November 5, 2016
Extension Plant Sciences
The 4th Western Pecan Production Short Course was held at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. Participants came from New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, California, Chihuahua, and even as far away as Australia and South Africa. The program is coordinated by NMSU Extension Pecan Specialist Dr. Richard Heerema. Lectures were presented by experts from New Mexico State University, University of Arizona, University of Georgia, and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. The purpose of the program is to give both new and experienced pecan growers an overview of all aspects of pecan production in arid and semi-arid regions. Lectures included orchard site selection, cultivar choice, and irrigation systems design to pest and disease management, orchard harvest, and nut marketing. This year's program included a presentation on the human health-promoting components of pecan nuts. Attendees had the opportunity to go on tours of local pecan shelling and cleaning plants, area orchards, and the NMSU Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center.
On October 31, Dean Rolando Flores, Associate Dean Jon Boren, and Extension Plant Sciences department head Dr. Natalie Goldberg attended a groundbreaking ceremony at Albuquerque's Paradise Meadows Park to start a turfgrass water conservation project with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service, The Toro Co., and the City of Albuquerque's Parks and Recreation Department. During one week, Dr. Bernd Leinauer (Extension Plant Science) and his team, along with workers from the Parks and Rec Department, installed a subsurface drip irrigation system in one half of the park; the other half will keep an above-ground sprinkler system. Water usage for each system will be monitored over the next three years to determine whether a subsurface irrigation system is a water conserving alternative for a heavily-used public green space.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Vanessa Martinez, graduating in December with a master's degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, has been selected as a 2017 USDA Graduate Fellow. Vanessa completed a thesis examining the prevalence of food insecurity among college students at NMSU. She was one of five NMSU graduate students selected to participate in a mentoring and scholarship program called SAFE ( Southwest Agriculture and Food Security Education: Preparing Future Leaders for a Safe and Secure U.S. Food Supply System) in conjunction with Texas State University.
Out of 400 degree programs in Family and Consumer Sciences, the department at NMSU was ranked #28 by Great Value Colleges. The ranking was created based on graduate degree opportunities, research opportunities, and internship and scholarship opportunities. Data was collected from the NCES College Navigator database, Payscale.com and school websites.