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NMSU College of ACES has April 1 open house


New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) will open its doors to the public for the annual ACES Open House, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 1, at several of the college’s buildings, labs and auxiliary units on the NMSU campus, NMSU said in a news release.

 “ACES Open House will provide residents of Las Cruces and the surrounding areas with the opportunity to visit our facilities, look at the advancements, learn about the research and activities that are being conducted to benefit New Mexicans,” ACES Dean Rolando A. Flores Galarza said.

 Visitors should start at the welcome tent outside Gerald Thomas Hall, 940 College Drive, where they can pick-up a free reusable shopping bag and an exploration map, NMSU said. The self-guided map includes a list of all the 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 an opportunity to vote for the “People’s Choice” award winner in the third annual Edible Book Festival. There will also be games, interactive activities and videos at the Learning Games Lab, or they can create a work of textile art with a faculty member from the Fashion Merchandising and Design program.

An equine program will provide visitors with a chance to interact with horses, sheep and goats. There will be displays featuring common birds, mammals and fish of New Mexico. Demonstrations of wildlife traps, ultrasound equipment, forestry and fishery equipment will also be provided.

 Visitors can 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. Another display will feature urban insects and provide information about how they affect our health, quality of life and cause significant economic loss.

 The New Mexico 4-H program will showcase its “Shooting Sports” trailer. Visitors can learn firearm safety while practicing shooting an air pellet rifle in a controlled environment.

Visitors can test their knowledge about vegetable seeds through an interactive circuit board. If they identify seeds correctly, they can win a plant. Collegiate 4-H will host a corn-hole competition.

Health-related activities include a giant inflatable colon (weather permitting) that visitors can walk through to learn more about colon cancer. A demonstration on proper handwashing as well as information about a variety of free health and wellness programs will be provided.

There will also be a fruits and vegetables toss and a nutrition wheel of fortune game. Visitors can use a veggie meter to measure their fruit and vegetable consumption and learn how to build a healthy plate of food. The SIM hospital room used to train future registered dietitians using virtual patients, will be open for demonstrations.

 The open house will also provide information about composting, soil health and a demonstration of DIY leaf cuttings. The Plant Diagnostic Clinic will be open to help you identify what is affecting your plants.

The internationally recognized Chile Pepper Institute will be open.

Free refreshments will be provided in Gerald Thomas Hall, Skeen Hall and the Tejada Building.

ACES is home to the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, which consists of 34 extension offices organized in three districts that reach aa 33 New Mexico counties. The district offices will be represented at the open house, along with all 12 agricultural state science centers.

 The event will wrap-up around noon in the Gerald Thomas Hall Auditorium with an awards ceremony for students who participate in the research poster competition.

For more information call 575-646-2877. Visit aces.nmsu.edu/about/open-house.html.