Friday, May 17, 2019

NMSU Master Food Preservation train-the-trainer program presented online

NMSU Master Food Preservation train-the-trainer program presented online
DATE: 05/15/2019
WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527,
CONTACT: Nancy Flores, 575-646-1179,

Three years after starting the Master Food Preservation volunteer program, New Mexico State University has taken it to a new level by offering the train-the-trainer course online.

“We have done different versions of this program, but this is the first time we have presented it online,” said Nancy Flores, NMSU Extension food technology specialist. “It has allowed us to expand the class not only in how we teach it, but also who is able to participate.”

Master Food Preservation is a volunteer program where people become trained in the areas of canning, freezing and dehydrating food, and then assist family consumer science Extension agents in various ways, such as helping during classes and having booths at growers’ markets to answer questions.

After receiving a request about the training from two people living in the Fort Worth, Texas, area, the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences’ Extension Family and Consumer Sciences department developed a six-week online class using a curriculum created by Washington State University.

“Two graduate students, Rebecca Mijares and Adetoye Abodunrin, helped us develop this class,” Flores said. “We met via the Internet for an hour-and-a-half every Friday to cover the science involved in preserving food.”

That training concluded with a three-day lab at the Extension office in Albuquerque where the students reviewed the classwork with the “So Easy to Preserve” video developed by the National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia and then practiced the various ways of preserving food.

The class included two Texans, three new NMSU Extension county agents, two NMSU graduate students and two Albuquerque residents. Each of the class members wants to share with others how to preserve fresh food in their homes.

“I’d heard about the master food preservation program and checked with Texas A&M University’s AgriLife Extension about the program, but they don’t teach it,” said Cindy Bighorse of Saginaw, Texas, who is teaching food preservation classes at Northwest Tarrant County College. “Of the various state Extension programs providing the volunteer master program, New Mexico was the closest.”

“We’re proud and honored that NMSU developed this online class so we could participate,” said Michael Fox of Fort Worth, who includes food preservation in emergency preparedness classes that he teaches. “The teachers are subject matter experts, and it has been great fun working with our classmates.”

The online course has also allowed people within New Mexico to participate without the additional cost of traveling to a central location.

Several New Mexico county Extension offices only have one agent. Historically, these positions were filled by men, but recently three women have been hired in rural counties.

These agents are responsible for serving their community in the three areas of Extension – agriculture, consumer and family science and 4-H youth development.

“If the Extension agent is unable to answer people’s questions they will send them to agents in other counties,” said Cindy Davies, director of the Extension office in Bernalillo County. “It is nice that these three new agents are taking the food preservation classes so they will be knowledgeable to answer questions, test pressure canners and even do a class in their county should there be a request for it.”

Currently, the Master Food Preservation programs exists in Bernalillo, Grant, Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Valencia counties with 50 volunteers participating.

Preserving food properly prevents foodborne illnesses. Nigeria native Abodunrin has seen the need for food safety in his country. He is studying at NMSU to obtain knowledge that he will share when he returns home.

“I know the importance of getting this information out to people,” said Abodunrin, who has a master’s degree in agricultural Extension. “In Nigeria, and around the world, people have foodborne illnesses because they don’t have enough education or knowledge about how the illness is caused by spoiled food. I am learning about food preservation so I can help implement policy in Nigeria and the world in general.”

Friday, March 8, 2019

Daylight saving time 2019

Daylight saving time 2019 in New Mexico will begin at 2:00 AM on
Sunday, March 10

and ends at 2:00 AM on
Sunday, November 3
All times are in Mountain Time.

When is Daylight Saving Time 2019?
Daylight Saving Time 2019 starts on Sunday, March 10, 2019 (in 2 days) and ends on Sunday, November 3rd 2019 (in 239 days).  2019 Calendar
Why Daylight Saving Time Starts Sunday
By Laura Geggel, Associate Editor | March 8, 2019 09:13am ET

