Cooperative Extension Service & 4-H
NMSU-ACES CES delivered presentations and participated in panel discussions at the first Binational Border Conference on Agricultural Extension in Chihuahua, Mexico. The conference was hosted by Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua and was sponsored by SAGARPA (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganedería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación) and APLU (Association of Public and Land Grant Universities). NMSU-ACES coordinated the participation of the U.S. delegation that included six Land-grant universities. As Mexico is interested in learning more about the connection between agricultural research, teaching and extension, its government and universities have reached out to NMSU for capacity building and training to better understand the development, implementation and continuous review of the U.S. cooperative extension model. NMSU-ACES is slated to have a second round of intensive extension training, sponsored by SAGARPA, that will follow up on challenges and opportunities that were flagged during this binational gathering in Mexico.
Adult 4-H volunteers need opportunities to participate in educational programs during the 4-H program year and to network with other volunteer leaders. In an effort to provide this opportunity, the New Mexico 4-H Volunteer Leader Association Executive Board in partnership with the State 4-H Office, provides leadership to an annual conference for adult volunteers, leaders and parents. The 2017 New Mexico 4-H Adult Forum was held in Socorro, New Mexico in conjunction with the Collegiate 4-H Leadership Conference and Socorro County youth training. Eighty volunteers and Extension professionals representing 21 counties, engaged in service learning, project training and personal development through workshops, general sessions and interactive displays. At the end of the day, several participants said that they felt energized for the new year. Participants will go back to counties to train the 3,000 volunteers across New Mexico who are impacting over 5,000 youth.
The New Mexico Association of County Agricultural Agents hosted the 16th National Association of County Agricultural Agents Western Region Professional Improvement Conference in the Albuquerque area. The first day consisted of the presenting of papers from the agents from nine western states with the furthest coming from Alaska. The second day involved a tour visiting the: Silver Leaf Farms in Corrales which grows vegetable for restaurants and niche markets in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas; State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab operated by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture; the Gutierrez-Hubbell House in Albuquerque’s South Valley which is being used as a business incubator for beginning farmers with the assistance of the Bernalillo County Extension Office; and the NMSU Agricultural Science Center in Los Lunas. Altogether, the event was attended by 53 people.
Many in agriculture know someone whose life has been affected by a farm-related injury or death. Even more tragic is that these incidents could have been prevented with a few simple safety precautions. The Progressive Agriculture Foundation is on a national crusade to bring safety and health information to the farming and rural communities who desperately need it. These safety days are designed to be age-appropriate, hands-on, fun, and safe for children. Since the late 1990s, the NMSU CES throughout eastern New Mexico have coordinated safety day training for 3rd grade students and teachers. These safety days have involved over 55,000 students and teachers, along with 6,665 volunteers. The 2017 New Mexico Farm Safety Day trainings have just wrapped up, involving over 4000 students and teachers, along with 261 community volunteers. Participating counties included Chaves, Lea, Eddy, Curry, Roosevelt, Guadalupe, De Baca, Union, Colfax and Quay.
The CRLRC and Guadalupe County CES hosted a Let’s Talk! breakfast roundtable discussion in Santa Rosa at the Blue Hole Convention Center. Employees from both CRLRC and Guadalupe CES prepared breakfast for 41 clients to enjoy while visiting with old friends and making new acquaintances. A client driven roundtable discussion on livestock production and management followed with a panel discussion by Dr. Eric Scholljegerdes, Dr. Marcy Ward, Leigh Ann Marez and Shad Cox. Discussion primarily revolved around ruminant nutrition and supplementation, heifer development, reproductive technologies, forage quality and quantification, marketing, and suggestions for future research. Nineteen clients enjoyed a working lunch while Dr. Ward led Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training in the afternoon for those who wanted new certification or continuing education credit for maintaining certification.
During a yearlong beef heifer production project, eight youth in Valencia County are learning the science behind raising cattle. From selecting a heifer to raising and breeding it, to organizing and marketing a sale. The youth receive college level instruction from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences faculty regarding nutrition, genetics, and reproduction of cattle. “The intent of this project is to use the experience with the heifers as a tool to educate the youth about the beef industry as a whole,” said Newt McCarty, agricultural agent with ACES-CES in Valencia County.
4-H Agent Brittany Sonntag, partnered with New Mexico Ag in the Classroom, ¡Explora!, Sandia Labs, Intel and other STEM groups in New Mexico to host the first program in a yearlong series around the importance of math. Each month a different field is chosen to inspire enthusiasm for learning, math, and the world around us. September was designated as "Growing Math Skills: The Mathematics of Agriculture," which focused on math in the field of Agriculture. Events were held during the State Fair and 300 urban youth were engaged in math related activities and presentations around agriculture. Activities youth participated in included: estimating hatching percentages of chicken eggs, calculating a horse's height measurement from hands to inches, determining how many socks can be made from the wool of one sheep, and watching a milking demonstration to learn about how raw milk becomes whole milk, 2 percent milk, and skim milk.
The ACES College welcomed Ruben Chavez Villagran, the Secretary of Rural Development (SDR) of the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. Mr. Chavez Villagran came to NMSU accompanied of five members of his staff to learn about New Mexico cotton seed genetics, biomass conversion processes, animal identification technology, food safety, veterinary studies, and Extension programs. The visit is the fruit of a collaboration that began approximately one year ago and was formalized in June of this year with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between NMSU-ACES and SDR.
How are ACES and CES contributing to the safety of New Mexico children? Nationally each year, on average, 12,175 children 0-19 years of age die from unintentional injury. While 9.2 million children annually visited emergency departments for unintentional injury. A series of local accidental deaths and accidents resulting in severe injuries to youth of eastern New Mexico brought these statistics to the forefront. Safety days are held for all 3rd graders across the eleven counties of Eastern New Mexico. The one-day events teach children safety lessons that can keep them and others safe while at home or on a farm or ranch. The safety days not only increase student’s awareness of safety procedures, they enhance the safety awareness of the community as well. All of the programs are conducted by cooperative extension agents funded partially by Smith-Lever funds.
NMSU’s Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari is benefiting from a public – private partnership to evaluate beef cattle feed efficiency genetics, please see Tucumcari Bull Test. Since 1961, the New Mexico Beef Cattle Performance Association (now the Tucumcari Feed Efficiency Test, LLC) has tested bulls to estimate feedlot performance of their progeny based on pen feed efficiency as the average of up to four animals. In 2015, facilities were upgraded with GrowSafe technology allowing measurement of individual animal feed efficiency with planned expansions to allow for a concurrent testing capacity of 160 head beginning this summer. The concept behind genetic testing for feed efficiency is herd improvement at the farm/ranch level, which should translate into either higher feeder cattle prices or reduced feed costs at the feedlot level. Improved beef cattle feed efficiency also will help increase global food production, particularly protein, without having to increase crop production acreage or yield per acre.
Willis Fedio and Ruben Zapata from the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety conducted a training for the Saudi Food and Drug Authority in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The training was coordinated through the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Seven SFDA analysts from throughout Saudi Arabia participated in the course. Topics covered included “Detection and Isolation of Listeria monocytogenes from Foods,” “Enumeration of Listeria monocytogenes in Foods,” and “Detection and Isolation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 from Foods.” The training included lectures that provided background for the procedures and hands-on laboratory exercises which included cultural procedures and molecular methods for each of the pathogens. The NMSU Food Safety Laboratory and the SFDA both made valuable connections through this project and are continuing their technology transfer collaborations.
The New Mexico State 4-H Office received notification that 4-H will be receiving a $41,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation and National 4-H Council. The goal of this program is to promote healthy living of New Mexico youth by teaching young people proper nutrition and physical fitness. The project will deliver programs across the state to youth grades 2-12 as well as training teens to serve as New Mexico Health Ambassadors.
NMSU CES and the State Department of Homeland Security hosted a three-day Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Awareness and Operations training on April 10-12 in Las Cruces and an advanced course on April 14 in Socorro. This training provided an opportunity for Emergency Rescue and Agriculture personnel to train together before an actual emergency. The course provided practical considerations, behavioral understanding, specialty equipment, techniques, methodologies, and tactics behind the safe extrication of a live large animal from entrapments (trailer wrecks, ditches, mud, barn fires) in local emergencies and disaster areas. Participants included: Firefighters from City of Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, Radium Springs, Sunland Park, Abeytas, Socorro County and Spring, Texas; Animal Control Officers from Doña Ana County, Las Cruces Police Department, Deming Police Department, Bernalillo County, and The Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque; County Extension Agents from Luna and Otero with Teresa Dean and John Allen hosting the event; NMSU CES Livestock Specialist, Marcy Ward; Veterinarians from Las Cruces, Magdalena, Albuquerque, Jemez Springs, and Edgewood; County Emergency Managers from Socorro and Luna County; Back Country Horsemen members from Edgewood, and NMSU students.
The 2016/17 Tucumcari Bull Test (TBT) was held at NMSU-ACES Tucumcari Agricultural Science Center and operated in partnership with the Tucumcari Feed Efficiency Test, LLC< and NMSU-ACES Cooperative Extension Service. The test started with 155 bulls, representing 4 breed. One hundred and twenty-six of the tested bulls were selected by 16 participating producers to participate in the 2017 TBT Sale held on March 11th. The top 85 performing bulls made the “sale ring.” All bulls making the sale were sold via their video, versus appearing live in the sale ring. This allowed the sale to progress more efficiently and buyers could leave in an organized and timely manner before the sale was ended. Over 150 people were in attendance at this year’s sale.
Ag Fest in Santa Fe the Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center conducted educational games that highlighted the importance of food protection and emergency preparedness. The purpose was to show how everyone is involved in agriculture. Sixty-five individuals played the game, and over 200 stopped by to watch. The Center also hosted a training together with Cooperative Extension Service, Northern County Emergency Managers, and the Department of Health to highlight their responses within the Incident Command System (ICS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) regarding Managing Food Emergencies. The trainings are to encourage the collaboration between agencies and the community in the event of an emergency.
Southwest District Officer Training Training was provided to 48 4-H, county leaders on the importance of Emergency Preparedness in Agricultural and Food. The 4-H youth teamed up with their county to participate in an exercise that was utilized to develop critical thinking skills and comprehension of an emergency response during a county fair. Teams had to present information back to the group on the outcomes of the scenario, with the whole process focusing on their leadership abilities.
Extension Plant Sciences The New Mexico Crop Production Association held their annual conference in Ruidoso, NM, on January 23 – 24. The conference provides educational seminars with up-to-date research on a variety of topics of importance to the industry. Topics included Honey Bee Health: Challenges and Solutions, Factors to Consider When Pesticide Applications Fail; Soil Fertility; Urban and Small Farms in New Mexico: Challenges and Opportunities; and Plant Bio stimulants. The Association also awarded two scholarships to NMSU students in the Plant and Environmental Sciences Department: Israel Calsoyas, a Ph.D. student, and Lisa Terrazas, an undergraduate student.
