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Annual field day at Tucumcari features NM Secretary of Agriculture as speaker

New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari will host its annual Field Day Aug. 6. This year, the field day will feature Jeff Witte, New Mexico secretary of agriculture and director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, as guest speaker.

Man standing near shrubs.
Leonard Lauriault, superintendent of the Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari, will host the annual field day Aug. 6. The event will feature New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte as guest speaker as well as dinner and a hay wagon ride. (NMSU Photo by Angela Simental)

Leonard Lauriault, superintendent of the science center, said the field day aims to give the community information about projects conducted at the center.

"Some of the information will be immediately applicable to help local producers in their operation," Lauriault said. "Other information lets them know that we are working on some of the problems they or their neighbors are facing."

The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the 102-year-old science center followed by registration at 5:30 p.m. Barbecue dinner will be provided at 6 p.m., and at 6:45 p.m. attendees will ride the hay wagon to tour the science center. The event will end at 9 p.m. with refreshments.

"All of our research is currently being irrigated with treated wastewater. The hay wagon tour will go past an area being developed for a summer grazing project," Lauriault said. "After that, we will go into another field also irrigated with treated wastewater to hear about a research project directly related to the use of treated wastewater for irrigation and another project about breeding to improve blue corn as a human food crop."

Experts from New Mexico State University will discuss topics of interest and answer questions. Eric Scholljegerdes from the Animal and Range Sciences Department will discuss the use of annual forages as winter feed for growing heifers; Tom Dominguez from the Quay County Cooperative Extension Service will give an update on listing the lesser prairie chicken as threatened or endangered; Brian Schutte from the Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science Department will talk about weed shifts with wastewater irrigation; and Amol Nankar, a graduate student from the Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, will report on the blue corn breeding program.