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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Cooperative Extension Service workshop to focus on sustainable agriculture

SOCORRO, N.M. - The future of sustainable agriculture has never looked more promising or more challenging. Looking to education and funding is one way to meet this challenge.

New Mexico State University's Extension Plant Sciences Department, in cooperation with the Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, will present a training workshop covering a variety of sustainable agriculture topics. Sustainable agriculture allows profitable production of crops or livestock without adversely affecting soil, water, or the surrounding natural environment.

The one-day workshop, "Innovations in Sustainability: Techniques for New Mexico Agriculture," will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the Socorro County Extension Office, 198 Neal Drive, Socorro. The registration fee is $25, which includes lunch.

"Sustainable agriculture in the Southwest presents unique challenges," said Stephanie Walker, NMSU Extension vegetable specialist and New Mexico Western SARE coordinator. "This workshop is designed to provide information and techniques that will benefit small and large operations and strengthen our agricultural foundation."

This practical workshop highlights sustainable agricultural topics related to direct-market beef, soil health, irrigation designs, seed programs and organic vegetable production. Presentations will include the following:

?"Designing Sustainable Cropping Systems: an Agro-ecological Approach" presented by Kulbhushan Grover, NMSU assistant professor;

?"Opportunities in Direct-market Beef" presented by Jim Freeburn, Western SARE regional training coordinator, University of Wyoming;

?"Measuring and Assessing Soil Health" presented by John Idowu, NMSU Extension agronomist;

?"Low Cost, Low Tech Irrigation Designs" presented by Craig Runyan, NMSU Extension water quality specialist;

?"Seed: The Next Frontier for Organic Agriculture" presented by Dan Hobbs, executive director Organic Seed Alliance, Colorado Springs, Colorado;

?"Assisting Organic Producers: The Cliff Notes" presented by Joanie Quinn, marketing and education coordinator, New Mexico Organic Commodity Commission;

?"Maximize Your Market Garden: Crop Selection and Season Extension Techniques" presented by Joran Viers, NMSU Bernalillo County Extension horticultural agent;

?"What You Need to Know to Support Local Community Gardens" presented by Wade Patterson, director of art and community development, Harwood Arts Center, Albuquerque;

?"Seed Certification and Weed-free Forage Programs" presented by Tracey Carrillo, director of NMSU's Seed Certification Program and assistant director of campus farms, NMSU.

Advanced registration is encouraged. To register, for more information, or if you are an individual with a disability needing an auxiliary aid or service to participate, contact Mary Curtis via e-mail at marcurti@nmsu.edu or by phone at (575) 646-1715.