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NMSU to host WSARE sustainable agriculture workshop in Farmington Dec. 1

FARMINGTON, N.M. - "Innovations in Sustainability: Techniques for New Mexico Agriculture" is the title of a workshop being held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at McGee Park, 41 Road 5568 in Farmington.

New Mexico State University and Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education are hosting the event.

"The workshop will focus on challenges in the Four Corners region and northern New Mexico," said Stephanie Walker, assistant professor in NMSU's Department of Extension Plant Sciences and New Mexico's Western SARE professional development program coordinator. "Alternative crops and best management practices to maintain productivity and profitability by farms and ranches will be presented."

Extension specialists and researchers from NMSU and Colorado State University will share their expertise during the sessions. Topics will range from regional water outlook, building better soil, and nut crops for northern New Mexico, to weed management and integrated pest management.

Producers will discuss their experiences in growing alternative crops for the Four Corners region and producing and selling grass-fed beef.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture will award two general continuing education units for pesticide applicators for individuals attending the workshop.

Session topics will include:

"Water Outlook: Current and Future Challenges" by Dan Smeal, professor at NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Farmington

"Maintenance and Improvement of Soil Biology" by William Lindemann, NMSU soil microbiologist

"Going Nuts for Northern New Mexico: Nut Trees to Try in the North" by Richard Heerema, NMSU Extension pecan specialist

"Opportunities and Challenges for Specialty Horticulture Crops in the Four Corner Region: a Panel Discussion" led by Kevin Lombard, assistant professor of horticulture at NMSU's Farmington center

"An Update on New Opportunities in the SARE Grant Programs" by Jim Freeburn, Western SARE regional training coordinator from the University of Wyoming

"Direct Marketing Grass-Fed Beef in New Mexico" by Kate Maynard, owner of a family operated cattle company

"Noxious Weed Management Principles" by Jim Wanstall, NMDA weed specialist

"Building Your Garden Defenses" by Darrin Parmenter, CSU's La Plata County Extension director

Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. The registration fee is $25 per person and will include lunch.

For more information or to register in advance, contact Mary Curtis at 575-646-1715 or via email at marcurti@nmsu.edu. The brochure for the event can be found at http://aces.nmsu.edu/programs/sare/workshop-2011.html.