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Farm manager celebrates 10 years at NMSU?s Clovis Science Center

Date: 07/01/2014

Aaron Scott comes from a line of farmers. His father instilled in him the love for the land and taking pride in his work, which is something he does everyday.

Aaron Scott has been the farm manager at New Mexico State University?s Agricultural Science Center at Clovis, helping the farm and researchers. (Courtesy photo)

?Growing up on a farm ? there?s something about it. You either love it or you hate it, and I?ve always loved it. I love the smell of the soil and growing crops,? Scott said.

This year marks his 10th anniversary as the farm manager at New Mexico State University?s Agricultural Science Center at Clovis.

With a work ethic worth emulating, Scott starts his day promptly at 7:30 a.m., if not earlier. He makes sure the plots are fertilized and watered, and equipment is functioning.

?A typical day varies from planting a crop to fertilizer application or running irrigation systems. We also help researchers and we do everything from planting, weeding or harvesting,? he said. ?As most people know, farming and agriculture don?t go by the clock, so there are times when I do things at night or during the weekend.?

The NMSU alum graduated in 1993 with a bachelor?s in agricultural biology and held a variety of jobs including working in an apple orchard and studying in Washington state.

Throughout his career, Scott has made it a goal to stay an active learner to help other farmers and growers. From watching his father farm to working in a local crop-consulting firm, where he learned about commercial agriculture, he understands that the love of the land has to be translated into profit.

?All of my experience from watching my dad farm and how he farmed to doing research and experiments has really equipped me to do my job here,? he said.

He came to the Clovis science center in 2004 and has made it his home, literally. His house is right in front of the main offices, where he lives with his wife, their three children, two dogs, two cats and horse.

?That is one thing I like about my job. I live here, so I?m never far from my family,? he said.

Scott added the most challenging part of his job is being dependent on the weather.

?We?ve experienced extreme drought in recent years and declining irrigation capabilities and we?re trying to make something with the dry land, which has been nearly impossible,? he said.

He is currently working on the majority of the projects being conducted on the center that deal with utilizing less water and using alternative crops that fit a dry environment, which can have a state-level impact on maintaining production and profitability levels.

?Most of the projects I have assisted researchers with involved an irrigation component,? he said. ?We see how different crops respond to different amounts of water because we are heading toward a very limited irrigated and dryland production.?

One of his goals is to help with the transition from irrigated agriculture to dry land, choosing what crops will be part of that and what methods will be used.

?I?ve had a long journey that led me here, but the most rewarding experience is getting to know the people ? the farm crew and researchers ? those relationships are the best things from my job,? he said.

Written by Angela Simental

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