November 7, 2014
Agricultural Experiment Station
Steven Loring, Associate Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station System, traveled to the APLU meeting in Orlando, FL, November 2-4, where he accepted the National Award of Excellence for Multistate Research on behalf of the W2128 "Microirrigation for Sustainable Water Use" project; Loring is the Administrative Advisor for the project. Researchers and extension faculty from 19 universities and three federal laboratories participated in the project. NMSU faculty participants included Professors Manoj Shukla, Mick O'Neill, Dan Smeal, and Professor Emeritus Ted Sammis from the Plant and Environmental Sciences department.
In October, Del Jimenez, Agriculture Specialist with the NMSU Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde, led a hoop-house workshop at the Bernalillo County Youth Service Center. Over 20 participants from the center and the community-at-large worked together to build a poly-frame hoop-house, a style of green house, that will be utilized by the center to teach youth how to grow fruits and vegetables with the goal of that food being used in the center's cafeteria. Inside the hoop-house, irrigation was installed and raised planting beds were built, filled with soil, and planted. The project's inspiration came about from the center's leadership as well as from County Commissioner O'Malley to focus on healthy eating and local food. The hoop house will be utilized to teach the youth hands on life skills, entrepreneurial skills, and provide an opportunity to learn how food is grown. The project is a collaboration between the Bernalillo County Commission, Bernalillo County Youth Services Program, Albuquerque Public Schools, NMSU Cooperative Extension, Food Corp, and La Plazita.
- Bernalillo County agents Graeme Davis and John Garlisch participated in a Tree Care workshop held at Trees of Corrales. The workshop was hosted by New Mexico Chapter of Nursery Growers and Think Trees New Mexico. Brian Kempf of Urban Tree Foundation, taught the attendees about proper techniques for tree nursery planting, limb pruning, root pruning, nursery stock selection, landscape plantings, watering, and safe tree maintenance in the landscape, as well as learning the dangers of what happens when the methods are not done properly. The training was geared towards nursery professionals, landscape designers, city planners, landscape maintenance workers, tree care professional, master gardeners, and extension agents.
- Five Thousand visitors came to the historic Gutierrez-Hubbell House, a 10-acre site along the Camino Real in Bernalillo, to enjoy the Local Food Festival and Field Day. The theme for this year's festival was "The Many Faces of Local Food." The festival is designed to highlight local agriculture and included local farmers, value-added producers, food trucks, non-profits, educational groups, artists, and speakers. The Cooperative Extension Service had a central role in the success of the festival including a 4-H petting zoo, horse rides, and hands-on craft projects; state specialists answering questions related to agriculture production, insects, plant diseases, and home landscape; local agents answering a plethora of inquiries and speaking at the main program tent on cooking on a budget, utilizing a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box, and the challenges of growing locally and seasonally; and master gardeners and master composters promoting their programs. The local extension agents, Brittany Grube and John Garlisch, co-collaborated with the Mid-Region Council of Governments, Bernalillo County Open Space, Hubbell House Alliance, UNM Sustainable Studies, and a variety of community groups to plan the festival. This is the sixth year for the festival and a great community outreach program to promote local agriculture and local food production.
Media Productions/Learning Games Lab
- 4-H agents from across the nation gathered for their annual conference in Minneapolis, MN. Media Productions played a key role in helping 4-H leaders make plans for using technology with youth. NMSU's Barbara Chamberlin spoke with the group, sharing apps and games created by her department and helping them develop a framework for introducing youth to digital tools.