2020 Implementation of WSARE Professional Development Program Plan for New Mexico

Final report for WSP19-032

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2019: $28,686.00
Host Institution Award ID: G240-20-W7905
Grant Recipient: New Mexico State University
Region: Western
State: New Mexico
State Coordinator:
Dr. Stephanie Walker
New Mexico State University
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Project Information

Abstract:

The global pandemic prevented the activities originally planned for the New Mexico Professional Development Program since in-person events were not allowed. With the annual NM Sustainable Agriculture Conference and Field Day canceled, the NM WSARE Advisory Committee pivoted to a webinar series. The NM Sustainable Agriculture Webinar Series consisted of six one-hour segments that were presented via Zoom on Thursday afternoons beginning at 3:00 pm, October 1 through November 5, 2020. The webinar topics were selected based on current state clientele priorities and feedback from past NM Sustainable Agriculture conferences and included seed saving, weed management, beneficial insects, vegetable production, fruit tree management, and drip irrigation installation.

 

Project Objectives:

The objective of the NM Sustainable Agriculture Webinar series is to enhance the knowledge base of agricultural producers, agricultural professionals, and other participants in the sessions in key areas critical to optimizing agricultural production in New Mexico while minimizing adverse environmental impacts.

Introduction:

In the year 2020, the New Mexico WSARE Professional Development Program coordinated the NM Sustainable Agriculture Webinar Series that included six one-hour segments that were presented via Zoom on Thursday afternoons beginning at 3:00 pm, October 1 through November 5, 2020. The webinar topics were selected based on current state clientele priorities and feedback from past NM Sustainable Agriculture conferences and included: ‘Seed Saving and On-farm Breeding’ presented by Bradley Tonnessen

‘Strategies to Prevent Development and Spread of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds’ co-presented by Brian Schutte and Leslie Beck

‘Beneficial Insect Identification and Habitat Management’ co-presented by Amanda Skidmore and Miranda Kersten

‘Growing Vegetable in New Mexico – Managing Challenges for an Abundant Harvest’ presented by Stephanie Walker

‘Pruning Fruit Trees for Sustainable Production: Why, When, and How’ presented by Marisa Thompson

‘Drip Irrigation on the Small Farm’ presented by Bradley Tonnessen

Recordings of each webinar were archived at the NM WSARE website:

https://aces.nmsu.edu/programs/sare/2020.html

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Aspen Achen (Educator)
  • Jeff Anderson (Educator)
  • Charlene Carr - Technical Advisor (Educator)
  • Charlene Carr - Technical Advisor (Educator)
  • Mykel Diaz - Producer
  • Dr. Kulbhushan Grover (Educator and Researcher)
  • Dr. Kulbhushan Grover (Educator and Researcher)
  • Newt McCarty (Educator)
  • Darien Pruitt (Researcher)
  • Dr. Brian Schutte (Educator and Researcher)
  • Dr. Brian Schutte (Educator and Researcher)
  • Brenda Simpson, Brenda Simpson - Technical Advisor (Educator)
  • Brenda Simpson, Brenda Simpson - Technical Advisor (Educator)

Education

Educational approach:

To eliminate person-to-person contact during the ongoing pandemic, the 2020 NM WSARE PDP training was conducted through a series of webinars presented through Zoom.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Seed Saving and On-farm Breeding
Objective:

The objective of this webinar is to increase the knowledge of participants in basic genetic concepts and plant selection for optimum seed saving and variety development on your farm.

Description:

‘Seed Saving and On-farm Breeding’ was presented by Dr. Bradley Tonnessen, NMSU Extension Plant Sciences Program Specialist, on October 1, 2020. A total of 106 participants viewed the session live. 

 

Outcomes and impacts:

Webinar participants gained a greater understanding of the benefits of seed saving (60% pre- to 95% of post-session surveys with good or excellent understanding). Participants also indicated an increase in knowledge from the training in methods of seed cleaning and storage (25% pre- to 90% post-session with good or excellent understanding); in basic plant genetics (19% pre- to 79% with good or excellent understanding); in pollination mechanisms (24% pre- to 79% post-session with good or excellent understanding of the topic); and in plant selection and genetic isolation (19% pre- to 79% post-session with good or excellent understanding).

