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NMSU agricultural field days highlight research statewide

Release Date: 12 Jul 2022
NMSU agricultural field days highlight research statewide

Following a successful series of field days last year, three New Mexico State University science centers will once again host in-person field days this year.

This year’s field days will take place in Farmington, Tucumcari and Artesia. The Fabián García Science Center in Las Cruces hosted onion field day June 29. And the agricultural science center in Los Lunas will host a forage pest management field workshop in September. A previously scheduled field day in Clayton has been canceled.

Field days are an opportunity for the NMSU Agricultural Experiment Station’s science centers to showcase their research and share their newest findings with the public, including experienced and novice farmers and ranchers who can benefit from the information.

Many centers had to adapt to state and regional COVID guidelines by hosting hybrid events, but centers hosting in-person events saw successful turnouts.

The Agricultural Science Center at Farmington had to adapt its field day to meet state and Navajo Nation COVID guidelines, since the center is located on land leased from the nation. The center had to limit in-person attendance, but came up with a unique way to share the field day experience virtually.

Kevin Lombard, the center’s superintendent, said he worked with film and digital media arts students from San Juan College to create videos for each of the center’s projects. They also created a QR code that, when scanned on a phone’s camera, called up a special Instagram page created just for the field day and featured the videos.

“It worked out great,” Lombard said. “The lasting legacy of the field day will be there for years, as long as we maintain the digital presence.”

This year, the center in Farmington will host its field day Friday, July 15. Pending COVID-19 restrictions, the center is planning to feature a raffle, information booths and live music, along with presentations on jujube trials and drip irrigation, and soil moisture probe demonstrations. Attendees are asked to abide by all public health requests.

Last year’s field days were the first time science centers hosted in-person field days after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of field day events in 2020. Judging by the popularity of last year’s field days, attendees were happy to see them return.

“I fail to see how the 2021 field day at the NMSU Rex E. Kirksey Agricultural Science Center could have been more successful,” said Leonard Lauriault, forage crop management scientist and superintendent of the center in Tucumcari. “We had 86 people of all ages and various walks of life in attendance. This event not only provided information to local agricultural producers about the research conducted at the center, but it also acquaints stakeholders not familiar with agriculture with agricultural practices.”

This year’s field day at the Rex E. Kirksey Agricultural Science Center in Tucumcari will take place Aug. 2. Field days are free and open to the public, and highlight research projects being conducted at each science center, as well as special presentations and keynote speakers.

The Agricultural Science Center at Artesia will host its field day Aug. 24. For more information, visit https://aces.nmsu.edu/aes/.

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CUTLINE: Rolston St. Hilaire, head of the Department of Plant and Environmental Science at New Mexico State University, welcomes attendees to the onion field day at the NMSU Fabián García Science Center in Las Cruces June 29. NMSU science centers will host additional field days across the state this summer. (NMSU photo by Josh Bachman)

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CUTLINE: Attendees of the June 29 onion field day at the New Mexico State University Fabián García Science Center in Las Cruces learned about the university’s ongoing onion research and toured the center’s onion fields. Other science centers across the state will host field days this summer. (NMSU photo by Josh Bachman)

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