Three faculty in the Extension Plant Sciences Department participated in the 31st Annual Think Trees NM Conference in Albuquerque, NM. Think Trees is an urban tree care conference dedicated to providing training and education to professionals in the green industry by providing up-to-date, relevant information on landscape plant maintenance. There were over 375 participants from the Western United States and Canada.
Center of Animal Health and Food Safety - The ACES Chemical Analysis and Instrumentation Lab (CAIL) installed $1.1 million in new analytical equipment this week, comprised of a high-resolution Orbitrap Fusion mass spectrometer and a nano-flow liquid chromatography system. This instrumentation is the state-for-the art for chemical characterization of extremely complex mixtures and will be used in applications that range from alternative fuel research to disease research, alternative water source uses and fundamental biology. A truly interdisciplinary effort, the project draws support from three colleges. Participating faculty include Tanner Schaub (PI, ACES/CAIL), Emily Indriolo (Co-PI, A&S/Biology), Jeff Arterburn (Co-PI, A&S/Chemistry), Omar Holguin (Co-PI, ACES/PES) and Nirmala Khandan (Co-PI, Eng./Civil Eng.).
Jason Lamb, Quay County agriculture agent, has been selected by the New Mexico Association of County Agricultural Agents to receive the New Mexico Achievement Award for his work on weed programs in Quay County. Jason has conducted many programs on Weed Management. The largest and most well attended program is the Weed Management Workshop in which producers were introduced to weed control and range management techniques. Jason has also developed a county-wide weed website, a noxious weed brochure, and a web-based test for producers to check out boom sprayer equipment along with boom sprayer calibration demonstrations, weed identification programs, and private applicators workshops so that producers can obtain their private applicators licenses and continued education credits.
Leigh Ann Marez, Guadalupe County program director and agent, has been selected to receive the Distinguished Service Award by New Mexico Association of County Agriculture Agents. Leigh Ann received the award because she is devoted to the Cooperative Extension ideals: assisting county clientele with problem solving and enhanced quality of life through Extension programming and Land-Grant university research/education. She is especially passionate about helping producers improve their production agriculture practices and teaching our youth about how agriculture has fed, and will continue to feed, the world.
December 13-14, 2016, the Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center hosted and participated in the Animal/Plant Health Joint Criminal-Epidemiological Investigations Training in Domenici Hall on the New Mexico State University (NMSU) Campus. This collaborative training included 90 participants from agencies nationwide consisting of 14 from Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), 17 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 from United States Coast Guard, 3 from NM Game and Fish, 13 from NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, 16 from New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA), 1 out of the US Department of Justice Office, 6 from the New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB), 7 from Arizona Department of Agriculture, 2 Emergency Managers, 3 New Mexico Department of Health Investigators (NMDOH), 2 from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 1 each from Virginia Tech, Navajo Department of Health and Dairy Producers of NM. This training allowed collaboration among law enforcement and animal/plant experts to investigate animal/plant health epidemiological, veterinary and plant scenarios.
Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Service (CES) was honored to represent NMSU-ACES by hosting Governor Susana Martinez on Veteran's Day at the Sandoval County Extension Office. The Governor Susana Martinez called to ask CES for assistance so she could address the Military Veteran's outside the courthouse at the Memorial ceremony. The Governor arrived, along with her husband Chuck, her sister Lettie, and her personal assistant Megan Delarosa (a former 4-H'er) and State police detail commanded by Tony Fetty. CES was able to visit with the Governor for three hours following the Veteran's ceremony. CES personnel in Sandoval County have a personal invitation to visit her office privately.
NMSU Extension and Research Youth Agricultural Science Center at Memorial Middle School - Students in AXED 484 “Methods of Teaching Earth, Life, and Physical Sciences in Agriculture” developed lesson plans and delivered a STEM program on the hydrologic cycle to students at the NMSU Extension and Research Youth Agricultural Science Center in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The Center serves a diverse student population. The lesson included information on the hydrologic cycle, an experiential hydrologic activity to reinforce teaching and learning, and an inquiry-based learning experiment simulating the effects of climate extremes on plant growth. Regents Professor Tom Dormody, and Center Director and CES specialist Peter Skelton collaborate annually on this program to provide NMSU students pre-service teaching experiences, test innovative STEM teaching methods at the Center, and to encourage youth to attend NMSU through near-peer mentoring. One NMSU student stated about the experience, “I like this learning experience better than a conventional lecture-based course because I am a hands-on learner and I get more from the course if I can apply what is being taught”. Another stated, “Being in the classroom today reiterated my passion for students and excited me even more to be a teacher. What an awesome class, what an awesome experience.” Grant funding the Center received from the Enchanted Life Foundation will support the two-day NMSU student-led STEM program for the next two years.
Extension Research - Jacki Baca, Santa Fe County Extension Program Director, co-authored a study on "Growing Our Own: A Longitudinal Evaluation of a Professional Development Program for Early-Career 4-H Professionals." The study was a longitudinal evaluation of the Western Region 4-H Institute, a five-day training program designed to enhance the skill sets of early-career Extension professionals organized around the 4-H professional research, knowledge, and competencies model. Results indicated that networking and developing effective programs for youth were paramount for participants, suggesting the importance of providing professional development opportunities for early-career professionals.
Extension Plant Sciences and the Bernalillo County Extension Office, faculty from the Extension Plant Sciences Department and the Bernalillo County Extension Office interacted with over 2,000 people at Plant Clinics in Albuquerque on Saturday and Sunday, October 8 – 9. Plant Clinics were conducted at the Downtown Growers’ Market and at the Local Food Festival and Field Day held at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House. These events offer a great opportunity to introduce people to the Cooperative Extension Service and gives them an opportunity to ask questions and learn about plants and pests.
Extension Plant Sciences - New Mexico State University Plant Diagnostic Clinic has been granted accreditation status under the National Plant Diagnostic Network STAR-D Laboratory Accreditation Program. The five-year accreditation begins September 1, 2016, and ends on August 31, 2021. EPS Plant Diagnostic Clinic is the 4th lab in the county (following Cornell University, the University of Florida, and the Nevada Department of Agriculture) to receive full accreditation.
Extension Plant Sciences - ‘Amazing Insects & Weeds’ were displayed for nearly 1200 area students, teachers, and parents attending AGVenture at the Southern New Mexico Fair on September 29. Extension Entomologist Dr. Carol Sutherland and Extension Weed Specialist Dr. Leslie Beck spoke to the crowds about the impacts that both pest groups have on crops and livestock, as well as the farmers, ranchers and others who produce our food or maintain our landscapes.
On September 22, the Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari hosted a Kid’s, Kows, and More program co-sponsored by the Quay County Cooperative Extension Service and Southwest Dairy Farmers. Two hundred and thirty-six 4th & 5th grade students and teachers from four area school systems learned about Soil Nutrients in Plant Health; Who Lives in the Rumen; Kids, Kows, and Kuds: How Ruminants Utilize Forage; More Than a Cow; and Mobile Dairy Classroom. In addition to those presenting, there were 11 volunteers for a total of 253 participants.
More than 120 motorcycle enthusiasts from across New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado gathered on the weekend of August 26-28 for the 2016 Ride for the 4-H Clover held in north central New Mexico. The participants heard from faculty working for NMSU Cooperative Extension Service and the Agricultural Experiment Station about the work they are doing to address the issues and needs of the communities in various counties. Some of the highlights of the weekend included hearing from the youth about what 4-H means to them and how it has changed their lives; hearing them perform; watching them demonstrate their leadership abilities; and seeing lots of beautiful scenery along the way.
As a result of a partnership between NM Department of Health and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Doña Ana County Extension Office is collaborating with the Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Department to offer a Manage Your Chronic Disease (MyCD) workshop in Spanish called Tomando Control de su Salud. This six-week workshop at the Vado/Del Cerro community Center in August and September. The MyCD/Tomando program is an interactive group workshop for adults of all ages living with one or more ongoing health conditions like diabetes, arthritis, pain, cancer, high cholesterol, depression, asthma, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It focuses on building skills for improving pain management, nutrition, exercise, medication use, emotions, and communicating with doctors.
New Mexico Indian Livestock Days convened on May 11-13 at the Route 66 Casino Hotel. The educational event began in the 1970's when it was held in Las Cruces before it was moved closer to the Four Corners area in 1996 where attendance grew from 65 attendees to over 200 annually. The event has three days of educational presentations, demonstrations and exhibits. Livestock production by Native American producers is valued at approximately $105 million out of the $3.01 billion generated by all of New Mexico's producers. The Sedillo Cattlemen's Association recognized McKinley County Extension Agent, Kathy Landers for her leadership in organizing Indian Livestock Day for the last 20 years.
De Baca County Extension kicked off the growing season April 20 by hosting an open house. Features of the open house included visiting a garden area featuring a hoop house and raised beds, learning about NMSU chile varieties, and viewing an active composting bin. Participants were able to walk away with handouts and door prizes and information on our new seed library. A seed saving workshop followed the open house on April 28. The workshop taught participants about the benefits to saving seeds, how to properly harvest seeds, and how to properly store seeds. A local grower donated seed to get the library started and these seeds were available to take at the end of the workshop. Twenty-five individuals took advantage of the workshops and 100% of participants reported an increase in knowledge. The most popular areas included the worm composting, hoop house, and seed library.
Approximately 330 senior-age 4-H youth (ages 14-19) came together on May 6-8 at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton for the annual State 4-H Shooting Sports competition. Each contestant had to qualify in their shooting discipline at the county competition in order to be able to shoot at the state competition. All winning teams are eligible to go on to compete at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Competition in Grand Island, Nebraska being held on June 26th -July 1st. The following teams won in their respective disciplines: Air Rifle-San Juan County, Air Pistol - Valencia County, Archery Compound - Valencia County, Archery Recurve - Dona Ana County, Hunting-Grant County, Muzzleloader - Dona Ana County, Pistol-Dona Ana County, Rifle - Valencia County, Shotgun-Lea County. Through participation in firearm safety training and shooting sports activities, young men and women are given the opportunity to learn responsibility, sportsmanship, self-discipline, and other qualities critical to developing productive citizens.
