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Agriculture expert speaks on land-grant universities

The world we live in is changing, and so is the landscape for land-grant universities such as New Mexico State University.


eap energy days are over and we have other environmental degradations, such as the depletion of our freshwater resources," Dr. Fred Kirschenmann, a distinguished fellow and former director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. "So, the question now is: How do our land-grant universities begin to prepare and address these and other challenges?"

Kirschenmann will be the guest speaker at a public lecture titled "Land Grant Universities at a Crossroads: Can We Turn This Tractor Around?" from 7-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 5, 2006 in Room 190 in Gerald Thomas Hall. A public reception is scheduled from 5-6:30 p.m. at the NMSU Honors College.

"There are some things we can begin to do now to address these issues," Kirschenmann said. "Our industrial economies need to be rethought in terms of sustainability."

Kirschenmann is a longtime national leader in national and international sustainable agriculture, maintaining an active public role in serving the farming community. He also oversees management of his family's 3,500-acre certified organic farm, Kirschenmann Family Farms.

In 2002, he was named Leader of the Year in Agriculture by Progressive Farmer publications. Most recently, Kirschenmann is the convening chair of a multistate task force, Agriculture in the Middle, that focuses on research and markets for midsize American farms.

While at NMSU, Kirschenmann will meet with university faculty, administrators, and local farmers to discuss the role of the land-grant research and education in addressing concerns about agricultural and rural sustainability. The visit is supported by a Southwest Borders and Cultures Institute Grant through the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences.

He will also be a guest speaker at the Southwest Agribusiness Conference, also Oct. 5, at the Ramada Palms de Las Cruces, speaking on commercial organic and sustainable agriculture as a business strategy.

The conference is being sponsored by NMSU, the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, and the university's Center for North American Studies.

Victor Venegas
Sept. 28, 2006