Past Events & Announcements



Farmers irrigating in field
Farmers Irrigating in Field (Photo Taken by Rob Heyduck)

Bindweed Workshop

Friday, August 09, 2019, 1- 3pm

Sustainable Agriculture Science Center Alcalde

Do you ever look around your garden or farm and wonder if the bindweed will ever stop? Frustrated with pulling endless bindweed that chokes out your crops? NMSU SASC's Del Jimenez along with the Rio Arriba Cooperative Extension Agency is offering a workshop all about bindweed and the bindweed mite, a parasite that infects the plant and subsequently reduces bindweed growth.

Please let us know your coming by RSVPing with the Cooperative Extension Office at (505) 852-2668. Please come prepared to take some infected plants home with you! Bring a small cooler, ice or ice packs in a cooler, and a paper sack.

Gala Apples in a Pile
Gala Apples (Photo Taken by Shengrui Yao)

Free Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 6- 7:30 pm

Sustainable Agriculture Science Center Alcalde

New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service fruit specialist Shengrui Yao will host a fruit tree grafting workshop.

Grafting is very useful in fruit tree production for both commercial growers and home gardeners. There are many reasons to graft. "Commercial growers can use grafting to propagate their own trees especially unique cultivars," Yao said. "Top-grafting can be used to switch cultivars to make the orchard more profitable."

Home gardeners can graft multiple cultivars in the same tree to keep heirloom cultivars alive, or introduce pollenizer varieties to a solitary tree. "Grafting can also be used to save trees that have partially damaged bark," she said.

There will be a presentation first and then another one-hour, hands-on session. "Please bring a small, sharp knife/grafting knife with you for the hands-on session," Yao said.

This free workshop is limited to 20 participants. For registration, please call Augusta or Anna at 505-852-4241.

Rob Pruning Trees during Winter
Rob Heyduck Pruning Tree (Photo Courtesy NMSU)

Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop

March 8, 2019, 1:30- 4:00pm

Sustainable Agriculture Science Center Alcalde

Join NMSU SASC and the County Extension Services for an afternoon of presentations and hands-on experience. The tree species covered include apple, peach, cherry, plum, apricot, and blackberry. Organizers are Shengrui Yao (NMSU Alcalde Center), Tony Valdez (Taos County Extension), Tom Dominguez (Santa Fe County Extension), and Don Martinez (Rio Arriba County Extension).

This event will be limited to 40 participants. Please register online here or call Anna/Augusta at 505-852-4241.

Gala Apples in a Pile
Gala Apples (Photo Taken by: Shengrui Yao)

2019 Annual Fruit Grower Workshop

Friday, March 1, 2019 8:30am- 3pm

Join the Sustainable Agriculture Science Center's Shengrui Yao and the Cooperative Extension Service for the 2019 Annual Fruit Growers Workshop at historic Los Luceros Ranch for a day of learning. Topics include: Frost monitoring and crop damage mitigation, Orchard fertility management and fertilization, Fruit and nut species and cultivars for northern New Mexico, Product updates on pest and disease management, Pest pheromone disruption and monitor trap demonstration, and Apple orchard renovation/pruning demonstration. Registration cost includes meal and materials: $15 before Feb. 20 and $20 after Feb. 20. Contact Joy Czmyrid at the Santa Fe County Extension Office 505-471-4711.

Green Pepper
Pepper (Photo Taken by Adrienne Rosenberg)

2019 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference

Friday, February 15- Saturday, February 16, 2019

Join the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference on Friday, February 15th 7:00 am to 8:00 pm and Saturday, February 16th 7:00 am to 5:00 pm at Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town- 800 Rio Grande Blvd. NW Albuquerque, NM 87104. This is an annual opportunity for farmers, ranchers, and researchers from around the Southwest to share their experiences and expertise! Session tracks for include: Water, Soil, Management, Plant/Seeds, New/Exciting. The keynote speaker is Ron Rosmann.

NMSU SASC Alcalde's very own faculty and staff will be presenting at the conference. Steve Guldan, Superintendent and Professor of the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, will be presenting "Acequia Hydrology: Surface Water-Groundwater Interactions in Northern New Mexico." David Archuleta, Farm and Ranch Supervisor, will be outside the conference presenting a smaller tractor built for row-crop farming. David will be demonstrating this unique tractor and will talk about the implements that we are using in our smaller row-crop plots. This is a great demo to check out if you are thinking about a small tractor purchase!

A Red Chile Pepper Plant
A Red Chile Pepper Plant (Photo Taken by Andres Leighton)

2019 New Mexico Chile Conference

Monday, February 4-Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Registration is now open for the world's largest conference dedicated to chile peppers. The 2019 New Mexico Chile Conference hosted by New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute runs from Feb. 4-5 at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces.

This year's conference will host experts who will speak on various topics including: developing and improving the New Mexico chile industry's sustainable competitive advantage, organic management practices in chile peppers, updates on the New Mexico Chile Certification Program and panel discussion research update on green chile de-stemming.

