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New Mexico State University

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NMSU plans motorcycle ride to support Extension Service, 4-H programs

Spectacular southern New Mexico landscapes will be the setting and 4-H programs will be the topic as motorcycle riders gather for the second annual New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service Ride for the 4-H Clover motorcycle tour Aug. 23-24.

Riders in the 2013 Ride for the 4-H Clover travel on U.S. 180, north of Silver City, with the mountains of the Gila National Forest in the background. This year's event will be Aug. 23-24.

Riders, and others who join the tour in automobiles, will cover more than 600 miles over the two days. They’ll gather Saturday, Aug. 23, in Las Cruces before venturing out into the cropland of Dona Ana County, the mountainous terrain of Grant County and the ranchlands of Catron and Socorro counties. On Sunday, Aug. 24, they’ll skirt the northern boundary of White Sands Missile Range before climbing into the Sacramento Mountains and visiting the communities of Ruidoso and Cloudcroft.

A spectacular ride from Cloudcroft to Alamogordo, which includes a vertical drop of almost 5,000 feet, from Cloudcroft’s 9,000-foot-elevation to the 4,300-foot Tularosa Basin, will include a trip through the only highway tunnel in southern New Mexico.

Not only will the ride be a chance to experience a wide range of New Mexico scenery, participants also will be helping support the programs offered by NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service and its 4-H youth activities. Riders will have an opportunity to tour and learn about Extension activities in Dona Ana, Grant, Catron, Socorro, Lincoln and Otero counties.

NMSU President Garrey Carruthers plans to join in on the event, and anyone who wishes to participate, but is not a motorcycle rider, also is welcome. Carruthers accompanied the motorcyclists at last year’s event, led by NMSU Regents Chair Mike Cheney.

“Last year there was great camaraderie and it was so much fun,” Cheney said. “We were impressed with the students in the 4-H programs and enjoyed the beautiful New Mexico landscape. This is an opportunity to educate citizens and legislators on the value of these programs. I am looking forward to the second event and expect 100 percent of those who participated to return and many are bringing their friends.”

“We are especially excited about this year’s Ride for the 4-H Clover as it coincides with the 100th anniversary celebration of Cooperative Extension Service,” said Jon C. Boren, associate dean in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and director of CES. Established by the Smith-Lever Act, the Cooperative Extension Service is a state-by-state, national network of educators who extend university-based research and knowledge to the people.
“Last year’s ride was a tremendous success with over 65 participants,” Boren said. “The second annual Ride for the 4-H Clover will give participants the opportunity to meet new friends and renew friendships from last year as we ride into the next 100 years of Cooperative Extension Service. Thank you for supporting 4-H youth in New Mexico.”

A kick-off breakfast where riders will be welcomed and given an overview will be from 7-8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Dona Ana County Extension office in Las Cruces. They’ll roll out of Las Cruces at 8 a.m., headed to Silver City through Hatch, New Mexico, via Highway 185 and historic Hillsboro, New Mexico, via Highway 152.

Activities, a reception and lunch will be provided by the Grant County Extension office from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Riders then will motor to Reserve, New Mexico, where they’ll have a chance to see fair exhibits and the junior rodeo action at the 59th annual Catron County Fair.

Riders will leave Reserve at 3 p.m., bound for Socorro, where activities, dinner and a reception will be provided by the Socorro County Extension office.

Three hotels have partnered with the Extension Service to offer overnight accommodations in Socorro: the Econo Lodge (575-835-1500), the Comfort Inn (575-838-4400) and the Best Western (575-838-0556).

The tour will get started at 9 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 24, when riders will get on the road to Ruidoso, where they’ll have lunch and participate in activities provided by the Lincoln County Extension office from 11 a.m to 1 p.m.

From Ruidoso, they’ll travel on scenic Highway 244 through the Mescalero Apache Reservation to Cloudcroft, then on Highway 82 from Cloudcroft down to Alamogordo. Activities provided by the Otero County Extension office in Alamogordo will be from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Riders will then depart from Alamogordo to return to Las Cruces, completing the ride.

Cost is just $75 per person, which includes lunches along the route and dinner in Socorro. Riders also will receive a pin commemorating this unique ride. Proceeds will benefit Extension 4-H youth programs.

For more information or to register, visit ridefortheclover.nmsu.edu or call 575-646-3015.