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Santa Rosa farmer hosts NMSU, New Mexico Organic Commodity Commission farm tour

SANTA ROSA, N.M. -- Colleen and Fred Hinker will welcome certified organic producers and other interested individuals to their farm in Santa Rosa on Sunday, Sept. 12, during a program presented by New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Organic Commodity Commission.

The Hinker farm is one in a five-farm series of organic farm walks with an emphasis on insect pest management in organic systems.

"The goal of the farm walks series is to provide organic growers with an informal overview of approaches to pest management in organic systems, and perhaps more importantly, an opportunity to meet other growers and to learn from each other," said Tess Grasswitz, NMSU Extension urban/small farm integrated pest management specialist.

"The Hinkers have been certified organic growers for more than 10 years," said Joan Quinn, education and marketing coordinator with the New Mexico Organic Commodity Commission. "Most of their midsize farm's acreage is in alfalfa, with some mixed vegetables, fruit and chile. Fred Hinker is also a former commissioner of the New Mexico Commodities Commission."

Grasswitz and Quinn will lead the free walk that begins at 2 p.m.

"There is no charge for attending any of the farm walks, but we ask that you preregister so that we know how many people to expect at each location," said Grasswitz. "Also, no refreshments will be provided, so participants will need to bring an adequate supply of water and wear appropriate clothing."

The event is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture through its Extension Integrated Pest Management Coordination and Support Program.

To participate in the farm walks, please register by calling Suzanne Depres at 505-865-7340. Directions to the farms will be provided at registration.