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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Local agriculture spotlighted at NMSU Ag Science Center Field Day

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Last Thursday, Sept. 7, the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Center held a Field Day, an open house designed to generate community involvement and share information regarding research projects currently being completed.

Nearly 100 attendees of all ages were welcomed by the researchers, who organized events for children and raffle giveaways for adults. The kid activities involved building mason bee houses using tin cans and dried bamboo shoots, extracting DNA from strawberries, and more. Many of the children returned to the activities multiple times, a sign of fun and learning. 

Lucas, a young attendant, regaled the Daily Press with step-by-step instructions for DNA extraction, exclaiming “It was actually really fun!”

After a dinner of perfectly-smoked brisket prepared and served by the Yucca CowBelles and the Wool Growers, the agriculture advocates mingled briefly before engaging in the final portion of the evening: an insect catching adventure for the kids and research presentations for the adults. 

The NMSU Ag Science Center is currently conducting research concerning cotton, pecans, jalapenos and more. Some notable projects titles involve using pecan byproduct extracts to illicit resistance against soilborne pathogens and the comparison of jalapeno performance against a blight in either field or greenhouse conditions.

The President of the New Mexico 4-H Club, Aubrey Putnam of Carlsbad, said attending such events is a highlight of her service. Although she has traveled now to most regions of the state, this event was especially enjoyable to her because it allowed her to connect with familiar faces and share what she loves with those from her home county. 

Senior research assistant Patricia Monk also felt excitement towards the event, especially with regards to turnout. During the evening, prominent members of the community made appearances at the open house, including a state representative.

Residents interested in learning more about the Ag Science Center and the research it completes can visit its website artesiasc.nmsu.edu or call 575-748-1228.

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