The Guadalupe County Extension Service, in coordination with the Guadalupe Soil and Water Conservation District, hosted a demonstration for local growers on the use of weed barrier fabric and mat installation. Area growers learned to use both the tractor-pulled implement for large area fabric installation and received information on hand installation using weed fabric and staples. More than 30 growers from across the county attended the demonstration, where NMSU Extension Agriculture Specialist Del Jimenez explained the process for laying down the fabric, how the fabric works and reasons one may want to use this growing option. Jimenez works with small farmers all across New Mexico, demonstrating a variety of modern growing techniques such as hoop house and cold frame construction and growing, as well as weed barrier installation.
2016 In-Service – Over 150 Cooperative Extension Service faculty from across the state attended the March 16-18, 2016 In-Serve at NMSU’s main campus. Faculty received valuable information during the subject matter trainings, including Extension’s role in emergency preparedness and response. Examples included the Gold King Mine spill, winter storm Goliath, and EHV-1 outbreak at Sunland Race Track. Subject matter trainings also included application of digital media and apps for Extension programming, the scientific facts pertaining to GMO’s, and leadership in Extension. Discussions were held on the Master Gardener program, Master Food Preservation program, Ideas of Cooking and Nutrition program, and ACES recruiting/retention efforts.
The 2016 Cooperative Extension Service In-Service also provided the opportunity for program planning, Extension association meetings, and an excellent opportunity for networking with friends and colleagues from around the state.
New Mexico Education Designed to Generate Excellence (NM EDGE) Certified Extension Professional Program
The New Mexico Certified Extension Professional Program was developed to fill the need to provide a meaningful new employee training. This unique program has received national attention. Through a curriculum of 24 classes, there is opportunity to hone skills needed for a successful extension career and to network with county elected officials from throughout New Mexico. Skills learned or improved upon include gaining a deeper understanding of the importance of stakeholders, improved time management, conducting more effective meetings, creating program evaluation tools, developing better presentations based on audience needs, being a professional in the workplace, and being a leader in their community. Last year Brittney Sontag, Bernalillo County Extension Office, and Sydney Martin, Santa Fe County Extension Office, were the first two Extension employees to graduate the program. During the 2016 ACES Recognition of Service, 4 new graduates were recognized for achieving the Certified Extension Professional designation. The new graduates included Ryan Craig, Roosevelt County Extension Office, Luther Dunlap, Curry County Extension Office, Richard Griffiths, San Juan County Extension Office, and Bonnie Hopkins, San Juan County Extension Office. Also pictured are Dr. James Libbin and Dr. Jon Boren.
New Mexico Organic Farming Conference - The annual New Mexico Organic Farming Conference held on February 19-20 in Albuquerque attracted over 800 participants once again. The conference was a collaborative effort done by representatives from the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, and Farm to Table and the Santa Fe Farmers' Market Institute. This two day conference offered 36 educational sessions including: pest control, water harvesting, grazing management, vegetable production, and marketing of produce, fruit production, pollinators, soil fertility management and a few other topics. This year marked the 25th anniversary of New Mexico having a state organic certification program. Organic agriculture and food processing brings in close to $50 million to the state annually. Extension Family and Consumer Sciences - Newspaper interview - Dr. Sonja Koukel, Extension Health Specialist, was interviewed for an article in the Chicago Tribune about the safety and effectiveness of Make-it-Yourself Cleaning Products.
Think Trees Conference – John Garlisch and Graeme Davis of Bernalillo County Extension Office played a big role in the organization and hosting of the annual Think Trees NM Conference held in Albuquerque on February 4 and 5. The conference on its 30th year anniversary drew in over 340 attendees from throughout the state to hone their skills on proper care and management of the urban forest. Care and management of the urban forest has multi-million dollar economic impact to the state.
In February the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners acknowledged the Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service (CES) for its continuing work to improve the quality of life in their community. The Bernalillo CES has been a department of the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences since 1914. The mission of the Bernalillo County CES is to provide the people of Bernalillo County with practical, research-based knowledge and programs to improve their quality of life. Classes, workshops, numerous publications, videos and multimedia products are offered to the public in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, consumer and family issues, 4-H youth development and community economic development. Ideas for Cooking and Nutrition (ICAN) is free nutrition education and its goal is to reduce nutritional health disparities in New Mexico and to make a measurable, positive impact on the well-being of the community through a series of research-based, hands-on nutrition experiences with adults and youth. The Master Gardener and Master Composter organizations share information with interested citizens about the art, science, materials, and methods of home gardening and home composting and trains volunteers to teach classes to the public. In 2015, the Bernalillo County CES served over 65,000 Bernalillo County residents.
Valencia County– NMSU’s Valencia County Cooperative Extension Service office participated in the Hispano Chamber of Commerce’s 16th Annual Matanza. The 25-member team consisting of Extension agents, Master Gardeners, 4-H members, clientele, local business owners and additional volunteers competed against 20 teams in cooking traditional New Mexican pork dishes. The team took first place in the Iron Pig competition where they had an hour to create a dish from five ingredients without prior knowledge of the ingredients, and second place in the chicharrones category. The food was sampled by approximately 8,000 people attending the event held in Belen. In the two years the Valencia CES team has participated, it has placed in all five of the competition dishes. The Matanza provided 36 Valencia County youth with college scholarships last year and event organizers estimate the number will be even higher this year.
National Western Round-up: New Mexico 4-H teams from Chaves, Dona Ana, San Juan, and Santa Fe Counties competed at the national level at the National Western Round-up in Denver last month. The Chaves County Home Ec Bowl Team placed second overall and had the first and fifth high-point individuals. Dona Ana County won Reserve Champion as a team in the Parliamentary Procedure contest. The San Juan County Family and Consumer Science Skillathon Team placed third overall, third place in the Life Skills Assessment, and had the fifth high-point overall individual. The San Juan County Hippology Judging Team placed third overall, and had the second and seventh high-point individuals. Santa Fe County’s Consumer Decision Making Team placed fifth overall and had the second high-point individual. The NMSU- CES County Extension Agents work tirelessly to help the teams prepare for these contests.
Cotton: Cotton production accounts for about $37 million in the economy of New Mexico. Cooperative Extension Service has been providing constant support to help cotton producers in the State achieve economic sustainability. The New Mexico Cotton Growers Conference was held at the Ruidoso Convention Center, Ruidoso, NM on January 13th, 2016, to address various production and economic related issues that growers should expect during the 2016 season. The conference attracted growers and stakeholders in cotton industry both within and outside New Mexico. The conference featured presentations on cotton economic prospects for 2016, cotton variety performance in New Mexico, salinity management, weed control, insect pest control, ginning research update and research on glandless cotton being performed at New Mexico State University.
Memorial Middle School: The Enchanted Life Foundation (ELF) is funding $30,000 over three years ($10,000 per year) for Dr. Peter Skelton’s agriculture/science outreach program at Memorial Middle School in Las Vegas. The funding will help expand the program to include a weather station and hydroponics, and provide some iPad Mini tablets for the classrooms. University Advancement was instrumental in making this funding happen.
CES and NMDA Working Together: Southern New Mexico found itself in the midst of an equine neurotropic EHV-1 outbreak at Sunland Race Track last Friday afternoon, January 22. State Police blocked the area to keep animals from coming and going, and the task at hand was to roll the lips and read the tattoos. By about 1:00 in the morning on Saturday, around 600 horses were inventoried from Sunland proper in the surrounding facilities so the horses in the Sunland barns could be read later. A few hundred more were processed on Saturday. NMDA and Cooperative Extension Service personnel helped ALIRT veterinarians read the tattoos Friday night into the early hours of Saturday morning and then again all day Saturday. NMDA and Extension were assisting the Livestock Board and State Veterinarian under an incident command structure. Kelly Hamilton, Katie Goetz, Dr. Tim Hanosh, Marcy Ward, Eva Madrid, Makayla Richardson, Teresa Dean and Tom Dean, working with the ALIRT vets helped to surround the problem quickly, potentially saving an industry in New Mexico and across the United States. It is still too early to see how this is going to spread across the U.S., but there can be no doubt that we are in way better shape because of NMSU Extension, NMDA and these individuals.
Winter Storm: Cooperative Extension Agents and Specialist were hard at work over the Holiday break dealing with Winter Storm Goliath. Local County Agents and Specialist across the east side in affected areas worked with county Emergency Managers, NMDA, Livestock Board and other agencies on a coordinated effort to assist the producers with emergency situations the storm caused. Efforts are ongoing in working with producers on the recovery phase of this Emergency Situation.
Bruce and Alice King Service Memorial Award: Woods Houghton, Eddy County Extension Agriculture Agent, was presented the Bruce and Alice King Service Memorial Award by the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association on December 6. This prestigious award is presented by NMCGA to one individual each year and has recently been awarded to such individuals as Frank DuBois, Linda Davis, Timothy Jennings, Andy Nunez and David Abbey. Woods has served NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences for over 35 years in several locations, including Las Cruces, Fort Sumner and Carlsbad.
Awards: Elena Bower, county home economist from McKinley County, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences at the annual meeting in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Shelly Bucher, Brooke Stanley Tou, and Dr. Esther Devall were honored by the Office of the Vice President for Research at NMSU for bringing in sponsored awards in excess of $500,000 for fiscal year 2015.
2015 Extension Disaster Education Network Annual Meeting: Sonja Koukel, Extension Community and Environmental Health Specialist, hosted the 2015 Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) annual meeting at the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces. Approximately 70 EDEN delegates and invited guests from land-grant institutions, tribal Extension, and federal agencies participated in sessions designed to share resources and experiences to reduce the impact of disasters-both natural and manmade. Special issues related to disasters in the border region were presented. Rick Griffiths, San Juan County, provided an overview of the Gold King Mine Spillage. Dr. Jon Boren, Associate Dean and Director, extended a welcome to the attendees to kick off the 2015 meeting.
National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Annual Meeting: Cooperative Extension Service faculty members Kathy Landers, Leah Platero and Jesse Jim along with one U of A Extension faculty member presented a Navajo 4-H Weaving Project Workshop at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon, during the week of October 25-30. The history of Navajo weaving is in many ways the history of the Navajo people. Weaving is more than a craft - it is a spiritual practice, connecting the weaver to the spirits of earth and sky. The weaving project is an excellent way in which youth can develop an understanding of native fiber arts and cultural practices.
Plant Clinics: Pest management specialists and county extension agents from several NM counties recently completed a series of Plant Clinics at New Mexico Farmer’s Markets. Plant Clinics are designed to provide an opportunity for people to discuss gardening and pest management issues and get “on-the-spot” answers to their questions. Plant Clinics are a great way to introduce people to the Cooperative Extension Service. This fall, over 1,500 people visited with faculty at clinics held in Portales, Clovis, Farmington, Lordsburg, Mimbres Valley, Belen, Los Ranchos, and Albuquerque.
