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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Honors Greenhouse Owners at Sam Steel Society Induction

LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State University alumni Randy and Cindy Farmer, owners of The Greenhouse Inc. in Las Cruces, were honored for their university and community support Dec. 13 during induction ceremonies for the Sam Steel Society.

Jerry Schickedanz, dean of the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, presented an honorary master's degree in agriculture to Randy Farmer, a 1976 horticulture graduate.

Farmer became manager of The Greenhouse at age 20. Since buying the operation in 1986, he has built it into a major landscape construction business with more than 100 employees. He has established scholarship funds, employed NMSU students, made major contributions to the NMSU Landscape Garden and served as the driving force for a landscape technician program at Dona Ana Branch Community College.

He has been involved with many community projects, including St. Genevieve's Church Monument, Frenger Pool, Veterans Memorial Park and soccer fields at the Field of Dreams.

Cindy Farmer was inducted as an honorary member of the Sam Steel Society, which honors the student who would have been university's first graduate and the first college graduate in the New Mexico Territory had he not been killed just weeks before graduation in 1893.

The 1976 horticulture graduate worked as supervisor of the university's horticulture lab for three years and then became an integral part of the success of The Greenhouse, where she still keeps the books. She has contributed her time and support to NMSU and many community groups while raising two daughters. Her father, Emroy Shannon, was a longtime plant pathologist with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service.

During the ceremony, graduating students in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics were inducted. Special recognition was given to students who are Dean's Awards of Excellence winners, honors graduates and college ambassadors.