Oct 23, 2019
New Mexico State hires new Extension specialist for urban and small farms

New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences recently hired a new Extension Integrated Pest Management Specialist for Urban and Small Farms. Amanda Skidmore, who is stationed at the Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas, will be working with county Extension agents and the general public to provide educational support for agricultural pests, specifically in developing pest management practices that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

Skidmore’s job also involves collaborating with researchers and specialists from NMSU’s agricultural college as well as other universities to develop pest management best practices and evaluate their potential impact on farmers and homeowners.

She graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2013 with a bachelor’s in entomology and sustainable agriculture with minor a in pest management. She continued her education, earning a Ph.D. in entomology in 2018 where she specialized in integrated pest management of specialty crops. While at the University of Kentucky, Skidmore had the opportunity to work with and educate farmers in a variety of production systems. She was also involved in K-12 extension and outreach, presenting at schools, clubs, 4-H programs, special events, and festivals.

“Extension has played a major role in my life. As a high schooler, I participated in 4-H programs at our local extension office in Kentucky and throughout college saw the important role that extension plays in turning hard to digest science into something that everyone can understand,” she said.

Skidmore said one of her goals for the program is to listen to growers and people in the community and look into their production concerns.
“I truly believe no question is silly! I want people to know that we are here to help them and that their questions are important,” Skidmore said. “Part of my job is to help find answers to hard questions and help connect people to someone that knows the answer if I don’t.”

Skidmore has already participated in several community events and helped to lead a workshop on pollinator management. She says she’s here to help people manage their pest problems and help them learn about the best management practices.

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