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New Mexico State University

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NMSU Provost Cruzado tours extension operations in southern New Mexico

Waded Cruzado, New Mexico State University's executive vice president and provost toured various extension operations in southern New Mexico late last week. Cooperative Extension is part of NMSU's land grant university mission and plays a major role in building relationships between the university and the community.



Touring the Luna Rossa Winery in Deming are, from left, Jon Boren, interim associate dean and director of New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service; Natalie Goldberg, professor and interim department head of NMSU's Extension Plant Sciences; and Waded Cruzado, NMSU's executive vice president and provost. (NMSU photo by Darrell J. Pehr)

"New Mexico State University has been an important component in reaching out to the communities of the state," Cruzado said. "It makes me feel very proud to see the ways we're meeting their needs."

Cruzado visited with an ICAN class last Thursday morning. ICAN, Ideas in Cooking and Nutrition, is a statewide program funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and NMSU. ICAN targets limited resource adults with practical hands-on education designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, increase physical activity and improve meal management skills.

Thursday afternoon, Cruzado visited the Center for Applied Remote Sensing in Agriculture, Meteorology, and Environment (CARSAME) laboratory, where researchers collect data from weather satellites and make that information available to scientists studying climate change, growers looking for the best irrigation times and even emergency workers trying to gauge the scope of a major snow storm.

"We feel we can provide a service, collecting data for other research projects," said Max Bleiweiss, an adjunct professor at NMSU who works on the CARSAME project. "Using hydrology modeling, we can account for the water in the Rio Grande Basin. With this satellite data, we can also observe land surface temperatures, monitor dust storms and the growth of vegetation."

Other stops on Thursday included tours of Cervantes Enterprises, the NMSU windmill technology program, a fish culture facility at A Mountain and meetings with state 4-H program members.

On Friday, the tour continued with stops at New Mexico Vineyards and Luna Rossa Winery in Deming, one of many grape-growing and processing operations across the state that work with NMSU Extension Service viticulture specialist Bernd Maier.

Later on Friday, Cruzado saw presentations in Las Cruces by Dona Ana County Master Gardeners and visited a New Mexico Works office.