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NMSU Student Gardens celebrate becoming certified organic with event Oct. 29

After three years of intensive work, research and education New Mexico State University?s student plots have been certified organic by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



The student Gardens at NMSU are now certified organic. The community is invited to an event that will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 29 at the NMSU Student Research and Education Gardens just south of the University Alumni and Visitor Center located at 775 College Drive. (Courtesy Image)

?Personally, I am very excited to be involved in this organic certification effort,? said Mark Uchanski, associate professor of horticulture in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. ?Many individuals worked very hard to make this happen, and I couldn?t be more thankful and proud of their contributions. To my knowledge, this is the first property on Las Cruces campus to be certified organic, and that presents new opportunities to our students.?

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 29 at the NMSU Student Research and Education Gardens just south of the University Alumni and Visitor Center located at 775 College Drive.

There will also be organic produce and student-made gelato available for purchase in the Crimson Creations student-run retail store from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Students in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences learn how to grow, sell, use and market organic produce at the Student Gardens located behind Gerald Thomas Hall.

The Student Gardens began planting in 2012 with the purpose of giving agriculture students real-life working experience.

?We are hoping to share some of the research and educational strides we are making on campus, especially in the area of organic agriculture,? Uchanski added. ?We would like to welcome the public, farmers, ranchers, students, faculty and staff to share information about organic farming practices and the certification process.?

Uchanski and other NMSU experts will talk about what it took to get certified, what it means, and how to get involved.

?We are excited to share information about a recently awarded USDA Organic Transitions grant to assist growers in Southern New Mexico,? he said.

The Organic Transition process took three years to complete during which organic transition research was conducted, produce was grown and harvested in student plots, experts and students experimented with new crops such as guar and worked with organic corn adapted to the Southwest.

?We plan to celebrate our organic certification and share information about a new USDA funded grant to help support farmers and ranchers in Southern New Mexico in their transition to organic,? he said.