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What's growing on in San Juan County: 
Improving Alfalfa Production Workshop
Dr. Lombard Studies Israel Ag Systems
Farmington Ag Science Center Field Day
Environmental Conditions of the Animas and San Juan Watershed Past, Present and Future
Updates from the San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District
2018 Master Gardener Training Course
Community Garden Partnership

Community Information: 
SJC Growth management Plan Survey
Old Fort Open House
 

July 19, 2018 Improving Alfalfa Workshop 

Call 505-334-9496 to register for this free event today!
Dr. Marsalis will be discussing both alfalfa and pasture variety recommendations during our tough drought conditions.  Dr. Idowu will be discussing methods to build resilience into your soil and holistic soil management to improve alfalfa and pasture yields.
 
I just returned from traveling on an agricultural tour through Israel. What stood out to me was the extensive use of water conserving technologies on the farm and in the urban landscape. Israel is a country with limited water resources. 40% of fresh surface water is used in agriculture. The rest of the water comes from treated waste water and desalination of salty sea water or deep aquafers. The main irrigation technology used on the farm is drip irrigation, although I did see some solid set sprinklers and lateral/center pivot sprinklers as well. I observe wide-spread adoption of soil moisture meters in all farm fields. Soil moisture meters are buried at three depths and essentially provide a measure of water that is available to plant/crops. By using soil moisture meters, farmers and landscapers are take guess-work out of irrigating crops. By using drip irrigation and more efficient sprinkler systems, water is being conserved while still getting crops that are of high value to domestic and export markets. I think what impressed me most was that the farm tractors were like the ones we have here at the science center: older and nothing fancy but functional. Likewise, irrigation delivery systems were similar to here: alfalfa valves. And yet farmers are using a smart phone to open and close irrigation valves.
 
I’ve really come back from this trip with the take-home-message for me: While we go into phased drought restrictions and the rivers appear to be reaching critical low flow levels, I have hope that our community is poised to be more resilient to drought conditions through adoption of existing technologies and management strategies as witnessed in Israel.
 
Here at the ASC Science Center, we are utilizing drip irrigation, solid set sprinkler and center pivot irrigation. We have two weather stations that can be used to schedule irrigation. If you would like to learn more about these irrigation systems, I once again invite you to attend our upcoming July 13, 2018 Field Day.
We had a fantastic field day at the Farmington Agricultural Science Center on Friday, July 13th.  We had wonderful presentations from both the Navajo Nation President and Vice President regarding their commitment to agriculture in our region.  The tour highlighted the new and exciting research projects including our grape and hops variety trials,  as well as Dr. Djaman's wheat trials. 

If you missed the tour but would like to come visit us the NMSU-ASC Farmington is located at 300 Road 4063 (across from the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry Flour Mill). More information and a map can be found at the NMSU-ASC Farmington website (http://farmingtonsc.nmsu.edu/) or by phone at 505-960-7757. Thank you for your continued support.

Dr. Kevin A. Lombard
Superintendent, NMSU Agricultural Science at Farmington.
 
June 19-22, 2018
San Juan College, Henderson Fine Arts Center, Farmington, NM
 
Researchers from across the region convened in Farmington June 19-22, 2018 at the San Juan College, Henderson Fine Arts Center. Students and faculty and staff from New Mexico State University Plant and Environmental Sciences and the Agricultural Science Center at Farmington continue to monitor nine farm fields from the Colorado border to the Navajo Nation. Our data is showing that heavy metal contamination risk is currently low: that the water is safe for irrigation and that crops are safe for lead. We will continue to monitor irrigation ditch sediments during the winter months and farm fields during the growing season at least through 2020. We encourage farmers and homeowners to bring a soil sample to us here at the science center and we will test the soil for you if you have concerns. Soil samples should be free of plant material and should be dry in a ziplock baggie. We will be having a soil scanning demonstration at our upcoming July 13 Field Day so you are welcome to bring soil samples then.
 
The research being conducted on the Animas and San Juan Rivers is expanding our knowledge of the watershed and providing lots of data that will help land managers and policy makers make the water cleaner and safer for everyone.
 