The conference will also feature booths from companies that can assist New Mexico chile pepper growers to sustain excellence and encourage profitable yields. Some of these companies include J&J Supply, Western Blend Fertilizer, New Mexico Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit of New Mexico.


Jujubes on Branch
Jujube Fruit (Photo Taken by Shengrui Yao)

AmeriZao Jujube Fruit Tasting Workshop at Los Lunas

Friday, September 28, 2018, 2- 4 p.m.

NMSU Extension fruit specialist Shengrui Yao will lead the workshop where participants may sample 40-plus varieties. "Since jujube cultivars are originally from China, where Zao is the word for this fruit, I wanted to keep the traditional name in the trademark," Yao said. Thirty-four varieties receiving a new trademark are propagated from cultivars Yao received from China in 2011. She has studied each cultivar for traits that will thrive in New Mexico's various climate zones. Gradually, she will publish the top performers in each region and for different purposes. "Jujube fruit trees are an excellent alternative fruit for growers in northern New Mexico," Yao said. "The trees bloom from late May to early August, so late frosts will not prevent fruit from setting. They also do well in semi-arid conditions. Jujubes are low maintenance plants and produce a reliable crop annually." The workshop will include a presentation about jujube flowering and fruiting habits, followed by a fruit tasting session and a field tour.

Man with mic speaking at Field Day 2016
Rob Heyduck speaking at Field Day 2016 (Photo Taken 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.

Trees in Orchard
Trees in Orchard (Photo Taken by Andres Leighton)

Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop

Thursday, July 19, 2018, 6:00-7:30 pm

Join SASC Alcalde in our orchard for a presentation and hands-on experience with fruit tree grafting with Fruit Specialist, Shengrui Yao. Please bring a small sharp knife for the hands-on session.

For registration, please contact Augusta/Anna at 505-852-4241.

Jujube Growing Habits and Pruning Workshops

Jujube Fruit on Branch
Jujube Fruit (Photo Taken by Shengrui Yao)

NMSU Los Lunas Center Pruning Demonstration

Thursday, March 22, 2018, 2:00-3:00pm

NMSU Alcalde Center Presentation + Pruning Demonstration

Thursday, March 29, 2018, 1:30-3:30 pm

Join Shengrui Yao to prune and learn about jujubes in two separate workshops. Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill), also called Chinese date, red date, or Tsao, is native to China. The jujube fruit is nutritious. It can be relied on to produce a crop every year, because it flowers late and therefore avoids late-frost crop losses common with apples, peaches, cherries, and other traditional tree fruit.

For registration: please call Anna/Augusta at 505-852-4241 or do it online at

2018 Annual Fruit Grower Workshop

Thursday, March 1, 2018, 8:30 am- 3:30 pm

Join SASC faculty and staff along with other fruit experts at Los Luceros Ranch, Alcalde, NM for a day of discussion and field demonstrations on fruit growing in New Mexico.Topics include: updates of fruit research at Alcalde (with Shengrui Yao), grape varieties, bee and pollination in fruit production, marketing and local farmers market discussion panel, NM organic certification and regulations, acequia legacy in Northern New Mexico (with Steve Guldan), tree planting and transplanting and management, and gopher management.

Pre-registration fee for meal and materials is $12 per person before Feb. 20 and $15 after Feb. 20. To pre-register, please call Joy at Santa Fe County Extension Office at 505-471-4711.

Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop

Thursday, March 8, 2018,1:30- 4:00pm

Join SASC for a day of hands-on pruning and presentations. We will cover apple, peach, cherry, plum, apricot, and blackberry. Instructors include Shengrui Yao (NMSU SASC Alcalde Center), Tony Valdez (Taos County Extension), Tory Hougland (RAIPAP), Don Martinez (Rio Arriba County Extension), Tom Dominguez (Santa Fe County Extension).

This event will be limited to 35 participants. Please register online or Call Augusta/Anna at 505-852-4241.

January Field Day: Growing Winter Greens in Hoop Houses

Chard in Hoop House
Chard in Hoop House (Photo Taken by Alec Richards)
Friday, January 19, 2018, 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Passive heating in low-cost high tunnels (also commonly referred to as hoop houses) allows growers to produce greens such as spinach, kale, and lettuce during the winter months in Northern New Mexico. "We've seen that cool season crops can do well despite the low temperatures and short days. We keep experimenting with different crops, varieties, and management practices to see how winter production can be maximized," according to Robert Heyduck, Senior Research Specialist.

Del Jimenez, NMSU Extension agriculture specialist with the Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project, will discuss the construction and durability of the hoop houses; Heyduck and Ivette Guzman, a horticulturalist in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, will give an overview of crop and temperature results to-date. "We invite people to come and see the kind of growth possible during the winter in these unheated structures," said Steve Guldan, an agronomist in NMSU's Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences and the SASC Superintendent.