Strategies to Prevent Development and Spread of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds
Objective:

The objective of this webinar is to increase knowledge of participants in best management practices for managing herbicide resistance in weed populations on your farm.

Description:

‘Strategies to Prevent Development and Spread of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds’ was co-presented by Drs. Brian Schutte (NMSU Dept. of EPPWS) and Leslie Beck (NMSU Extension Weeds Specialist) on October 8, 2020. A total of 53 participants viewed the session live.

Outcomes and impacts:

Knowledge in managing herbicide-resistant weeds increased from 50% pre- to 73% post-session surveys indicating a good to excellent understanding.

 

Beneficial Insect Identification and Habitat Management
Objective:

The objective of this webinar is to increase knowledge of participants in identifying and creating beneficial ecosystems for beneficial insects on your land.

Description:

‘Beneficial Insect Identification and Habitat Management’ was co-presented by Dr. Amanda Skidmore (NMSU Extension IPM Specialist) and Miranda Kersten (NMSU IPM Program Specialist) on October 15, 2020. A total of 69 participants viewed the live session. 

 

Outcomes and impacts:

Webinar participants reported an increase in beneficial insect knowledge (pre- 15% with good to excellent understanding to post-session 47%). Knowledge of habitat needs for beneficial insects also increased (7% pre- to 52% post-session participants reporting good to excellent understanding).

Growing Vegetable in New Mexico – Managing Challenges for an Abundant Harvest
Objective:

The objective of this webinar is to increase knowledge of participants in vegetable production methods and variety selection pertinent to the southwest climate and soil.

Description:

‘Growing Vegetable in New Mexico – Managing Challenges for an Abundant Harvest’ was presented by Dr. Stephanie Walker, NMSU Extension Vegetable Specialist, on October 22, 2020. A total of 101 participants viewed the live session.

Outcomes and impacts:

Webinar participants who indicated good to excellent understanding of best production practices for growing vegetables increased from 19% pre-session to 46% post-session. A total of 85% of webinar participants were inspired to grow a new type of vegetable because of the information presented.

 

Pruning Fruit Trees for Sustainable Production: Why, When, and How
Objective:

The objective of this webinar is to increase knowledge of participants in proper technique and timing of pruning to realize optimum production from fruit trees.

Description:

‘Pruning Fruit Trees for Sustainable Production: Why, When, and How’ was presented by Dr. Marisa Thompson, NMSU Urban Horticulture Extension Specialist, on October 29, 2020. A total of 126 participants viewed the live session.

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants increased in their understanding from 10% pre-session to 49% post-session surveyed indicating a good to excellent understanding of fruit tree pruning.

 

Drip Irrigation on the Small Farm
Objective:

The objective of this webinar is to increase knowledge of participants in the benefits of drip irrigation for water use efficiency and how to install a system on a small farm.

Description:

‘Drip Irrigation on the Small Farm’ was presented by Dr. Bradley Tonnessen, NMSU Extension Plant Sciences Program Specialist, on November 5, 2020. A total of 112 participants viewed the live session. 

 

 

Outcomes and impacts:

Before viewing the webinar, 28% of participants were highly confident in their ability to install a drip irrigation system, increasing to 63% following the highly-rated training.

Educational & Outreach Activities

6 Webinars / talks / presentations

Participation Summary

20 Extension
3 NRCS
10 Researchers
10 Nonprofit
30 Farmers/ranchers
67 Others

Learning Outcomes

63 Participants gained or increased knowledge, skills and/or attitudes about sustainable agriculture topics, practices, strategies, approaches
5 Ag professionals intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned

Project Outcomes

Success stories:

A representative from the NRCS who works with producers in the design of drip irrigation systems commented, “I found this presentation to be very informative and I enjoyed the illustrations of the full system. Great job! I plan on sharing this recording to some of our newer employees to learn about small farm drip systems.” after viewing the webinar ‘Drip Irrigation on the Small Farm.’ 

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

The NM WSARE PDP program is promoted through New Mexico State University press releases and communicating with previous participants in WSARE programs presented in New Mexico through our clientele listserve.

18 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
10 Ag professionals received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.