School Enrichment Programs: The county agents in the Northern District have been busy conducting school enrichment programming for youth of all ages this fall. Recently, Christina Turner and Tom Dominguez of the Santa Fe County Extension Office recently participated as presenters for the annual Santa Fe Children's Water Fiesta. Their session included a slide presentation and a hands-on activity on "Irrigation Investigation" in which they address methods in which farmers are practicing water conservation. They repeated the presentation ten times reaching approximately 200 fourth grade students.
2015 Local Food Festival: Bernalillo County Office along with Bernalillo County, Mid-Region Council of Governments, and Community Partners collaborated together to host the 2015 Local Food Festival "We've Got the Dirt on Local Food" conducted on October 11. The event celebrates local agriculture, local food producers, and everything local. This year's theme was based in part on the U.N. Year of Soil. Local county agents organized and spoke on topical workshops on soil, compost, and insects; 4-H youth activities, petting zoo, and ag in the classroom; nutrition educational activities; Master Gardener and Master Composters answering questions; and general extension outreach. The event featured local farmers, local food trucks, chef demonstrations with locally grown produce, local crafters and value-added producers, local beer and cider, area non-profits and government agencies, school gardens, art, a tour of the historic Gutierrez Hubbel House, and a petting zoo and kids activities sponsored by 4-H. The event organizers estimate over 5,000 people in attendance for the one-day event. Local Agents who participated included John Garlisch and Brittany (Grube) Sonntag, co-organizers for the event, as well as Cindy Davies, Sarah Haynes with ICAN activities + ICAN educators, and Graeme Davis, horticulture agent speaking about insects. Brittany was in charge of the 4-H youth activities.
4-H Ride for the Clover: Over 95 individuals participated in the Ride for the 4-H Clover including NMSU Regent Mike Cheney and President Garrey Carruthers. The participants got an opportunity to learn about the work that county agents and specialists are doing in 4-H programming, and Extension Service as a whole, as well at the Sustainable Agricultural Science Center at Alcalde. Riders also got to hear first-hand from some of the youth as to how 4-H has made a difference for them. This group of motorcycle enthusiasts covered over 350 miles of New Mexico enchanted roads.
Raised Garden Beds: Luna County Cooperative Extension agent Jack Blandford joined together with Luna County Master Gardener, Dorian Dopson, and the Mayor of Columbus, Phillip Skinner to build raised garden beds. The garden beds will be used for a community garden to help the people eat healthy by adding fresh vegetables to their meals. With the help of Cooperative Extension Service, the community plans to build a total of 28 raised beds.
Sierra County's Annual Ag Day event was held at the Petersen Ranch above Winston, NM. Children from Arrey Elementary School, T or C Elementary School and Sierra Elementary Complex attended this year to learn about all aspects of Agriculture and its importance in our world. Stations included: Horseshoeing, Cowboy Gear, Milk Cows, Cowboy Days, Roping, Wildlife Services, Cowbelles, USDA Soil and Water Conservations Districts, Farm Service Agency, NRCS, Branding, State Farm Bureau, Horses, Steers, Sheep, and workshops by the Hot Springs FFA and Sierra County 4-H. 450 students attended this event. Cooperative Extension Service plants the NMSU seed in the minds of the students which is a great recruiting effort.
Sierra County 4-H Council held their inaugural "Fiesta Fun Run-A Kolorful 5K!"! The Color Fun Run Route started at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial, lead participants along the Healing Waters Trail, the Historic District, as well as the Geronimo Springs Museum, ending up at Ralph Edwards Park in time for the Fiesta festivities there! The Fun Run benefits the Sierra County 4-H Program and the Sierra County Boys & Girls Club.
Otero County Agent, Thomas Dominguez, worked with the Mescalero Apache Reservation on a gardening project. A group of Americorp young adults, their coordinator and Thomas began a full scale garden. The purpose is to help supply healthy food to the Mescalero community. The high school students are involved by learning how to farm vegetables and create revenues of support to the community.
Extension Plant Sciences Cary Hamilton, Director/State Liaison of the IR-4 Project, traveled to the Western Region State Liaison Representative/Commodity Liaison Committee (SLR/CLC) meeting in Portland, OR, April 20-23, where water, pesticides, biopesticides, weeds, and insect issues were discussed. Field trips included visits to local farms, organic production facilities, and nurseries; Cary is the State Liaison for New Mexico representing the pesticide needs for farmers, growers, and ranchers in the state.
Santa Fe County Extension Office Christina Turner recently participated as a presenter for the annual Santa Fe Children's Water Fiesta. Her session included a slide presentation and a hands-on activity on "Agricultural Uses of Water" in which she addressed methods in which farmers are addressing water conservation. She repeated her presentation nine times reaching approximately 200 fourth grade students.
Turfgrass experts, Dr. Elena Sevostianova and Dr. Bernd Leinauer, from the Extension Plant Sciences Department taught approximately 1300 third and fourth graders at the Las Cruces Water Festival about the water needs of artificial turf. They set up a patch of artificial turf next to natural grass at their station and let the kids measure heat build-up and heat dissipation from artificial turf. Both teachers and kids commented after the demonstration that the station was informative and interesting to learn that artificial grass needs to be watered in order to make it a safe and cool playing surface.
Peter Skelton, Associate Professor, Memorial Middle School Agricultural, Extension and Education Center, was selected to receive NMSU's Founders Day Award because of his inquiry-based learning and experiential education activities. His mission has been to develop a teaching and learning model of excellence for agriculture and natural resources science that complements in-class instruction by providing context to content through ands-on learning opportunities. He is engaged in non-formal education relevant to the agricultural and natural resource needs of the Las Vegas community in northeast New Mexico. Every student in Memorial Middle School has participated in some type of educational activity in the Las Vegas Science Center. Peter is one of those instructors that changes the lives of students and has become an excellent role model for children and the community.
Socorro County Extension Agents, Large Animal Training with support from Socorro County Emergency Management, Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center, New Mexico Fire Fighting Training Academy, and the New Mexico Horse Council, hosted the Technical Large Animal Rescue (TLAER) training. The training was focused on providing our first responders with the knowledge to safely and efficiently handle an incident with large animals. This was an awareness level course that had attendees who were veterinarians, fire fighters, and animal control officers. The training was a huge success. Cooperative Extension Service plans to continue trainings in all counties of New Mexico.
We hosted the State FFA Career Development Event April 8-9. There were 400 teams (67 FFA Chapters) approximately 1282 high school and middle school students from all over New Mexico. Events consisted of competitions in Agriculture Mechanics, Agronomy, Dairy Cattle, Entomology, Farm Business Management, Floriculture, Food Science, Forestry, Homesite, Horse, Horticulture Produce, Land Evaluation, Landscape design, Livestock, Meats Evaluation, Milk Quality, Pasture & Range, Poultry, Veterinary Science, Wildlife, and Wool Evaluation. This yearly event is a great way to introduce the students to NMSU. Most of these students make NMSU their college of choice after high school.
NM EDGE: The NM EDGE (Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the public sector), a program of NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service, offered 60 classes to over 200 students last week during its Honing Your NM EDGE Week at the NMSU Albuquerque Center. NM EDGE students are employees, elected officials, and appointed officials from throughout New Mexico's governmental entities including counties, municipalities, and state agencies. Students in this young professional development program are working toward certifications offered through NM EDGE; the program is also working closely with the New Mexico State Purchasing Department to assist in meeting the legislatively mandated Chief Procurement Officer Certification requirements by offering classes that allow participants to earn a reciprocal designation. For more information on the NM EDGE and its programs visit our website at NM EDGE.
Floyd Lions Club Citizen of the Year Award: Bruch Hinrichs, Floyd Lions Club Citizen of the Year Award Associate Director and Eastern District Director, was presented the Floyd Lions Club Citizen of the Year Award. Hinrichs was chosen for his passion for the Floyd community and the work he does to help local farmers, ranchers, and 4-H students.
Eight Cooperative Extension agents and two New Mexico Soil and Water Conservation District employees attended a wildfire conference in Tucson AZ. The conference was titled "preparing for Wildfires: Moving from Crisis to Opportunity". The focus of the workshop was to identify how, with help from the Cooperative Extension Service, they can help the community move forward during and after a devastating fire. The conference also focused on ways to help the community prepare their homes and yards before a devastating fire occurs.
The 54th Annual Tucumcari Bull Test and Sale, held March 17,was a big success! There were 112 bulls on test representing 3 breeds and 14 seed stock producers from NM, CO, OK, and TX. The bulls demonstrated great performance, with a sustained average daily gain of over four pounds per day! The sale averages were as follows: Hereford bulls averaged $4700 and the Angus bulls averaged $5800. The New Mexico Beef Cattle Performance Association along with the NMSU Department of Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources would like to extend a big thank you to all of you who participated and helped with this great New Mexico tradition.
Valencia County Extension held a Home and Garden Expo on March 20 for the community. The focus of the expo was to show a more sustainable way of life-growing, raising, harvesting, and preserving food. They featured soil health, tomato gardening, drip irrigation, and cooking from the garden.
The 2015 Western Pecan Growers Association Conference and Tradeshow were held at the Hotel Encanto on March 1-3. The popular Pecan Food Fantasy contest was coordinated by the Dona Ana County Extension Office, while the educational program was coordinated by NMSU Extension Pecan Specialist Richard Heerema (Extension Plant Sciences). Oral presentations were given by pecan industry representatives, as well as experts from the USDA and three universities. A major theme of the conference program this year was pecan marketing, especially in light of a proposed Federal Marketing order for pecans which is receiving broad support across the US pecan industry. Other presentations covered orchard pest management, pruning, and soil amendments. The educational program concluded with a growers' panel discussion of salinity, an increasingly concerning management issue in southwestern pecan orchards. In the educational program there were over 200 people in attendance, coming from New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, California, Oklahoma, northern Mexico, and the southeastern United States.
Cindy Davies and Cynthia Beiser, Agents with the Cooperative Extension Service in Bernalillo County recently held an "Emergency Preparedness Fair for the Home Owner" in Albuquerque on March 7th that attracted approximately 156 participants. During the fair, participants had the opportunity to listen to presentations such as Family Preparedness, Weathering Emergencies and Safely Storing Food and Water. Those in attendance also had the opportunity to learn how to put together a Preparedness Tool Kit and Making a Go-Bag. This first-of-a-kind fair for home owners was co-sponsored by the Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center out of New Mexico State University.
Professional Development Day: Steve Lucero, Sandoval County Ag/4-H Agent/County Director, and Desaree Jimenez, Rio Arriba County Home Economist/County Director, in partnership with the NM Food Protection Alliance, conducted a Professional Development Day for all CES county agents on March 5-6, 2015. The agents will have courses in Encouraging Shoppers to Use Food Dollars to Purchase Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, What You Need to Know to Deliver American Health Care Act Information to your Communities, Genomics, Food Allergy and Intolerance, Precision Agriculture, and Drones in Agriculture. The conference courses enhanced the agent's skills to better serve the citizens of New Mexico.
