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NMSU ag science center in Farmington hosts non-traditional field day

  • By Adriana M. Chávez
  • 575-646-1957
  • adchavez@nmsu.edu
  • Aug 20, 2021
A person examining a vineyard

Every year, the staff at New Mexico State University’s Agricultural Science Center in Farmington looks forward to receiving visitors during the center’s annual field day.

After hosting a virtual field day last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the center is once again pivoting to a different format due to the Navajo Nation’s safety guidelines, though it will allow for in-person attendance. This year, field day attendees can take self-guided tours and participate in a drive-through open house from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 30.

The center, 300 County Road 4063 in Farmington, New Mexico, is situated on 254 acres leased from the Navajo Nation. Center superintendent Kevin Lombard said due to the Navajo Nation’s COVID-19 protocols, center visitors are not allowed to congregate in large groups. Instead, guidelines allow for up to 50 vehicles on the property at any given time, and visitors must stay in their vehicles in order for the event to take place.

“Staff and faculty will be available along the route to answer questions, and maps will be provided with numbered stops,” Lombard said. “There will also be placards with explanations of each trial at the center.”

Lombard also said visitors will find QR codes along the routes that, when scanned with a phone camera, will show video clips or play pre-recorded messages.

Visitors can learn more about are blue corn, cherry, apple, goji berry and jujube trials, as well as vineyard trials. There will also be an overview of the center’s weather station and monitoring, drip irrigation and soil moisture probe demonstrations, a native plant and pollinator study and a seed production trial done in conjunction with Northern Arizona University, and new hops planting and small-scale hops harvester demonstrations. Other topics include chipper and table potato and corn trials under center pivot irrigation, alfalfa trials, beans and guar, and agroforestry, carbon sequestration and other assorted mixed woody perennial shrubs and trees.

Visitors can also take a self-guided walking tour of the xeriscape demonstration garden, and visit informational booths.

Masks are required for those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine and for all persons indoors. For more information and directions on how to get to the center, visit https://farmingtonsc.nmsu.edu/.