Get ready to "spring forward" as people throughout the United States lose an hour of sleep in the early morning of Sunday.
Daylight saving time (not savings, as many people say) begins at 2 a.m. local time on Sunday, March 10. While "smart" devices may change time automatically, don't forget to turn manual clocks an hour ahead, from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Daylight saving time (DST) is designed to provide an extra hour of evening sunlight, and it will stay in effect for eight months until Nov. 3, when daylight saving time ends for the year. [Daylight Saving Time 2019: A Guide to the When, Why, What and How]
Benjamin Franklin, the brainchild of DST, proposed the idea in 1784 as a way to conserve energy, said David Prerau, author of "Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time" (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2005). Ideally, people would spend time outside, enjoying the extra hour of daylight, rather than sit inside, wasting energy on lighting, Franklin reasoned.
However, it's hard to say whether daylight saving translates into energy savings, according to several studies, including a 2007 Department of Energy study and a 1997 study on a residential home in Kansas, Live Science previously reported.
Even so, Franklin's idea spread in the 20th century. In 1908, a city in Ontario, Canada, became the first modern region to officially implement DST, according to Time and Date. The Germans began following DST in May 1916, with the goal of conserving fuel during World War I. The rest of Europe followed suit soon after, and the United States officially adopted daylight saving time in 1918.
However, American farmers objected to the change, as it eliminated an hour of their morning light (it's a myth that daylight saving time helps farmers). So, the country dropped the time change until World War II, and only a select number of states chose to follow it after the war's end.
Because daylight saving time was practiced at different times in different states, it threw the country's time zones into disarray. It wasn't until the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that daylight saving time acquired a standard start and stop time — although states themselves can choose whether to participate.
Currently, two U.S. states — Hawaii and most of Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) — don't observe daylight saving time.
Every year, several states put forth bills or voter-led initiatives to ditch daylight saving time. However, it's anyone's guess whether these bills will become enforced law. Until then, don't forget to wake up an hour earlier on Sunday, unless you want to be late for brunch.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Scam Alert:

 Woods note: This went to all of NMSU facility and Staff but I thought there was good information for the general public so I reprinted it here. 

There is another scam hitting the NMSU community and the general community.  Several have become victims of scams involving a fraudulent check, typically a cashier’s check.  A cashier’s check is a check that is issued by a bank  that is a direct obligation of the bank. Cashier’s checks are viewed as relatively risk-free  and are often used as a trusted form of payment to consumers for goods and services.

Lately cashier’s checks lately have become a vehicle for fraud when used for payments to consumers. Although the amount of a cashier’s check quickly becomes “available” for withdrawal after the check is deposited, these funds do not belong to the consumer if the check proves to be fraudulent. It may take weeks to discover that a cashier’s check is fraudulent. In the meantime, the consumer may have wired the funds to a scam artist or otherwise used the funds – only to find out later, when the fraud is detected – that the consumer owes the bank the full amount of the check that had been deposited.

Below are some of the common methods and the individual is typically contacted through email, but it can also be done via phone call, letter or by clicking on a sketchy website.

·       Mystery shopping–You receive a letter or other communication informing you that you have been chosen to act as a mystery shopper.  The  letter includes a cashier’s check, and you are told to deposit the check into your account. You are told to use a portion of the funds to purchase merchandise at designated stores, transfer a portion of the funds to a third party using a designated wire service company, and keep the remainder. The cashier’s check turns out to be fraudulent.

·       Selling goods–You sell goods in the marketplace – for example, over the Internet. A buyer sends you a cashier’s check for the price that you have agreed on, and you ship the goods to the buyer. The cashier’s check turns out to be fraudulent.

·       Excess of purchase price–This scenario is similar to the one described above. However, the buyer sends you a cashier’s check for more than the purchase price and asks you to wire some or all of the excess to a third party. The buyer may explain that this procedure allows the buyer to satisfy its obligations to you and the third party with a single check. The cashier’s check turns out to be fraudulent.

·       Unexpected windfall–You receive a letter informing you that you have the right to receive a substantial sum of money. For example, the letter may state that you are the beneficiary of someone’s estate. The letter will state that you have to pay a processing/transfer tax or fee before you receive the money, but a cashier’s check will be enclosed to cover that fee. The letter will ask you to deposit the cashier’s check into your account and wire the fee to a third party.  The cashier’s check turns out to be fraudulent.

Help us stop the fraudsters day by not responding to these attempts. Please send all suspected phishing emails to .

For additional information on  how wide spread this scam is, search for “fake check scams” in your favorite search engine.