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NMSU Sustainable Agriculture Science Center in Alcalde hosts field day Aug. 9

ALCALDE - Field days at New Mexico State University's agricultural science centers give the public an opportunity to see the research that is being done at the 12 centers located across the state.

The Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde will open its doors to the public on Aug. 9. Visitors will be able to participate in one-hour walking tours through the fields of fruit trees, dye plants, medicinal herbs, lavender, and forage and turfgrass variety studies.

Along the tour various research scientists will discuss their studies and findings to date, including water source researchers Steve Guldan and Sam Fernald regarding the impacts of acequia agriculture on groundwater and river flow; Extension turfgrass specialist Bernd Leinauer on the drip irrigation turfgrass variety study; Rio Arriba County Extension agricultural agent Tony Valdez and urban small farm specialist Ron Walser on various aspects of raising fruit and berries including under-tree micro-sprinklers and drip irrigation; Extension agricultural specialist Del Jimenez on hoop houses; and agricultural researcher Charles Martin regarding medicinal herbs, alternative crops, an update on the dye plant project and lavender as a drought-tolerant specialty crop.

After a lunch provided by the center, visitors may learn about tractor and implement maintenance from Alcalde farm supervisor David Archuleta and farm technician Val Archuleta, bindweed mite and bio-control from Jimenez and various weeds from Rey Torres, Taos County agricultural agent.

This event is part of NMSU's continuing outreach efforts and is free to the public. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The program begins at 8:30 with a welcome from Steve Guldan, Alcalde superintendent; Edmund Gomez, Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project director, and Roberta Rios, Northern District Extension department head. Keynote speaker will be Gerald Chacon, associate vice provost for Outreach Services.

Exhibits by various organizations and programs also will be on display during the day. NMSU's College of Agriculture and Home Economics' exhibit will include the Northern New Mexico Outreach Project, RAIPAP, Just Be It, ICan and 4-H.

Displays will also be presented by the New Mexico Apple Council, New Mexico Herb Growers Association, New Mexico Organic Commodity Commission, New Mexico Bee Breeding Project, New Mexico Farm Service Agency and FastDitch-plastic ditch liners.

The staff of the Alcalde experimental station requests that visitors refrain from bringing their personal dogs onto the farm property.