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After two-year absence, Ag college to host open house for public April 9


After a two-year hiatus, New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) will open its doors to the public for its third ACES Open House.

The free, fun, family friendly event will take place 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 9, at several of the college’s buildings, labs and auxiliary units on the NMSU Las Cruces campus.

“This year’s open house will give the opportunity to all the residents of Las Cruces and New Mexico to visit ACES facilities, look at our advancements and learn about the research and activities that are being conducted to benefit all New Mexicans,” ACES Dean Rolando A. Flores Galarza said.

Visitors should start at the welcome tent outside Gerald Thomas Hall, 900 E. College Drive, where they can pick-up a complimentary reusable shopping bag and an exploration map listing all areas that can be visited along with a spot to collect stamps for the places visited. When visitors are done exploring the college, they can return to the welcome tent to collect a small promotional item for every 10 stamps collected (while supplies last).

There will be wine tasting and a “Money Machine,” where visitors can try to grab fake money and participate in a money management game. Visitors will have an opportunity to experience the benefits of learning through games, interactive activities and videos at the Learning Games Lab, or they can create a work of art from textiles in the Textiles Lab.

For animal lovers, one booth will focus on companion animals and provide demonstrations with various breeds of dogs. The equine program will provide visitors with a chance to interact with horses, while sheep and goats will also be on display. There will be displays featuring common birds, mammals and fishes of New Mexico. Demonstrations of wildlife traps, ultrasound equipment, forestry and fishery equipment will also be provided.

Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the ACES Arthropod Museum, home of the largest collection of insects and other arthropods in the state. The museum features exotic insect displays and live walking sticks, hissing cockroaches, tarantulas and more.

The New Mexico 4-H program will also showcase its “Shooting Sports” trailer. Visitors can also test their knowledge about vegetable seeds through an interactive circuit board.

Health-related activities include a giant inflatable colon (weather permitting), which visitors can walk through to learn more about colon cancer. Information about a variety of free health and wellness programs and pre-diabetes risk tests will also be offered.

A student club will demonstrate how to build healthy plates and host a mini-farmers’ market, where children can learn about fruits and vegetables.

For plant lovers, there will be multiple displays, including hydroponic systems, soil health, novel vegetables from the Jose Fernandez Heritage Garden and an interactive plant diagnostic clinic display.

The internationally recognized Chile Pepper Institute will also be open for business, and the student-run Sam Steel Café will offer student-developed and -produced food products, including gelato, available for purchase. Free, light refreshments will also be provided in Gerald Thomas, Skeen and Knox halls, as well as in the Tejada Building.

Call 575-646-2877. Visit aces.nmsu.edu/about/open-house.html.