TOME — After receiving multiple requests over the years for more courses in agriculture, The University of New Mexico-Valencia campus is working to help support the rural economy, farmers and ranchers by doing just that.

UNM-Valencia campus is now offering a new class, Introduction to Agricultural Economics and Business — AEEC 1110 — for the first time this upcoming fall semester, which begins Monday, Aug. 19.

This course is an orientation to agricultural economics and business for the consumer and small business person. Students will learn about how food, fiber and natural resources fit into the global economy.

“Agriculture is a significant part of our local, state and national economy,” said course instructor Newt McCarty, an agriculture agent for the Valencia County Cooperative Extension Service. “This course can help people gain an understanding of the vast agriculture industry through interaction with farmers, ranchers and business owners, and learn how decisions made locally, nationally and internationally affect the agriculture industry and our economy.”

This will be a great classroom experience if the student is involved in 4-H programs, or the Future Farmers of America organization. If a student is still in high school, he or she could take this class as concurrent enrollment.

These credits will transfer to New Mexico State University as a part of an agricultural degree program. UNM-Valencia has an articulation agreement with NMSU to guide students in choosing a four-year program related to agriculture.

“The mission of our campus is to serve the local community,” said UNM-Valencia Dean of Instruction, Dr. Laura Musselwhite. “Because we serve a more rural area, it is an exciting opportunity to be able to provide agricultural education, which can serve either to help established farmers learn more about the business and economic side of their work, or to create a pathway for students to continue their agricultural education at New Mexico State University through our articulation agreement.”

Registration is open for the 2019 Fall semester. Classes can be found online at valencia.unm.edu.

For more information on any of the programs, call the academic affairs office at 925-8600.

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