Cooperative Extension Service, in collaboration with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture's Organic Program and Marketing Division and Farm to Table, a nonprofit organization out of Santa Fe, just finished conducting the annual New Mexico Organic Farming Conference. This conference, which is offered in February every year, has grown to attracting almost 800 participants annually, making it one of the largest conferences in the southwest. Participants come from as far as Alaska and Virginia. Educational information and idea sharing that took place in this conference will enable this industry, worth approximately $40 million within the state of New Mexico, continue to make necessary changes to keep up with growth. One trend worth noting is that participants at this conference are getting younger.
The State 4-H Officers, 4-H Ambassadors and Diplomat teams, CES Specialist and Advisors (Amy Zemler, Eva Madrid and Allison Leimer) met in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the State Leadership Team Planning Meeting. Officers presented their Youth Get Away (YGA) workshops to the ambassadors and diplomats in order to gain feedback on what worked well and things they could improve on before presenting their workshops to novice and junior 4-Hers at YGA in April.
The Cooperative Extension Service celebrated 4-H Day at the Roundhouse on February 17. The NM 4-H leadership team is present every year to represent the State 4-H program and visit with legislators and the Governor on issues concerning our youth. Youth attending are able to learn about the legislative process directly from Senators and Representatives who take time out to speak to the youth. More than 100 youth attended to represent 4-H. This year President Carruthers welcomed the group. He also spoke to the youth about the benefits of attending NMSU. Senator Munoz, Representative Ezell, and Secretary of Ag, Jeff Witte, all spent time with this group and stressed the importance of individuals across the state being involved in the legislative process.
4-H County Council Officer Leadership Retreat: The 4-H agents in the Southwest District hosted a leadership retreat 4-H County Council Officer Leadership Retreat for 4-H county council officers on February 7-8 in Las Cruces. Twenty eight 4-H members developed leadership through participating in the NMSU low ropes course and workshops provided by agents. To end the weekend, youth learned about "Building the Best You" and going the extra mile by Mindy Turner, State 4-H Specialist. This was followed by youth having the opportunity to set team goals that they would implement back in their respective counties throughout the year. Kaylee Banegas, Doña Ana County 4-H'er, was quoted saying, "At the beginning of this weekend I thought I was just going to be attending the Southwest District Officer Training and learn about better teamwork. But I never imagined that I would learn so much about all the members on my team, including myself. I learned a lot about venturing out of my comfort zone and asking for help from my fellow teammates when I need it. I got to see some of the strengths and weaknesses of my team and myself. I cannot explain how much this weekend really impacted my views on leadership, teamwork, and communication. Aside from all the workshops, Kristen, Carli, Kayleigh, and I got to learn some life tips while cooking chicken."
Bugs-Out of the Box: Extension Plant Sciences, Dr. Carol Sutherland, exhibited 33 different drawers of insects during the "Bugs-Out of the Box" at the Western Heritage Museum in Hobbs, NM. Each drawer featured a particular group of arthropods or a certain behavior or activity. The drawers were from the NMSU arthropod collection located in Skeen Hall. There were 1,024 attendees during this event.
4-H Senior Leadership Retreat: 4-H Senior Leadership Retreat took place in Albuquerque January 24-25. The purpose of the retreat is to give high school student leadership training and to foster their interest in higher education, especially NMSU. Workshops included topics in engineering regarding the future with robotics, conquering boundaries and setting accomplishable goals, and developing personal and professional skills. Youth participated in a community service activity by creating thank you cards for veterans and active military personnel. A Kirkland Air Force Base officer spoke to the youth about the impact the cards have on the soldiers and how much they appreciate the cards. ACES Ambassadors discussed the opportunities available by attending NMSU and the degrees offered within ACES.
Valencia County's Cooperative Extension Service office participated in the 2015 Valencia County Hispano Chamber of Commerce Matanza. During the one day competition, 19 teams butchered pigs and prepared dishes that were judged by a panel and sampled by over 11,000 attendees. The teams competed in five different timed categories - liver, carne adovada, specialty pork item, chicharrones, and the Iron Pig Competition, where the teams were given the same random ingredients which they had to use to create a dish. Team NMSU-CES, participating in its first Matanza competition, took third place in the Overall Grand Champion. Their specialty item - ribs - took first place, while their carne adovada was second and their liver/chorizo sliders took third place in the liver category. The annual Matanza event has raised more than $140,000 during the previous 14 years, providing more than 200 Valencia County youth college scholarships.
The Lincoln County 4-H Horse Judging Team won the title of Reserve National Horse Judging Champions at the 95th annual Western National Roundup held Jan. 8-11 in Denver, CO. Team members are Shayna Gallacher, Kristie Gallacher, Bryanna Parker, and Gracie Hooten.
Extension Plant Sciences: The 2014 New Mexico Sustainable Agriculture Conference was held in Roswell on December 17th, with approximately 60 attendees including Extension Agents from counties throughout New Mexico, representatives from the USDA National Resources Conservation Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The conference, supported by WSARE (western region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program), presented training in key areas of interest and importance to agricultural professionals in eastern New Mexico. The program began with welcoming remarks from Larry Hobson, proprietor of Hobson Farms, and Bruce Hinrichs, Cooperative Extension Service Associate Director. The conference was moderated by Sandra Barraza and Patrick Kircher, Chaves and Roosevelt County Agents, respectively. Presentations included information on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for rangeland monitoring, by Connie Maxwell from the USDA-ARS-Jornada Experimental Range. Mark Marsalis, Los Lunas Ag. Science Center Superintendent, discussed fundamentals of alfalfa production, while Sangu Angadi from the Clovis Ag. Science Center provided an overview of alternative crops for challenging climates. Andres Cibils, Department of Animal and Range Sciences, presented research on using small ruminants to aid in the management of rangeland weeds. "Soil conservation practices under limited water conditions" was presented by Robert Flynn from the Artesia Ag. Science Center. David Augustine, representing the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Colorado discussed research in drought management for the western Great Plains rangelands. Joel Brown, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, presented "making grazing land management decisions - uncertainty is the only thing you can count on." The program concluded with a presentation of the New Mexico Certified Chile Program by the program coordinator, Jeanine Chavez Eden.
Catron County Extension Program Director Tracy Drummond. Catron County 4-H Livestock Judging Team recently represented New Mexico at the National 4H Livestock Judging Contest held in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Team members include Ky Drummond, Ty Gatlin, DeLanie Gatlin and Tamara Menges. The team placed 10th overall and were 5th in sheep and 9th in the cattle divisions. Ky Drummond was 4th in cattle, 6th in sheep and 5th high individual overall and was declared an All American.
More than 100 farmers attended the fifth annual Forage Growers Workshop in Los Lunas this week. NMSU Valencia County Cooperative Extension Service, NMSU Extension Plant Sciences Department, and the NMSU Small Farm and Ranch Task Force hosted the event. The workshop is geared toward helping hay and pasture growers improve production and profitability, while maintaining sustainable operations. Presentations on soil testing, fertilizing rates, irrigation rates, and pest and weed control were made by Extension specialists Carol Sutherland, Leonard Lauriault, John Idowu, Robert Flynn, Dan Smeal, Michael Ronquillo, and Mark Marsalis. New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte gave the keynote address. Members of the Valencia High School FFA served lunch.
Ninety-one adult 4-H leaders, parents and Extension personnel representing 20 counties participated in a one day educational and fun event on Saturday, November 8 in Albuquerque. The annual Forum, with a theme this year of "Unleash the Magic of 4-H", had 12 workshop sessions, a motivational speaker, a community service project, educational displays, and special activities and presentations. Workshop presenters included County Agents, Extension Specialists and 4-H Leaders. The motivational speaker was Brandon Lee White, who utilized ballroom dance in his presentation on the "Magic of Leadership". The event was planned through the efforts of a committee comprised of 4-H leaders and a 4-H Youth Development Specialist.
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.
Extension Plant Sciences: Dr. Elena Sevostianova and Dr. Bernd Leinauer (first and third from left) from the Extension Plant Sciences Department received an invitation to attend FAO's (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) Committee on Agriculture 24th session in Rome, Italy. This committee meets only every 2 years and an invitation to the researchers was extended because of a paper that they recently published in Crop Science. Drs. Sevostianova and Leinauer also met with representatives of FAO's Land and Soil Division to brief them in more detail on some the findings of their research. As a result of the meeting administrators and researchers at FAO expressed interest in developing and signing a MOU with NMSU to further collaborate on Extension and research activities that are relevant to irrigation and food production in saline and arid environments.
Sandoval County Agent Steve Lucero partnered with Hidalgo County Extension and offered a beef cattle pregnancy check school in Lordsburg. There were 15 area producers that learned about beef fertility and how to preform palpations on beef cattle to determine pregnancy. Three university personnel participated in the training: two Animal Science professors, Adam, Summers and Scholjerdes presented along with Extension Veterinarian, Dr. John Wenzel.
Producers and college students from Guadalupe, De Baca and Quay counties attended a Range Management and Burn Response/Recovery tour coordinated by the Guadalupe County Extension Service on September 3, 2013. The attendees toured an area on the Stovall Ranch near Pastura to discuss prescribed fire/burn opportunities in NM and see results from a 2014 spring burn. The 65-acre spring burn was designed to enhance livestock forage species by improving palatability and nutrient content while removing senescent grass. A unique opportunity was presented to burn patches of cockleburs to explore treatment efficacy. Dense patches of cockleburs affected livestock distribution and entangled livestock hair. Enhanced wildlife habitat was also desired. Pre- and post-fire data from burned and unburned pastures was presented to compare results. The NMSU Extension Natural Resource Fire/Burn Specialist, Doug Cram, explained how the burn was conducted, what weather conditions were needed to be successful and safe, what resources are available to help producers analyze using burn as both a rangeland production tool and an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tool.
County fairs have started across the state. Cooperative Extension Service Agents play a major role in planning, conducting and assisting during these county fair events. Agents have been involved with fair boards and assist in a variety of ways. Agents serve as superintendents in areas ranging from livestock, 4-H division, horticulture displays, home arts and booths. Extension agents assist youth preparing livestock for show and serve to make sure the show runs properly. At most county fairs the Extension Agents are individuals that make sure the county fair is memorable for both participants and spectator.
