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Groundbreaking for NMSU Heritage Farm trail set for Thursday

Be one of the first to see the future Heritage Farm Interpretive Trail at a groundbreaking ceremony from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 4. The trail is part of New Mexico State University?s larger plan for the Heritage Farm development west of the campus.



Plans for the New Mexico State University Heritage Farm include a vineyard. A groundbreaking ceremony for the Heritage Farm Interpretive Trail will take place May 4. These grapes were part of an NMSU grape and wine production field day at the Fabian Garcia Science Center in 2014. (Photo by Emily C. Kelley)

The site is located off College Avenue, southwest of the Las Cruces Convention Center and just west of East Union Avenue.

The purpose of the Heritage Farm is to showcase NMSU?s agricultural roots and to advance current research. It also aims to support private and public economic initiatives and to create a park-like gateway to campus. And students from area schools will have the opportunity to take field trips to the Heritage Farm to learn about agriculture and New Mexico crops.

In addition to an interpretive trail walk, Heritage Farm plans include a university hotel, a winery, a brewery, agricultural fields, exhibit gardens and an adaptive reuse of the seed barn ? one of the oldest buildings on campus ? into the Chile Pepper Institute.

The interpretive trail is the first step in the Heritage Farm development. The trail will eventually consist of plants along the acequia, or irrigation ditch, as well as crops grown at NMSU and native plants used for erosion control. Irrigation methods ? from drip systems to flood irrigation ? will also be on display.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Natural Resources Conservation Service awarded NMSU a $100,000 grant to support conservation of the waterways and irrigation at Heritage Farm.

?New Mexico Natural Resources Conservation Service is excited for being a part of the Heritage Farm and the great partnership with NMSU,? said Blake Glover, USDA-NRCS South Area Conservationist. ?The Heritage Farm will be an excellent educational addition to the university and the community.?

Farm Credit of New Mexico and CoBank also donated $25,000 each to support the pedestrian bridges and walking trail in honor of Farm Credit of New Mexico?s 100th anniversary.

?NMSU?s contributions to the heritage and past success of New Mexico agriculture are immeasurable,? said Al Porter, Farm Credit of New Mexico President and Chief Executive Officer. ?The Heritage Farm on NMSU?s campus ensures that agriculture will hold an important part of the university?s future, continuing the bond of agriculture to the land-grant university mission. We are proud that Farm Credit of New Mexico is able to contribute to that mission.?

CoBank Regional Vice President Marc Adams said the Heritage Farm at NMSU will showcase the state?s unique agricultural history.

?CoBank is proud to celebrate that history and, at the same time, to honor the contributions made by our partner, Farm Credit of New Mexico, as they celebrate 100 years of serving New Mexico?s agriculture industry,? Adams said.

The groundbreaking ceremony will include a small tour of the seed house lobby. Renderings of the entire Heritage Farm project, including the hotel, will be on display.

Attendees should park at the Watts Entomology Lab, located at 650 College Ave., or at the USDA Cotton Gin, located at 610 E. College Ave. For more information, please contact Olga Holguin with NMSU Facilities and Services at 575-646-2101 or olgahol1@nmsu.edu.