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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU's free Half Day of College in Corona to focus on basic ranch management, June 13

New Mexico State University is celebrating the centennial of the state this year and ranchers and producers are invited to join the festivities - as well as learn the basics of ranch management and plant identification - at the Annual Half Day of College in Corona, June 13.

NMSU's Corona Range and Livestock Research Center is hosting the free event at its Southwest Center for Rangeland Sustainability. The event is from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Producers who are new to ranching as well as seasoned ranchers looking for a refresher and agricultural updates are encouraged to attend.

"It is evident that non-traditional rangeland ownership in New Mexico will increase over time," said Shad Cox, ranch manager. "Many of our largest ranches have gone from broad-scale production-based management to small-scale ownership and management. Many of these smaller parcels of land are being managed now for domicile and/or recreation uses by owners who strive to apply best management practices however, since they are new to New Mexico and the Southwest United States, they hunger for the knowledge and tools to do so."

Eric Scholljegerdes, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, said they do not want to exclude their typical ranching clientele, but wish to include those who are new landowners in New Mexico. Smaller landowners may not manage the vast land resources that many of their ranching clientele manage, but still face similar issues.

"Many of these new residents of New Mexico have small parcels of land and have a few horses, so we felt that perhaps it would be prudent to provide some educational programs to help with basic range management and plant identification as well as general horse management, nutrition, and health for the work and pleasure horse," he said. "These topics are especially prudent considering the extreme drought we are experiencing throughout New Mexico."

The Half Day of College will start with a presentation of a historical review of NMSU and how it has served New Mexico's agricultural community. Jeff Bader, director of Extension for the northern district, will give this presentation.

Nick Ashcroft, an Extension range specialist, will discuss range plant identification and Laura White, an equine assistant professor, will talk about equine management.

The plant and horse programs are designed to be helpful for not only the new landowner but also people who have managed rangeland and cared for horses for many years. These sessions will run concurrently at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Lunch will be served at noon.

To get to the Southwest Center for Rangeland Sustainability, turn east on Torrance County CO2O and travel eight miles to the ranch entrance. Turn right and follow the signs to the center.

For more information and a map to the SWCRS, go to http://Corona.nmsu.edu or contact Shad Cox, ranch manager, at 575-849-1015 or shadcox@nmsu.edu.