From the rolling hills of Silver City and ranch lands of Catron and Soccorro Counties to the pine-covered mountains of Ruidoso, motorcycle riders experienced some of the best views in southern New Mexico as they joined Regent Mike Cheney and President Garrey Carruthers in the "2014 Ride for the 4-H Clover". As a result of a vision of Regent Chairman Mike Cheney for a motorcycle tour to increase awareness of the importance of 4-H youth programs and the Cooperative Extension Service to New Mexicans, over 80 participants had the chance to experience spectacular New Mexico scenery and help support the programs offered by New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service and its 4-H youth activities during the August 23rd weekend. This was a chance for people to have some fun and learn about the ways we serve New Mexicans, all at the same time. Riders had the opportunity to tour and learn about Extension activities in Dona Ana, Grant, Catron, Socorro, and Lincoln counties. The event was co-sponsored by Barnett's Las Cruces Harley-Davidson, Las Cruces Visitors and Convention Bureau, Bodega Burger Company in Socorro, and the City of Socorro. Plans are already underway for the third annual "Ride for the 4-H Clover" next year. Below are a few comments from this year's participants:
"My wife and I enjoyed the ride. It was our second time and the 4-H groups were great, and also it was nice to have law enforcement involved this year. Already making plans for next year. Thank you." "As a 4-H family, it was amazing to see all the riders that didn't know about 4-H walk away with so much knowledge. Mike truly put on an amazing bike run. We are heavily involved in 4-H and love to ride our bike. So this was a great trip. Seeing all the beautiful countryside I have not had a chance to see before and meet such wonderful people. The bike run was well-organized and the food, friendship, and people were great. Thanks again. See you next year."
"Congratulations on a great weekend. I can't tell you how many positive comments I heard about the event. There were many experienced riders there, and they all raved about the route, the food, the speakers, and how well-organized everything was. But most of all, they were very complimentary of your people. The University, and CES staff, and 4-Hers did a great job always positive, friendly, and smiling. Made everyone feel welcome."
"What a fun and creative way to celebrate the wonderful support NMSU's 4-H had given the youth of our state. I have firsthand knowledge, 4-H changes lives for the better. Thanks to the NMSU Regents for organizing this ride to raise awareness."
Sierra County Extension partnered with 4-H Leaders and their local FFA instructor to provide an intense one day Livestock School for area sheep and goat exhibitors. The communities' local organizations sponsored awards for the school. It was a fun, informative, and successful event.
Doña Ana County 4-H Livestock Agent, Teresa Dean, hosted a Dairy Heifer Camp at Landmark Mercantile. Eleven 4-H members learned about showmanship, selection of dairy heifers, feeding, clipping, preparation for show and much more. 4-H members got the opportunity to tour the F & A Dairy Products plant as well as the Big Sky Dairy, that allowed them to learn more about the various aspects of the dairy industry. At the end of the camp, 4-H members showed off their skills with a showmanship contest and winners received a $25 gift certificate to Landmark. Sponsors of this event were: Landmark Mercantile, Dairy Max and Dairy Farmers of America.
Doña Ana County hosted the 2014 SW District 4-H Horse Show at the Armstrong Equestrian Center. Nineteen 4-H members from Doña Ana, Hidalgo, Grant and Socorro Counties where in attendance. 4-H member vied for the top three High Point Individual placing in each age division. Prior to the Horse Show, Doña Ana County hosted a Horse Show Clinic, where adult volunteer horse project leaders provided instruction on proper showing techniques to prepare the 4-H for the show the following day.
Doña Ana County 4-H Members did a great job at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational in Grand Island, Nebraska. All our students did well in all competitions.
Luna County's 2014 National Shooting Sport Invitational. The National Invitational was held this year at Grand Island, Nebraska where our two teams consisted of Compound Archery and .22 Small Bore Rifle. Our 4-H students placed high in these national competitions.
The 4-H Youth Development Program is a flagship program of the New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service. Through our 4-H programs over 55,000 New Mexico youth gain knowledge and skills in the areas of science, citizenship, and healthy living. Perhaps the largest benefits of 4-H are the critical life skills they gain. Studies have shown that 4-H youth are 2.5 times more likely to engage in civic involvement 2 times more likely to participate in STEM programs, 4.9 times more likely to graduate from college, and half as likely to use drugs.
New Mexico State University Board of Regents Chairman, Mr. Mike Cheney, had a vision for a motorcycle tour to increase awareness of the importance of 4-H youth programs and the Cooperative Extension Service to New Mexicans. As a result, we have our second annual "Ride of the 4-H Cover" motorcycle tour on August 23rd and 24th. This will be a great chance for people to have some fun and learn about the ways the New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service serves our communities, all at the same time. Riders will have an opportunity to tour and learn about Extension activities in Dona Ana, Grant, Catron, Socorro, Lincoln, and Otero counties. A welcome reception will be held the evening of Friday, August 22nd for all participants at Barnett's Las Cruces Harley-Davidson with live music. Riders will gather for a kick-off breakfast on Saturday, August 23rd, at the Dona Ana County Extension Office and travel to Silver City through historic Hillsboro. Lunch will be provided in Silver City and riders will then travel to Reserve to attend the Carton County Fair. We then will head to Socorro for dinner, programs, and a reception. Action will resume on Sunday, August 24th, when riders will head to Ruidoso and then end the day in Alamogordo, NM.
The 91st State 4-H Conference was held July 14-17, on the NMSU campus. Four hundred and eight 4-H members and leaders attended this year's event. 4-Her's participated in workshops, competitive life skills building events such as livestock judging, entomology, public speaking, parliamentary procedure and many more. Business meetings and elections for the 2014-2015 state 4-H officers were conducted. Those individuals elected were: Wade Stearns-President, Rhett Grant-Vice-President, Makayla Richardson - Secretary, Brett Dixon-Treasurer, Jami Maetas - Reporter, Sullivan Woodall - Song and Rec Leaders. Holding the 4-H events on campus is an excellent recruiting tool and an opportunity for the high school students to see our beautiful campus in hopes NMSU will be their college of choice.
Grant County 4-H Shotgun Team Youth Represent NM at National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational: New Mexico was represented by the Grant County 4-H Shotgun Team at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational held in Grand Island, Nebraska June 24-28. The Grant County Shotgun Team consisted of Austin Moore, Trevor Jensen, Dustin White, and Mike Deloff. The team was coached by Rob Bates and Elvin George. Also traveling with the team was Ty Dalton who helped the Grant county team qualify for the national contest by competing on the state winning team but was ineligible to compete at the national contest due to national contest age limit requirements. The Shotgun team competed in three different shotgun disciplines during the national shoot. These disciplines consisted of Sporting Clays, Trap, and Skeet. The New Mexico team placed 15th overall in the nation as a team. Congratulations to the Grant County New Mexico Shotgun Team on all of their accomplishments at the state and national levels!!
Grant County Extension Office, Judy O'Loughlin is cooking over the summer at the local Farmer's Market in collaboration with the Grant County Health Council. The purpose is to show the communities how to cook healthy with local produce.
Northeast and Southeast District annual 4H contests took place this week. There were over 300 youths, ages 9 to 12, participating. At the contests youth practice life skills such as critical thinking, public speaking, parliamentary procedure and showcase sewing, and cooking skills.
Cooperative Extension Agents are getting a hands-on learning experience with an on-the-farm workshop in Moriarty, NM. Northern District Department Head, Pat Torres, and Torrance County Agent, Gene Winn, have worked with Dean Schwebach, a local producer, to work through what a producer would be required to do in order to meet Good Agricultural Practices. These plans must be in place before producers can sell to some retail outlets, such as Wal-Mart. Primus labs, Debra Garrison of Primus Labs will walk Extension agents through the process of becoming a certified producer, so Extension agents can help other producers in their counties. This training opportunity is a partnership with NMDA. NMDA and Cooperative Extension are working together to ensure that the Agriculture industry and our NM producers are equipped with the information they need to make their management decisions and coming into compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act.
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 Mgt.
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.
Hidalgo County Extension Agent John Allen, working in conjunction with the organizations SPIRIT of Hidalgo, and Hidalgo Medical Services, hosted a dedication ceremony for the Public Service of New Mexico (PNM) Demonstration Garden area at the Hidalgo County Fairgrounds. With the help of a grant, the program has grown into an area that can enable people attending classes to be able to provide food for their families, the farmers markets, and local food pantries.
Sixty people attended, including Cynthia Hull, from Senator Heinrich's office, Emily Goykovich, from South West New Mexico Council of Governments, Darr Shannon, Hidalgo County Commissioner, and Jeannie Palacios, City of Lordsburg Clerk. There also were representatives from the media, chamber of commerce, schools, youth groups, food pantries, business, farmer's market vendors, and growers.
The Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) selected Woods Houghton, County Program Director in Eddy County, to receive the 2014 National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) Professional of the Year Award. This award was developed to recognize the outstanding professional in each of the six JCEP organizations, and reward them for being an outstanding Extension professional. Woods Houghton will be recognized at their upcoming national meeting.
Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service 4-H clubs join FIRST Lego League (FLL) robotics competition where they research innovative solutions to a problem and build a LEGO autonomous robot to accomplish set tasks. FIRST-For inspiration and Recognition of Science and technology -Lego League is an international program that engages youth in playful and meaningful learning while helping them discover the fun in science and technology. Each year FLL sets a challenge on which each team will conduct research, determine a problem and create an innovative solution for the problem. This year, the challenge was titled "Nature's Fury" and the teams studied natural disasters such as storms, fires and earthquakes. They addressed what can be done when intense natural events meet the places people live, work and play.
Dr. Tracey Carrillo, Assistant Director of ACES Campus Land Operations, hosted country music artist James Wesley ("Thank a Farmer") and his band as they toured the Fabian Garcia Science Center and the New Mexico Shrimp Company, which is an NMSU research facility demonstrating the feasibility of shrimp farming in New Mexico. One of the band members said "There is hope for US agriculture" after seeing all the innovative research being conducted by the College of Agricultural, Consumer and
Environmental Sciences faculty and staff. At the 2014 Country Music Festival concert in downtown Las Cruces, James Wesley thanked the college for the inspirational tour.
Lincoln County Extension Service collaborated with Lincoln County Community Health Council during the Maze of Life event on April 23. It provided eighth grade students from Ruidoso, Carrizozo, Hondo, Capitan and Mescalero with nutrition education. The experiential maze was an interactive life-size game designed to help teens better understand the consequences of decisions. The Lincoln county Extension booth "Re-think Your Drink" discussed the health risks of consuming energy drinks and high sugar drinks such as soda and the importance of drinking water, eating a healthy diet and including physical activity daily. 250 eighth grade students attended the two day program. The Maze provided the middle school students with accurate information about teen issues in a positive forum, to encourage discussion between teens and parents and reinforce the life skills needed to handle life situations.
