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NMSU extension faculty to host annual Extension Disaster Education Network meeting

About 70 representatives from the national Extension Disaster Education Network will meet in Las Cruces next week for their annual meeting Oct. 6-9 at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces. The gathering will feature a tour of the New Mexico Border Authority Port in Santa Teresa.

?We won the bid two years ago to host this meeting,? said Sonja Koukel, NMSU faculty in the Cooperative Extension Service Family and Consumer Sciences department and co-director of the Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center. ?The EDEN Annual Session is hosted by different states where the delegates visit areas that have either experienced disasters or are thinking about pending disasters in order to document them and be ready to respond at the national level.?

Tour attendees will visit the Santa Teresa Port of Entry to learn about the passage of people between Mexico and the US. The tour will also include the Santa Teresa Cattle Crossing, the state?s largest and most efficient livestock import and export facility on the Mexican Border, and the Union Pacific intermodal rail yard facility to get a glimpse of local agriculture production and its extensive rail system.

Koukel has served as EDEN?s point of contact for NMSU for three years. NMSU also has three delegates: Cindy Davies, NMSU Bernalillo County Extension director; Tom Dean, NMSU Southwest Extension District director; and Rick Griffiths, NMSU San Juan County Extension home economist. Tribal representatives have been invited to attend the meeting, which includes presentations such as ?Identifying and Addressing the Needs of At-Risk Populations in Planning for Disasters,? ?Collaborative Partnerships for and Expanded National Youth Preparedness Education Model: Utilizing Land-Grant Universities as Catalysts? and ?Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse: Using Popular Youth Culture to Teach Concept Development.?

?The New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service is excited to host the 2015 Extension Disaster Education Network Annual Session. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase some of our Extension programs to assist New Mexicans in preparation, response and recovery from disasters such as the Gold King Mine spill,? said Jon Boren, associate dean in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and director of the Cooperative Extension Service. ?The conference is also an excellent opportunity for Extension faculty at our land-grant universities across the nation to share best practices, develop collaborations and coordinate national efforts to better prepare our citizens, communities and states cope with future disasters.?

To learn more about EDEN, visit http://eden.lsu.edu/.