2021 Implementation of WSARE Professional Development Plan for New Mexico

Final report for WSP20-006

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2020: $45,886.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2023
Host Institution Award ID: G240-22-W7905
Grant Recipient: New Mexico State University
Region: Western
State: New Mexico
State Coordinators:
Dr. Stephanie Walker
New Mexico State University
Omololu John Idowu
New Mexico State University
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Project Information


NM WSARE PDP will coordinate the annual NM Sustainable Agriculture Conference, a Sustainable Agriculture Field Day, and provide a WSARE informational booth at major commodity conferences in New Mexico. Conferences being targeted include the NM Organic Farming Conference (~ 1000 attendees); NM Hay Conference (~250 attendees), NM Chile Growers Conference (~300 attendees) and NM Cotton Growers Conference (~100 attendees). Information about WSARE grants and SARE publications will be shared with producers, educators and stakeholders at these conferences. We will also seek opportunity to give short presentations about WSARE grants in some of these conferences if possible.

Project Objectives:

The objectives of NM WSARE PDP include:

1) Train at least 50 participants in potential alternative crops for New Mexico at the NM Sustainable Agriculture Conference in person and through on-line streaming.

2) Provide research field tours and presentations for at least 25 participants at the Sustainable Agriculture Field Day.

3) Through NM WSARE PDP booth display, provide outreach for the WSARE program at major commodity conferences or more in the state.


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Educational approach:

The NM WSARE PDP coordinated an on-line conference in 2021. Due to ongoing pandemic restrictions, we continued to pivot away from previously planned in-person training. The theme of the conference was ‘Local Food for Community Resilience’. It was presented live on December 9, 2021 and was offered free of charge to participants. Following the live, on-line event, the recorded presentations were posted to the NMSU WSARE web site for additional viewing (https://nmsare.nmsu.edu/conference/2021.html).

Education & Outreach Initiatives

The NM Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Train at least 50 agricultural professionals in critical areas identified by the NM WSARE Advisory Committee.


Topics presented at the conference were those determined to be current priority training needs by the NM WSARE Advisory Committee members. These topics included “Irrigation Efficiency in Pecans” - Dr. Richard Heerema; “Science, Community, & Seed at the NMSU Jose Fernandez Garden” – Dr. Brad Tonnessen; “Promoting Beneficial Insects” – Miranda Kersten; “The Trials and Triumphs of Organic Production, From a Farmers Perspective” – Ed Curry (this presentation could not be posted to our web site because of its large size); “NMDA’s Healthy Soil Program” – Katie Goetz and Dean Bruce; and “Seed to Supper: A Beginning Vegetable Garden Program” – Sally Cassady”. We were pleased to have Dr. Rolando Flores, Dean of New Mexico State University College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, provide the conference welcome and opening remarks.

Outcomes and impacts:
Despite the need to pivot to an online program, we can report that 77 participants gained or increased knowledge, skills and/or attitudes about sustainable agriculture topics. In addition, 6 Ag professionals communicated that they plan to put to use information they received through their webinar attendance.

Educational & Outreach Activities

12 Consultations
1 Online trainings

Participation Summary:

20 Extension
5 Researchers
4 Nonprofit
2 Agency
4 Farmers/ranchers
5 Others

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

20 Agricultural service provider participants who used knowledge and skills learned through this project (or incorporated project materials) in their educational activities, services, information products and/or tools for farmers
15 Farmers reached through participant's programs
Additional Outcomes:

The global pandemic upended our plans for in-person, hands-on training, conference booths, and other activities originally planned for the NM WSARE professional development program in 2021. We pivoted to an on-line conference that provided important training topics that was highly valued by attendees. In addition, by archiving conference talks, these trainings continue to provide guidance to state clientele. We look forward to resuming in-person professional development activities in 2022.

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

The NM WSARE PDP on-line conference was publicized through the email listserve compiled from participants of past programming efforts. NM Dept. of Ag. and NRCS Advisory Committee members also shared information with their respective offices.

20 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
12 Ag professionals received information about SARE grant programs and information resources

Information Products

    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.