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New Mexico State University

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Ag Expo offers producers updates on agricultural information, technology

PORTALES, N.M. - Information and technology are constantly changing and producers rely on experts, as well as each other, to share the latest updates on farming and ranching practices. The 19th Annual Ag Expo promises to offer farmers and ranchers a quality educational experience to help them maintain and increase their productivity.



The 19th Annual Ag Expo is Feb. 22-23 at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds in Portales. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Kircher)

The expo will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 22-23 at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds in Portales. The event is free and open to the public. New Mexico State University is sponsoring the event, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and local businesses.

"I think we have the best collection of educational seminars that we've ever had in years past," said Patrick Kircher, agricultural agent for NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service in Roosevelt County. "Our goal is to try and allow agricultural producers access to the newest and latest information and technology as close to home as we can get."

Expo topics range from how to control prairie dogs to training stock horses.

On Feb. 22, John Wenzel, NMSU Extension veterinarian, will offer a hands-on program to enhance participants' calving management skills.

Monti Vandiver, an integrated pest management specialist with Texas Agri-Life, will talk about ways to identify various pests found on area field crops, and will help producers develop strategies and control thresholds of pests in order to determine when to apply pesticides. This course has been approved by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture for one continuing education unit to be applied toward a private applicator's license.

Scott Bagley, from Dimmitt, Texas, will demonstrate how to develop strong young stock horses.

Ted McCollum, Texas Agri-Life beef cattle specialist, will hold two sessions on options for managing retiring Conservation Reserve Program acreage. This program has been a major player in the farming business of the High Plains, but due to the government reduction in the program, thousands of acres will need to be put back into production in the coming years. These presentations will look at grazing management options and crop production options and potentials for CRP on the High Plains. John Idowu, an Extension agronomist with NMSU, will present a talk on the agronomic options for CRP.

On Feb. 23, Jerry Hawkes, NMSU agricultural economist, will discuss marketing opportunities available to farmers and ranchers who want to utilize options, futures and hedging in their enterprises in order to take greater advantage of commodity prices.

Dogs, an integral part of life on the ranch, are used daily for various chores and tasks. Kyle Dillard, a local dog trainer from Milnesand, N.M., will offer hands-on stock dog demonstrations. The training is limited to 10 people.

Sam Smallidge, NMSU Extension wildlife specialist, will provide training on various means of controlling prairie dogs. He will discuss traditional control options and will evaluate the opportunity of establishing a fee hunting operation as a means to offset the cost of damage control.

On both days of the expo, there will be an antique tractor parade and antique tractor games. Exhibits and information booths will be set up throughout the expo.

Kircher said he hopes participants will be able to visit with experts at the expo and have their agricultural questions answered.

Attendees who have a disability and are in need of an auxiliary aid or service, or anyone needing more information on the expo, can contact the Roosevelt County Extension Office at 575-356-4417 or visit http://www.portales.com/events/view/New-Mexico-Ag-Expo.