Beyond Field Days: The Corona Range Livestock & Research Center
Beyond Field Days is part of a three-part video series that our video crew produced over the summer at New Mexico State University’s Corona Range and Livestock Research Center (CRLRC), also known as the Corona Ranch.
The video revolves around the Southwest Center for Rangeland Sustainability (SWCRS), which is the outreach arm of the CRLRC and is located at the Corona Ranch.
The SWCRS opened its doors in 2011 and truly complements the Corona Range and Livestock Research Center.
During our exploration of the ranch and through several on-camera interviews, we uncovered that the SWCRS is an integral part of the research conducted on the Corona Ranch. The center aids in distributing important research findings to various state-wide clientele, who depend upon this information for their own operations. The venue also provides clientele the opportunity for discussions with NMSU scientists. These discussions aim to help researchers understand what issues ranchers and agriculturists are facing in their industry.
One of our sources for this story is Shad Cox, the longtime superintendent for the CRLRC and SWCRS, who has lived at the Corona Ranch for more than twenty-five years. He explained that the SWCRS hosts discussions, presentations, educational activities and programs throughout the year. Some of these pertain to youth development, while others focus on New Mexico clientele, such as ranchers who attend monthly or semi-monthly roundtable discussions. The center also hosts a traditional annual field day that is open to the general public. In addition, the state agencies are able to rent the facilities for meetings and training sessions.
During our two-night stay at the Corona Ranch, we bunked at the center’s cabin accommodations, which were very comfortable, and had all the amenities of home. The SWCRS has two cabins that sleep up to 18 people. These cabins are available to visitors and scientists attending activities at the ranch or center. We learned from Mr. Cox that an expansion of the cabins is needed to accommodate more people for large-scale and long-term activities and events. The center plans on building two additional cabins later this year.
We also had an opportunity to tour the center, and we were impressed by its features. The center has an outdoor meeting with a scenic view of the whole ranch as well as indoor meeting rooms. These spaces include access to Wi-Fi, a research library, a commercial kitchen and office space for staff and visiting researchers.
Mr. Cox also impressed upon us that the center is in need of an onsite laboratory so researchers can remain on the ranch to complete their lab work, rather than having to return to the NMSU main campus (172 miles away) to use lab facilities there.
The CRLRC is part of NMSU’s Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) network and is one of twelve centers owned and operated by NMSU. The SWCRS helps drive the message and mission of the AES, which is to support research that addresses real-world problems. The AES goals are to create research designed to enhance agricultural profitability; to stimulate economic development using natural resources; to improve the quality, safety and reliability of food and fiber products; to sustain and protect the environment with ecologically sound practices; to manage and protect natural resources; and to improve quality of life for the people of New Mexico.
Various gathering spaces on the Corona Ranch. Image Credit: Shad Cox
To elaborate on the AES and CRLRC/SWCRS role, we interviewed Dr. Leslie Edgar, Associate Dean and Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station network.
We also interviewed Rolando A. Flores, Dean of NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Services, who had some interesting insights about the SWCRS/CRLRC partnership and their role in the 21st century.
For more information about the Corona Range and Livestock Research Center visit coronasc.nmsu.edu and check out the three-part video series.
Corona Range & Livestock Research Center Video Series:
Written By: Art Ruiloba, Video Production Specialist