Writer: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.ľA team of three New Mexico State University faculty members were collectively named Organic Educators of the Year during the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference in February in Albuquerque.
Kulbhushan Grover and Mark Uchanski, assistant professors in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences' Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, and John Idowu, Cooperative Extension Service agronomist, were honored for the work they have done with organic farmers.
"They have done an awesome job," said Joanie Quinn, organic commodity adviser with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. "Among the many projects they are involved in, this trio was at the heart of a team that won an Organic Research and Extension Initiative grant to assist organic peanut producers on the east side of the state. Mark Uchanski is currently working on a proposal to establish a sustainable organic study program on the NMSU main campus."
Grover juggles Extension duties, applied research and teaching courses in crop production with his main areas of interest including cover crop, crop rotation, soil quality and alternative crops with emphasis on small-scale and organic crop production systems.
Idowu's focus is on soil health for optimal crop production and conservation agriculture. His current research and Extension work is concentrated on improving field crop production in New Mexico through sustainable cultural practices during drought conditions.
Uchanski, an assistant professor of horticulture and vegetable physiology in the Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, divides his time between research and teaching with research projects including vegetable season extension through the use of hoop houses, winter production and mustard biofumigants.
"We honor them all for their work and their understanding that information from their research needs to get to producers hot off the press," Quinn said. "We thank them for that dedication that leads them to work impossibly long hours to serve our community, and we recognize them for their deep understanding that two-way interaction between researchers and farmers is the way to move organic agriculture forward."
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