Farm day highlights recycling

Tucumcari elementary students learned about agriculture and recycling Friday at the New Mexico Agricultural Science Center in Tucumcari.

QCS Photos: Thomas Garcia

Bob Bruce shows fourth- and fifth- graders from Tucumcari Elementary the difference between trees found in Quay County.

"The event was a tremendous success," said Leonard Lauriault, interim superintendent for the center. "The speakers did a great job of getting their points across,"

Lauriault said the program for the fourth- and fifth-graders is part of the schools' farm day program. He said NMSU's Executive Vice President Wendy Wilkins, through the New Mexico statehood Centennial and Morill Grant Sesquicentennial, also funded it.

Lauriault said the questions asked by the kids at the end of the presentations were intelligent and it showed they learned something from the program.

The kids learned about the importance of recycling, and how it affects all of their lives, said Veronica Sandy, city code enforcement officer.

Sandy said students were able to see the science center use a form of recycling through the use of compost. She said the kids were told the importance of reducing the amount waste produced to lessen the amount of trash in the landfill.

Sandy said she gave out information about making a compost pile and information on items which can be recycled in the children's own home.

The children were also told about tree identification, growth habits and the needs each tree has by Bob Bruce, owner and operator of Bruce's New Life Tree Farm.

Bruce spoke to the kids about the indigenous trees found in Quay County. He said the threat of rain prevented him from taking the children on a tour of the tree identification-walking trail.

The trail, which features 71 species of trees, is part of the Eastern New Mexico Outdoor Arboretum, located on the grounds of the science center.

Lauriault gave a brief history of the science center, which has been in operation since 1912.

Lauriault said the major differences between crops from that period and now are that current crops are more resource-efficient and have higher yields.

Lauriault said it's important to teach the children about agriculture and that their food comes from agriculutre long before it sees a restaurant or grocery store.

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