The event is free and open to the public and will include a tour of the hoop houses. Refreshments will be provided. For more information or directions, contact the Alcalde center at 505-852-4241. The Alcalde staff requests that visitors not bring dogs onto the farm property unless they are assistance dogs.


Annual Jujube Workshop

Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 2:00- 4:30 pm

Fall cool nights and warm days trigger the ripening of fruit, including the Chinese date, commonly called jujube. The annual fruit-tasting workshop, held by Cooperative Extension Service fruit specialist Shengrui Yao, will feature a presentation about jujube flowering and fruiting habits, a tasting session of the 40-plus cultivars, and a field tour.

Since 2010, Yao has promoted jujube fruit as a solution to the significant financial impact experienced by northern New Mexico fruit growers because of late frosts in mid-May. Jujube trees begin blooming in June.

"Some of the cultivars are very impressive with around 50 percent of the trees carrying 5-10 pounds or more of fruit in 2017, third year after planting at Alcalde," Yao said.

The free workshop at the Sustainable Agriculture Science Center in Alcalde is limited to 40 participants. You can register online or call Augusta/Anna at 505-852-4241.

Shengrui Yao Touching Fruit Tree
Shengrui Yao with Fruit Tree (Photo Taken by Jane Moorman)

Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop

Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 6:00 - 7:30 pm

"There are many reasons to graft," says Shengrui Yao, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service fruit specialist. "Grafting can be used to save trees that have partially damaged bark. Or to switch cultivars to make an orchard more profitable."

Join us for a fruit tree grafting presentation and hands-on experience with Shengrui Yao, Fruit Specialist. Please bring a small sharp knife for the hands-on session.

This event will be limited to 20 participants. Please register by contacting Augusta or Anna at 505-852-4241 or register online at: .

From Bloom to Bloom: Medicinal Herbs for Pollinator & Human Health

Friday, June 16, 2017, 9 am- 12 pm

From Bloom to Boom is a project initiated by NMSU- Alcalde Sustainable Agriculture Science Center Horticulturist Robert Heyduck, farmer-researcher Todd Bates of NM Native Plant Recyclers, and queen honey bee breeder-researcher Melanie Kirby of Zia Queenbees Farm & Field Institute. This first investigation will share information on Oregano de la Sierra- a well known native New Mexican medicinal herb.

Todd Bates will share information on how he cultivates the plant- from its wild mountain roots, to adapting it to lower elevations along the Rio Grande and on its medicinal properties. Robert Heyduck will share information on the process of the investigation and sampling/collection protocol for assessing the potential benefits of this glorious plant. Melanie Kirby will share information on the importance of habitat and its relationship to pollinator health and fortifying locally adapted strains of pollinators.

Additional guest lecturers include: Dr. Don Hyder, a chemist at San Juan College (Farmington) who will share information on chemical analysis and composition of medicinal NM honeys and hive products.... Dr. Olivia Messinger-Carril will share pollinator identification information and about her North American native bee book (Princeton Press), Know the Bees in your Backyard Dr. Ashley Bennett ,Small Farm IPM Specialist, Los Lunas NMSU Agriculture Science Center Dr. Jose D. Villa, USDA-ARS Baton Rouge Bee Research Unit (retired)

This is a FREE event! Open to the public. Registration starts at 8:30 am. Please see flier for more details or call Anna Trujillo at 505.852.2668.

Registration begins at 8:30 am at NMSU SASC in Alcalde. At 9 am the event will begin. At 10:30 am the group will move to Todd Bates field in Embudo. Please consider carpooling and there will be snacks provided.

Annual Fruit Grower Workshop

March 2, 2017, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Come to Los Luceros Ranch in Alcalde, NM for a day of learning about organic fruit production and pruning with Shengrui Yao, crop selection, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), soil building, FSMA food safety requirements, and more! Lunch and coffee will be provided. Pre-registration is due February 15 with a $12 fee. From February 15- 22, the registration fee is $15. Please contact Joy at Santa Fe County Extension Office at 505-471-4711 or Anna at NMSU Alcalde Center at 505-852-4241.

Mountain West Seed Summit & Field Trip

Summit: "Honoring Origins and Seeding the Future," March 3 - 4, 2017

Join Seed Stewards from the Mountain West and beyond for three days of seed knowledge and networking in beautiful Santa Fe. The Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and the McCune Foundation, presents a two-day summit and one-day field trip focused on training and inspiring seed producers across the Rocky Mountain region. The Mountain West Seed Summit will include presentations, demonstrations, hands-on activities, lively discussions, seed exchanges, art, music, and more!

Two Farmers Walking Plowed Field
Field and Farmers (Photo Taken by Rob Heyduck)

New Mexico Organic Farming Conference

February 17 - 18, 2017

The 2017 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference is an annual opportunity for farmers, ranchers, and researchers from around the Southwest to share their experiences and expertise at the Marriot Hotel in Albuquerque, NM. New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service is a proud organizer of the conference. Please join us!



Students a Building Hoop House
Students Building a Hoop House (Photo Taken 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.