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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Sandoval County Extension agent honored for years of service

Date: 09/14/2010

Cooperative Extension Service agents are the unsung heroes of the land grant university system. Recently one of New Mexico State's professors in the field was recognized by his community for his years of service.

Rudy Benavidez

Rudy Benavidez, Sandoval County Extension agriculture agent and county program director, received two honors from county officials. The county commission proclaimed July 31 as Rudy Benavidez Day, and recognized him at the commission meeting on July 15 with a proclamation and reception.

The Sandoval County Fair Board also recognized Benavidez's 24 years of service to the county by dedicating the 2010 county fair to him. He was also honored as the county parade marshal.

"Where does the time go? Twenty-four years ago, I was very fortunate to be selected as the Sandoval County agriculture agent. Today, I still feel very fortunate and grateful that I was selected," Benavidez said. "I thank all the residents of Sandoval County for being so nice, hospitable and caring to me and my family. The people of this county are what makes this the ideal place to be and live."

Commitment to serve the people of the county through long hours of work is the life of a county agent. NMSU Extension Service provides services to all county residents in a wide variety of programs. Benavidez has been a dedicated agent, meeting the needs of a diverse population in 3,714-square-mile Sandoval County, which includes 13 towns, two cities and nine Indian reservations.

The Sandoval County Extension office, located in Bernalillo, receives 5,000 calls a year. Half of the calls are directed to Benavidez with questions from agriculture producers and farmers, master gardeners, livestock owners, 4-H leaders and members and government officials.

Whether the call is from a 4-H youth that needs help with a livestock project, gardeners that need an expert's advice, a frustrated rancher with a noxious weed problem or a thousand other issues, Benavidez has been there to help. His guidance and leadership has helped young 4-H members learn valuable lessons and achieve success.

Benavidez is planning to retire at the end of the calendar year. "It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing my retirement," he said during the county commission reception. "I will always cherish the great memories I have had working with the people of Sandoval County."

Written by Jane Moorman.

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