Soil and Water Conservation District gets NEW Vista Volunteer!
San Juan Soil & Water Conservation District will be welcoming a new Community Agriculture VISTA Volunteer starting at the end of July. Katrina Bryant will be working with San Juan SWCD, the Four Corners Foundation, and Farmington Municipal Schools to further the goals of the Farm Farmington! initiative and improve school curriculums related to gardening, soil and water conservation. Katrina will be taking over for Jessica Graham, who went home to Pennsylvania after her term with us ended in May. We miss Jessica already, but are excited to get Katrina on board! You can reach Katrina at Jessica’s old email address, vista@sanjuanswcd.com or in our office at 505-334-3090 x5
 
Do you have ditches running through your property, or land next to the river?  Do you have livestock on your property?  You may qualify for financial assistance for riparian fencing and restoration!  The San Juan Watershed Group is looking for landowners who are interested in improving the riparian areas on their property to help improve water quality in our rivers!  Contact Jaclynn Fallon, our Watershed Coordinator, for more information at sanjuanwatershedgroup@gmail.com or contact San Juan SWCD at 505-334-3090x5
Notes from the Extension Agent Bonnie Hopkins
 

The San Juan County extension office will be hosting its bieannual Master Gardener Training Course running from August 24-November 16, 2018  The Extension Master Gardeners of San Juan County volunteer to preserve and beautify the environment while improving the quality of life in the community.  This is done by providing current research-based horticultural information to the public through education and outreach.  Master Gardners promote horticultural best management practices, sustainability, and environmental initiatives supported by NMSU Research and Extension.

If you are interested classes are open to community members interested in taking a single class, there is a registration fee of $15/class. 

For a complete schedule and application to participate in the program visit our San Juan County Extension Website HERE  

Patience Williams, San Juan County Health Kids, Health Communities Coordinator
"As the growing season gets into full swing, we have gotten all the plants in the ground at the Old Farmhouse Community Garden.  State Representative James Strickler has partnered with NMSU, Healthy Kids San Juan County and Farm Farmington to offer a community garden on his property off of 20th St. in Farmington.  We have twenty three garden rows that community members have taken to grow for their friends and family.  Rep. Strickler’s only ask of the community members was that 25% of the produce be donated to ECHO Food bank. This is our pilot year for the Old Farmhouse Garden and we are hoping to continue and grow for many years to come.  A big thank you to the green houses and nurseries that have donated either plants or supplies.  Kutips Nursery, San Juan Nursery and Brewers Green House."
For updated information on community gardens in San Juan County, head to the Extension Website HERE
San Juan County Community 
 
Come learn about the Old Fort’s many programs and resources.  You can take a tour of the Education Garden, Farm Incubator field, Farmer in Training field, renovated picnic grounds, historic orchard or hops yard; meet some local farmers; check out the Old Fort’s historic buildings and beautiful land. Bring your friends, partners, kids, and co-workers!
 
Concessions will include Old Fort beef, local pork, salads, and beverages that will be available throughout, so come hungry! The Country Store will be open for purchasing meat and produce that you may want to take home.
 
Take a guided tour or create your own. Utilize the Draft Horse, Mule and Carriage Association to take you around or bring your walking shoes.
 
We will be kicking off our 2nd annual online silent auction that will benefit our Farmer Training opportunities including the Farm Incubator and Farmer-In-Training (FIT) programs. In its third year, the FIT program offers an important step for beginning farmers. Offering more education and responsibility than our internships, but less investment than our incubator program, FITs go on to start their own farm businesses or find paid work as skilled farm hands.
 
To offer an even stronger educational program, the farmer training programs need several critical pieces of infrastructure and a variety of appropriate tools. We are fundraising for a winter washing facility, tractor implements, and other crucial supplies.
 
If you can’t come to the Old Fort Open House but want to support our efforts, consider joining our CSA program! The Peak Season option, 10 weeks of delicious produce, starts in August.
 
We're looking forward to sharing our progress with you!
​The Staff, Program Managers, Students, Farmers, Community Partners and Volunteers at the Old Fort at Hesperus
 
When San Juan County last updated the comprehensive plan, the area was in the middle of an oil and natural gas boom with a projected continued population growth and related development. That was 2007.
A lot has changed in the past 11 years and our plan needs to reflect the change our county has experienced.
The updated plan will outline county policies guiding many topics including economic development, transportation, land use, housing, hazards, and water.
San Juan County wants to be sure that the plan accurately represents the residents’ wishes, and getting participation from a wide cross-section of our county population is crucial and valuable!
Please share this survey with your constituents, staff, co-workers and in your newsletters as possible, as well as sharing your own thoughts about the county. The survey will be available until the end of July. A flyer is attached to this email that has a QR code link to the survey, it can be printed and posted if you have a spot.
You can find the survey at:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SZLCRD6
You can also find this link to the survey on our web site, www.sjcounty.net, or on our Facebook /www.facebook.com/SanJuanCounty.
 
If you have any questions about this survey or the Growth Management Plan Update, please contact me, Susan Hakanson, Public Relations Manager, at 334-4273, or Mike Stark, San Juan County Chief Operations Manager, at 334-4271.
 
Copyright © 2017 New Mexico State Univeristy,  All rights reserved.
New Mexico State University  and the San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District are equal opportunity/ affirmative employers and educators.  All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin.  New Mexico State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.
 


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