Sierra County Extension Service organized an Ag Day Event this week. The event was centered on agriculture literacy and impacts over 300 youth. There were over 75 volunteers helping the FFA and 4-H members with the 20 different stations. 4-H and FFA members took a leadership role in mentoring youth at the event. This helps the 4-H and FFA kids develop public speaking skills while handling many of the ag presentations relating to where their food and clothes come from. Each classroom of student were weighed-in on a large livestock scale. They were "auctioned off" by Auctioneer, Shawna Wood, to their FFA student helper for the day. They proceeded to the stations which included the following: Chamiza Cowbelles - "More than a Cow", Bullocks Grocery-varieties of apples, Kelsie's -milk cow demonstration, Taysha's - "How to make butter", Krystie's - Wheat & grinding flour, Cody's - Cowboy cobbler (dutch oven cooking), Sierra County Farm and Livestock Bureau: butter & rolls, and branding demo, Ag in the Classroom, Game and Fish-wildlife demo, FSA, NRCS & Sierra SWCD-worm/soil demo, Caballo SWCD - "Have you Eaten any Soil Lately?", Renee's "Naked Egg", parts of an egg and chick development, Also 4-H and FFA youth did presentations on sheep, goats, miniature horses, regular horses & horse tack, and cattle. The Sierra County 4-H Council engaged youth with leadership games. Most of the stations offered some sort of "hands-on" activity so the kids could participate and learn how they can be a part of agriculture.
Hidalgo County Cooperative Extension Windbreak Program. In an effort to help local homeowners protect their property from strong winds the Hidalgo County Cooperative Extension Office, John Allen, established a windbreak seedling program. Over the course of the last week a newspaper article was published that highlighted the use of drought tolerant trees as windbreaks. The article covered how livestock, gardens, and homes are sheltered from winds by linear planting of resilient Arizona Cypress trees. Windbreaks not only help lower utility bills, they also help conserve soil and water both precious resources in Hidalgo County. This program provided 36 homeowners a set of 8 Arizona Cypress seedlings to plant on their property. Trees provided were planted to protect 12 homes, 18 gardens or fields, and 6 livestock enclosures. Homeowners also received a tree planting guide for successful seedling establishment as well as information on windbreak design, location, and care. All materials were developed by the extension agent to meet Hidalgo County's challenging growing conditions.
Grant County Extension Programming Activities: Judy O'Loughlin, County Director and Home Economist, continues the Tufts University "Strong Women Stay Young Weights Program" every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the County Extension Office 9:30 - 10:40 am in Grants. Participation remains strong and continues to reach new attendees. Participants comments that were shared this week were, "My back is stronger, and my balance is so much better." I was able to balance on the ladder to paint my tall ceilings. I would never have been able to do that without this class". Ms. O'Loughlin was the key-note speaker for the State hospital auxiliary meeting held in Silver City. Her presentation, "You Only Get One Life in Which to do Everything You'll ever do-Act Accordingly" was built around health and health perceptions as we age. She shared simple weight bearing activities seniors could do while watching television or working the hospital desk area. Judy re-iterated the fact that "doing nothing was a greater threat than doing something physical every day".
Grant County Extension was part of the annual "Teen Maze" held at the Grant County Conference Center. This activity is based on the game of LIFE, whereby students may spin or draw to determine which paths their lives may take them and the consequences of those choices. Booths included, club parties, drug, alcohol, teen pregnancy, law enforcement, etc. Home Economist planned, set up, and worked with the local NM Dept of Health educators to show school youth the amounts of sugar in selected beverages and the longer term consequences of over consumption. There was a home -made physical activity area (doing squats with gallons of water, climbing a step ladder, curl lifting cans of tomatoes ) which students had to make it through wearing extra 15 - 20 pounds in a backpack if they selected such sugary drinks as Route 44's, etc. They also spun a wheel to determine if they were a smoker or not; if so, they had to complete the obstacle course while breathing through a straw to simulate lessened lung capacity.
Sam Lowry, 4-H Agent/Ag Agent, in Grant County conducted county shooting sports contests over the weekend of April 12 - 13 to determine team placing and qualifiers for the state 4-H shooting sports contest in Raton, NM. Grant County will be represented by 17 senior age 4-H members and 8 Volunteer Leaders at the NRA Whittington Center. The youth will compete in shooting sports events consisting of archery, shotgun, small bore rifle, and hunting skills. The 4-H youth will participate as teams and as individuals at this event.
Sam and Judy participated with a booth at the annual McKeen "Ranch Days" event in Alma, NM, April 22 - 23. Sam presented the importance of insects in agriculture utilizing specimens from the NMSU Arthropod Museum. Judy had the kids churn butter from cream and pass it down to the Dutch oven cooks who serve it on fresh cooked hot biscuits. The hands on "immersion experience" nets between 400 - 500 students annually from southwestern NM counties and a few eastern AZ counties. Students experience a day in the life of a cow-calf operation. The Southwest Dairy Trailer is on site, and Cody Lightfoot shares the dairy cow and milking aspect. Other extension personnel contributing included: Tracy Drummond (Catron, branding demonstration), John Allen (Hidalgo, vermiculture), Sam Smallidge (State NMSU, wildlife) Larry Foster (retired Dutch Oven Cooking), and Doug Cram (Forestry and Fire Ecology). The state 4-H shooting sports trailer was also on site for youth to experience, as well as the archer program through NM Game and Fish. Margie McKeen does an excellent job setting this experience up every year.
Dona Ana County Extension Office held an event for the Smith Lever Centennial at the Doña Ana County Government Center on April 22nd, where Karim Martinez, County Program Director, did a 10 minute presentation for the county commission (which was televised) as well as signing of a proclamation. Agents were on hand with booths and information to hand out to the community. Over 200 clientele visited each booth throughout the event where they collected information on Food Safety, Diabetes, Healthy Recipes Pet care, 4-H programs and Gardening Information. Karim was also interviewed (in Spanish) by Univision-El Paso to talk about food safety.
The Just Be It! Healthy & Fit (JBI) youth nutrition program is being taught to 800 elementary school-age children in Rio Rancho public schools. JBI was created by NMSU Extension home economists in Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Rio Arriba counties. The JBI curriculum teaches youth to make nutritious food choices, such as eating fruits and vegetables for snacks instead of junk food, and promotes regular physical activity. The program has been used in several of the district's elementary schools for the past two years, but this year it was expanded to all 10 elementary schools with the help of a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico's Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative. Cooperative Extension Service provides manuals to the schools that includes all of the lessons, activities and recipes for the nutritional snack. The full article can be seen at Click here and you can watch a video at Video
NMSU Extension Service will be hosting some wildfire preparedness workshops in Rio Arriba County in the coming week. Rio Arriba County residents have watched as other areas in New Mexico experienced the life-changing effects of disastrous wildland fires. To help residents protect their homes and livestock from disaster, NMSU Rio Arriba County Cooperative Extension Service office is hosting these workshops on emergency preparedness for inside and outside of the home in order to decrease risks, and ave plans for evacuation of their livestock and themselves. This workshop will give them many techniques and tips on how to be prepared and will take place in Abiquiu, Tierra Amarilla, and Dulce.
The National Association of County Agricultural Agents has placed the name of Mr. Billy Dictson, retired Associate Dean and Director of Cooperative Extension, on the Hall of Fame for his 50 years of service to Extension. After retiring as Associate Dean Billy Dictson co-founded the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center and continued working with them until 2013.
Sierra County Extension services is starting a Native Landscapes Initiative that encourages residents to plant attractive landscapes of beneficial native plants that are adapted to our harsh environment and good taste. Initiative plants are selected by the agent to meet certain requirements: * Must be Native to NM * Must be appropriate for landscapes * Must do well in Sierra County and withstand higher pH's and high CaCO3. * Must be considered Beneficial to Livestock, Wildlife, and Pollinator Insects
Additionally, these native plants are typically more disease and insect resistant, use less water, less fertilizer, live longer, and just do better than many standard landscape plants. Although many of these plants are common to range management folks, they are not well known in Urban Horticulture Arena. Also, there are a few tricks and hints to get them to grow and thrive. That's where the county agent comes in. He's experienced and passionate about range management and uses his diversity of experience to bridge the gap between range and urban horticulture.
The Sierra County Extension Agent partnered with specialist Blair Stringam to bring a Water Harvesting Demonstration Site to Sierra County. The water harvesting site encourages residents to adopt various technologies in water harvesting, irrigation design, low pressure drip, plant selection, and even landscape design. The harvesting tank will be used to establish the native landscapes and eventually help maintain a native botanical garden. This garden should serve as a showcase for native plants and also a living tool for teaching 4-H and FFA Range Management teams.
This first workshop was organized by Sierra County Extension Agent, Dee Wear. The hands on workshop served as an introduction to the initiative with both Wear and Stringam serving as presenters. The 24 participants signed on as active participants with the initiative. They were introduced to 9 Native plants and got a crash course on water harvesting and irrigation design. Those initiative participants also received a Southwest Flower Pack (A pack of seeds to encourage residents to participate further in the initiative). The flower pack served great as a promotional piece for the initiative and for Sierra Co. Extension. Participant interest in urban horticulture & natives was outstanding with many questions. Agent received over a dozen requests for future workshops.
Cooperative Extension Service in collaboration with the NM Department of Agriculture and Farm to Table (a non-profit organization based out of Santa Fe) held the annual New Mexico Organic Farming Conference which had an attendance of more than 750 participants. The two day conference offered a wide variety of educational sessions including: pest control, water harvesting, grazing management, vegetable production, marketing of agricultural commodities, fruit production, pollinators, small dairy production, food safety, soil salinity and fertility management. This conference is currently the agricultural conference with the largest attendance in New Mexico and possibly the southwest attracting participants from surrounding states as well.
Master Gardner Training. Training of Master Gardner volunteers is currently underway in several counties in Northern New Mexico. The trainings consist of several weeks of classes in which the participants are trained by Extension Specialists, County Agents, and area horticulture experts. Upon passing the course the Master Gardner volunteers are required to provide a minimum of 30-40 hours of volunteer service in an educational capacity in projects approved by the local county agent within their respective counties. Projects include: staffing gardening hotlines, responding to horticultural inquiry emails, maintaining demonstration gardens, conducting fairs, assisting with horticultural presentations at schools, and conducting plant clinics and other class presentations. The number of volunteer hours that Master Gardeners provides annually is valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Curry County Cooperative Extension Service in cooperation with Ag 50, New Mexico Sorghum Association and the Southwest Council of Agribusiness conducted a Farm Bill Program on March 25 at the Clovis Civic Center. Participants learned about the new farm bill and how provisions will affect their farm operations. During the program they focused on commodity and crop insurance programs.
