the event included: Wile Baily former national FFA officer, Matt Rush former director of the New Mexico Farm Bureau, Jeff Witte New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture and Jason Wetzler current National FFA officer. The convention concluded with the election of new district and state FFA officer teams. Mr. Tom Dean, Southwest District Director, received the State FFA Honorary Degree Award for his outstanding support to New Mexico FFA.
Cooperative Extension Program
Cooperative Extension Service's Tom Dominguez and Jack Blandford, County Agents, hosted the New Mexico Youth Ranch Management Camp (Educating tomorrow's leaders in ranch management, today) this week at the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The camp is an educational hands on experience for youth ages 15 to 19. Beef Day focused on all things related to beef production. From reproduction to beef carcass fabrication. During Marketing Day they learned first-hand what it takes to market cattle. Real life scenarios provided a unique opportunity that no other camp offers. Wildlife Day was filled with fun activities ranging from target shooting to wildlife spotting. Range Day focused on the importance of resource management. Field Experts covered plant identification, stocking rates, grazing systems and more. For more details, please visit NM Youth Ranch Management.
- Patrick Torres, Cooperative Extension Service northern district interim director, and Stephanie Walker, Extension vegetable specialist, were pleased to host the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) Fellows group in New Mexico. The SARE Fellows Program is a collaborative effort with the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA). It recognizes NACAA members who are leaders in sustainable agriculture endeavors and provides them with the opportunity to get in-depth knowledge in farming and ranching operations throughout the country. Tours were conducted in Valencia, Bernalillo, Torrance, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties in collaboration with the local Extension agents.
- Otero County Cooperative Extension: The 2014 Kids, Kows & More Expo brought 595 fourth grade students to the Otero County Fairgrounds for a fantastic 2 day agriculture learning experience. For five years this has been one of the county's most educational and hands on learning experiences introducing children and adults to agriculture and natural resources. Eight learning stations on the Fairgrounds taught students about where our food, fiber and care of natural resources come from. The Kids, Kows, & More Expo offered great activities which allowed children and adults to learn about cows, vegetables, water, erosion, pistachios, forestry, wildlife, beef, cattle brands, and a lot more. Dona Ana County Extension: The 13th annual Kids & Kows and More Expo for Doña Ana county held at the NM Farm and Ranch Heritage museum reached a total of 1436 students, 85 teachers and 49 volunteers. This 3 day event focuses on how agriculture is a part of our everyday activities. Eight learning stations taught the students and adults about cows, chile, beef, food safety, vegetables and much more.
Media Productions/Ag Communications
- Media Productions/Ag Communications has just released a mobile app that helps consumers manage and pay their debt more efficiently, saving time and money. PowerPay was developed in conjunction with Utah State University's Extension, based on their popular PowerPay program. It is available on the NMSU App Store.
Plant and Environmental Sciences
- The Extension Plant Sciences Department, in cooperation with the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens, conducted a National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) Certified First Detector Training Workshop in Santa Fe. The NPDN First Detector program promotes early detection of invasive and exotic plant pathogens, arthropods, and weeds by educating participants on how to recognize these potential threats and what to do if they see a pest of concern. Workshop participants included botanical gardens staff and volunteers, County Extension Agents, and Master Gardeners. First Detectors receive timely information on potential pest threats through electronic newsletters and continuing education courses. This workshop certified 36 new First Detectors, from 7 New Mexico counties, who are now part of a National Registry that numbers more than 12,000 nationwide.