Events & Announcements

Below we have listed some of the major agricultural-related activities scheduled for or on behalf of our Science Center.


Events

Man with mic speaking at Field Day 2016
Rob Heyduck speaking at Field Day 2016 (Photo by Adrienne Rosenberg)

SASC Field Day

Friday, August 10, 2018, Registration at 7:30 am

Join us for our annual field day to learn about all the work being done at the Science Center! Topics include fruit and berry production, composting, acequia hydrology, biological pest control, bindweed mites, tractor and implement maintenance, and high tunnel fruit and vegetable production. Lunch is provided. Exhibits and displays from various local organizations.

"Attendees will learn about current research, Extension and demonstration projects carried out at and through the science center, as well as view exhibits on other agriculture-related programs and projects serving farmers, ranchers and gardeners in the region," said Steve Guldan, superintendent of the farm.

Field tours will begin at 9 a.m. Two routes will be available: fruits and insects; or acequia hydrology, high tunnels, crops and composting. A free lunch will be served at noon. Following lunch, special topic sessions will be held on tractor and implement maintenance by David Archuleta, Alcalde farm supervisor; bindweed mites and bio-control by Jimenez; and heritage grains trials.

Call 505-852-4241 for more information.


Announcements

Shengrui Yao with Jujube Tree
Shengrui Yao with Jujube Tree (Photo Courtesy of Jane Moorman)

NMSU Launches Website Featuring Newly Trademarked Jujube Cultivars

AmeriZao is the new trademarked name for jujube fruit trees tested by New Mexico State University's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

"Since these cultivars are originally from China, where Zao is the word for this fruit, I wanted to keep the traditional name in the trademark," said Shengrui Yao, NMSU Extension fruit specialist. "AmeriZao cultivars are American jujubes since they have been propagated and tested in New Mexico."

Yao hopes the NMSU Jujube website will help people identify the cultivar of jujube they may currently own, or help growers select cultivars in the future.


Hive Bar of Full of Bees
Bar of Bees (Courtesy of Zia Queen Bees)

SASC at Alcalde Part of Team that Receives USDA Grant to Conduct Experiment with Honey Bees and Oregano de la Sierra

The NMSU SASC has partnered with San Juan College, the USDA-ARS Bee Research Lab, and a pair of local producers (Melanie Kirby and Mark Spitzig of Zia Queen Bees and farmer Todd Bates) in an experiment entitled "From Bloom to Boom: Investigating Oregano de la Sierra (Monarda fistulosa) for Potential Bee and Human Health."

The project received a year long USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) in 2016. The team will determine the phytochemicals present in the nectar of Monarda fistulosa var menthifolia and in honey originating from its flowers, and evaluate their effects on bee health and nutrition. At each of three Northern New Mexico sites, bees will be fed Monarda nectar in isolation and free-choice. Nectar and honey will be analyzed by gas chromatography for a range of plant chemical compounds that have shown bactericidal, viricidal, and miticidal activity in previous research, among them carvacrol, thymol, p-cymene. By feeding bees in isolation and free-choice, the team will seek to determine a potential bee preference and evaluate the parasite loads of bees fed different diets. The team also aims to identify a range of native pollinators that also visit Monarda. Results will be disseminated through a local field day, through the website Herbs4Bees, and at national and international professional meetings.

The goal, as a team of professional farmers and researchers, is to examine and promote Monarda as a new crop and/or accessory planting to positively affect bee health in situ and also produce a hive product and field crop that can be processed in a number of ways either as honey, a dried herb (flowers and leaves), or as an extracted product containing the volatile compounds.


Students a Building Hoop House
Students Building a Hoop House (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

NMSU Receives USDA Grant to Expand Agricultural Education Program to 18 Pueblos

New Mexico State University's beginning farmers and ranchers program that helps Native American farmers and ranchers succeed in agriculture has been extended three more years and expanded to include both the eight northern and 10 southern pueblos. For the past three years, NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service's Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project has conducted the Southern Pueblos Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program helping 59 Native American beginning farmers and ranchers to improve their agricultural operation.