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NMSU students to host free in-person plant clinic Oct. 18

  • By Carlos Andres López
  • 575-646-1955
  • carlopez@nmsu.edu
  • Oct 13, 2021
A flyer

New Mexico State University students will host a free in-person plant diagnosis clinic for community members Monday, Oct. 18, at the Las Cruces Convention Center parking lot, 680 E. University Ave. 

The plant health clinic will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. It is the first time since 2019 NMSU students from the Diagnosing Plant Disorders class in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will host their annual plant clinic in person.

“The event is about challenging students and allowing them to serve the community with the skills they have acquired in the classroom,” said Soum Sanogo, professor of fungal plant pathology at NMSU. “All participants are encouraged to bring a specimen of any legal plant and their questions regarding plant health, growing and maintaining plants.” 

Sanogo said 16 students from his class will be on hand to assist community members with their plant questions during the clinic. All attendees must wear face masks during the clinic and should bring either their plants or photos.

Sanogo will assist the students during this year’s clinic along with four colleagues, including Carol Sutherland, Extension entomologist, Leslie Beck, Extension weed specialist, Phillip Lujan of the NMSU Diagnostic Clinic, and Geno Picchioni, professor of horticulture and plant mineral nutrition. 

To prepare for this year’s clinic, the students went on a walk around a Las Cruces neighborhood this week to examine backyard plants of participating homeowners.

“This was an ‘ice-breaker’ event for our students,” Sanogo said.

Sanogo said he started the clinics eight years ago to allow students to share their knowledge outside the classroom as a public outreach service. 

“For me, this is about giving students the chance to interact with people,” he said. “I know a lot of them are nervous about that idea, but I think it has the benefit of teaching them to have an ability to interact with people.” 

Since 2013, students from Sanogo’s Diagnosing Plant Disorders class have hosted free plant diagnosis clinics. Each year, the clinic takes place during the fall semester to help community members seeking advice on a range of plant health topics. 

For more information about this year’s clinic, contact Sanogo at ssanogo@nmsu.edu or 575-640-6484.