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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU presents conference for small scale livestock, agricultural producers

MORIARTY - Staying on the cutting edge is important to any business owner, including those in agriculture. Large or small farmers and ranchers need to stay abreast of the latest information regarding their crops or livestock. New Mexico State University will provide an opportunity for ranchers and small farm owners to do just that at the first-ever New Mexico Small Farm Conference and Trade Show.

The three-day event will be Friday, Nov. 2, through Sunday, Nov. 4, at the Moriarty Civic Center, 202 Broadway.

With the small operation farmer or rancher representing 92 percent of all agricultural producers in New Mexico, the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service Small Farm Task Force determined a need for an educational conference geared to the smaller acreage farmer or small herd stockman.

"We've held conferences that address the issues of large producers and organic producers, but we haven't done anything that addresses the issues of the small producer," said Del Jimenez, Extension agricultural specialist at NMSU's Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde. "We're trying to give them something that is relevant and pertinent to their needs."

The conference and trade show will focus on small scale livestock and agricultural producers from New Mexico and present educational programs tailored to their needs.

"We've tried to provide something for every type of operation. We have many exciting speakers; all are expert in their field talking on a variety of agricultural related subjects," Jimenez said.

During the conference there will be a variety of informative demonstrations, including a stock dog demonstration on Friday, demonstrations on floral arranging and cooking tips for holiday gifts and treats on Saturday and planning and installing drip irrigation systems on Sunday.

A trade show of agricultural vendors will be held, along with displays and exhibits by NMSU researchers and non-profit organizations. A health fair will be in the civic center with free blood pressure and glucose tests. The Lions Club Eye Bus will be present Saturday to provide examinations.

Friday's activities will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Programs will resume Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Miley Gonzalez, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture; Lowell Catlett, dean of NMSU's College of Agriculture and Home Economics; Greg Mullins, director of NMSU's Small Farm Institute; and Paul Gutierrez, associate director and associate dean of NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service will welcome the participants at the day's opening session.

Admission paid in advance is $40 for all three days, $25 for Saturday only or $20 for either Friday or Sunday only. Cost at the door will be $60, $30 and $25, respectively.

For more information visit the NMSU College of Agriculture and Home Economics Web site through the calendar of events, http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/calendar. Advance registration may be done on-line.

The conference is presented by NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service and Small Farm Task Force, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, USDA Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education and the Moriarty Chamber of Commerce.