On April 19, we had the honor of traveling down to Las Cruces to join Cooperative Extension agents from three counties in receiving a Team Award from New Mexico State University’s College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. This annual award is given to a team of three or more NMSU faculty or staff , with a majority of members from the College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences, engaged in interdisciplinary activities in one or more of the functional areas of teaching, Experiment Station research, and Extension Station research.
Since 2009 the Cooperative Extension Service has partnered with RiverXchange to present “Commercial uses of Water: Agriculture.” Extension Agents present a hands-on educational program related to farm irrigation systems and conservation technology, as part of the year-long RiverXchange curriculum.
The Small Farm & Ranch Task Force assisted with providing an educational field trip for about 150 fifth grade students from Pojoaque Intermediate School, in the spring of 2011 and again in 2012. Extension Agents partnered with RiverXchange and the Alcalde Ag Science Center to provide a hands-on learning experience. Additionally, the purpose of the program was to: 1) educate students about the governess and issues related to water, 2) promote the benefits of environmental stewardship, 3) increase students’ environmental literacy and agriculture role. Students became “scientists for the day” to learn about acequias, agriculture, and irrigation techniques.
As a result of this collaboration, other educational opportunities and partnerships have been established. In order to emphasize the concepts covered in the classroom, several teachers organized additional field trips to Cooperative Extension’s “Kids and Kows and More” festival, which expands upon what their students learned through RiverXchange.