Curry and Roosevelt County Cooperative Extension Service held a seminar at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds for agriculture producers on "Managing Your No-Till System". This included Sprayer Management and Calibration, Herbicide Options for Dryland Farming Systems and Weed and Insect Management in a No-Till System. There were from 100 to 200 attending the seminar.
Jesse Jim, Tribal Extension 4-H Agent with ACES Cooperative Extension Service, gave a presentation on Community Gardens during the Child Food Summit at Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint, New Mexico. The summit is part of the NM Appleseed program which is a nonprofit dedicated to finding systemic solutions to poverty which include Afterschool Meals Program, Summer Food Service Program and Summer Food Fellowship www.nmappleseed.org. The purpose is to bring awareness to communities about traditional ways of living and eating healthy through using modern ways to advance those issues in our school and tribal policies and community gardening. There is further discussion of collaboration and networking on community engagement with farming projects.
Cooperative Extension's Southwest Border Food Safety & Defense Center, along with NMDA will conduct a Playas Series II Exercise, "Cascading Events". The exercise will focus on the State's response to the cascading effects of a severe weather incident impact on transportation, livestock, feed and the commercial food supply chain. The March event will help test and validate certain response and recovery procedures of New Mexico's developing Emergency Support Function. Kelly Hamilton, NMDA, said the purpose of the exercise is to prepare public sector and private sector critical infrastructure stakeholders in a "whole community" environment. Strengths, gaps and challenges in New Mexico's prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery capabilities in the wake of a natural, technological or human-caused event, will be discovered and documented to help focus New Mexico's future preparation activities. (Information taken from registration documents).
Regional Economic Development Planning Targets Rural Areas in Northwest New Mexico Strategic Partnerships will Provide Economic Development Assistance (March 5, 2014 Albuquerque, NM) USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner and Dr. Michael Patrick, of ACES Cooperative Extension Service completed today the first set of Stronger Economies Together (SET) program meetings in northwest New Mexico. The SET program was established to provide training and technical assistance to rural counties seeking to build up existing regional development efforts. The SET program project is a collaborative initiative between New Mexico State University (NMSU) and USDA Rural Development. The SET program helps communities work together to develop and implement a regional economic development strategy. Four years ago the initial SET programs in the southwest and the northeast areas of New Mexico were the first to be provided assistance through the program. The new northwest New Mexico SET region encompasses an area from Ramah, New Mexico through McKinley, Cibola and San Juan counties including the Navajo Nation. This area has long been known as "The Trail of the Ancients." The first set of planning meetings was held Tuesday in Shiprock, in Zuni and Grants Wednesday.
ACES Cooperative Extension Service's leadership, NMSU College of Health and Social Services, Michigan State University Cooperative Extension Service and Medical School, Oregon State University Cooperative Extension Service, and the Community Health Sciences in the UNM Health Science Center met to discuss and coordinate Health Extension programs. Discussions included the future Health Extension model for CES and academic health sciences, the national CES Health Task Force, and future partnership opportunities to meet community health needs.
Cooperative Extension Service County Agent, John Allen, shared information some of the work our land grant university is doing in Hidalgo County. This is a big ongoing project with the mission to increase the availability and consumption of fresh locally grown foods in Hidalgo County. This project engages the community to take an active role in healthy living. Community leaders have stepped forward all throughout the county and are taking the responsibility of one of the many facets of this project. We currently are working with growers to increase the amount of food locally grown and building markets to distribute the food both for profit in the farmers market or donated to nonprofits to be given in emergency food boxes. We are not only building a stronger agriculture network within the county we are keeping dollars at home, and helping build small business.
143 of our 4-H students participated in the 4-H Day at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe on February 11th.
Christina Turner, Santa Fe County 4-H Agricultural Agent, was presented with the "Above and Beyond Award" from the Board of Regents. Christina's responsibilities include everything from livestock and judging programs to shooting sports to youth leadership teams. Through the Ag Literacy and Ag Awareness program, Christina has developed a series titled "Science for Life," consisting of four lessons: Agriculture in My Life, Amazing Farm Animals, Let's Get Growing, and Under My Feet and Over My Head. Through this program she has helped emphasize the importance of the food and fiber system to grade school youth.
The 22nd Annual Ag Expo was held on February 18-19 at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds in Portales, NM. The Expo brings a wealth of information for area farmers and ranchers on topics ranging from cattle health, nutrition, urban tree care, stock dogs, herbicides, and creativity with paint, pallets and more. ACES cooperative Extension Service sponsored the event, along with local businesses and Dairy Farmers of America. The events were free and open to the public. On both days of the expo, there was an antique tractor parade, antique tractor games and information booths throughout the expo.
State 4-H Shooting Sports Leader Certification training for adult volunteers wishing to be state certified shooting sports instructors, took place on February 21 through 23rd. Leaders who have been screened first through their county will learn safety, risk management, liability and shooting techniques in archery, shotgun, air and .22 rifle, air and .22 pistol, hunting and muzzle loading. The workshop was held in Deming, New Mexico.
ACES 4-H Youth Development is working towards a goal on their Facebook page to reach 1,000 likes. Right now the page has 682 likes. This page shares club, county and state events, pictures, upcoming activities, community service projects, individual and club successes, and much more. The page is to show off what the states 4-H clubs and counties have done.
The New Mexico Senate and the House of Representatives gave certificates of congratulations to New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service for their 100th year anniversary. 2014 marks the Centennial of the signing of the Federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the CES, the nationwide education system operating through Land-Grant Universities in partnership with federal, state and local governments and the NM CES serves as the "front door" to NMSU through its presence in all thirty-three counties. The Smith-Lever Act expanded the vocational agricultural and home demonstration programs in rural America by bringing the research-based knowledge of the Land-Grant Universities to people where they live and work. The CES is a critical component of the Land-Grant University mission and works collaboratively with research, particularly the Agricultural Experiment Station System. The CES research-based education for farmers and ranchers helped establish the United States as a leading agricultural-producing Nation in the world. CES 's nationwide 4-H Youth Development Program has reached millions of youths and helped prepares them for responsible adulthood. CES engages with rural and urban learners through practical, community-based approaches, resulting in the acquisition of knowledge, skills and motivation to strengthen the profitability of animal and plant production systems. These community-based approaches also protect natural resources, help people make healthful lifestyle choices, ensure a safe and abundant food supply, encourage community vitality and engage the next generation of leaders.
Hidalgo County Extension under the direction of John Allen has been working on a community garden project for the past two years. Hidalgo County only has one grocery store and can be listed as a "food desert" which is a term that was created to describe a limited access to healthy fresh foods.
Rick Richardson, Department Head of State 4-H reported that approximately 300 senior age 4-H members and leaders from 25 counties attended Senior Leadership Retreat. The retreat centers on increasing leadership, communication and team building skills. This year the state 4-H office collaborated with the College of Engineering to conduct a robotics workshop and with Innoventure from the Arrowhead Center on invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Six new 4-H ambassadors and diplomats were selected at Senior Leadership Retreat. Those individuals selected become part of the state 4-H leadership team and will represent 4-H at state and local functions. They will also conduct leadership training at state 4-H activities and events. The selected individuals are:
- Kaitlyn Eldred, Bernalillo County-Ambassador
- Molly Thomas, Bernalillo County-Ambassador
- Ethan Grant, Bernalillo County-Ambassador
- Kylie Hutchison, Lincoln County-Diplomat
- Sean Owensby, Union County-Diplomat
Jon Boren, Associate Dean and Director of CES, attended the New Mexico Association of Counties legislative Conference in Santa Fe. The 2014 New Mexico Association of Counties Legislative Conference is held during the opening week of the New Mexico legislative session in Santa Fe. NMAC members convene at the conference to meet with their colleges and present county perspectives to their legislators. Member organizations have time to meet with their affiliate members. For 2014, the Cooperative Extension Service affiliate offered professional development training for county extension program directors to strengthen relations with County Commissions and county personnel.
The NM EDGE, which stands for Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the public sector, is a program administered by ACES Cooperative Extension Service. The EDGE program will be offering over 40 classes to public sector employees and elected officials from throughout the state of NM. NM EDGE will also graduate over 40 individuals from state, county and municipal government in various certifications.
Steve Loring attended the first meeting of the Digital Measures Steering Committee, representing the College of ACES.
Dona Ana County Extension will be graduating thirteen Master Gardners. There will be a graduation ceremony at Trails West this week.
Mark Marsalis, Ian Ray, Leonard Lauriault, and NMSU Cooperative Extension Service along with the New Mexico Hay Association coordinated the Southwest Hay & Forage Conference January 16-17 in Ruidoso. During the conference a variety of educational classes were given for forage producers in the State of New Mexico and other parts of the Southwest. Alfalfa is New Mexico's number one cash crop and the purpose of the conference is to help forage growers enhance productivity and maintain sustainability in hay, pasture, and silage systems. Educators included NMSU faculty, industry representatives, and other governmental agency personnel. The annual, 2-day event typically draws over 150 participants and includes a trade show.
Youth from across the state competed in the State 4-H Conference back in July, in a variety of contests. The winning teams will be moving on to compete in the Western National Roundup, January 9-12 in Denver, Colorado. Western National Roundup provides a place for youth to compete nationally while encouraging teamwork and self-confidence, and while focusing on the 4-H Mission Mandates: Science, Engineering, Technology, Mathematics, Healthy Living and Citizenship. Counties representing New Mexico for the different youth contests are: Dona Ana County -Parliamentary Procedure and Public Speaking; Lincoln County for Consumer Decision Making; Quay County for Home Economics Skillathon; Catron County for Livestock Judging; Bernalillo County for Horse Judging; Curry County for Meats.
Cooperative Extension Service (CES) faculty from around the state came to the main campus of New Mexico State University, College of ACES Gerald Thomas Hall for an In-Service training this week. Extension In-Service provides an excellent opportunity not only for subject matter training but also the opportunity to network with colleagues and conduct association meetings. The trainings included:
- "Extension 101-- The History and Philosophy of Extension" for all County Extension Agents and State Specialists.
- Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Session for County Home Economists focused on characteristics of evidence-based programs; managing your chronic disease; strategies for dealing with junk mail; a new master volunteer program for FCS; research on canning red chile and gluten-free foods; and emergency preparedness.
- Getting the Extension Message out using Radio, Newspapers, Publications, Social Media and the Web for County Agriculture Agents, 4-H Agriculture Agents and State Specialists.
- Extension Plant Sciences Session for County Agriculture Agents and 4-H Agriculture Agents conducted several classes on Pest Diagnostics, Urban Horticulture and Agronomy and Soils.