Extension and Outreach

Flowering Guar

Purpose | Methods | Progress | Research & Results | Team

Purpose

Extension and Outreach

To build a robust and sustainable bio-economy in the arid southwest, a steady supply of feedstock and trained professionals will be necessary to support industry needs for guayule and guar. The Extension & Outreach Team works to help growers and other stakeholders obtain necessary knowledge for the successful production of guayule and guar crops. Research results obtained through the SBAR project are communicated to regional growers, providing up-to-date information and cutting-edge production practices for optimizing growth and yields. Engaging growers through workshops and field days is coupled with workforce development opportunities and internships to prepare the next generation of scientists, agronomists, engineers, transportation experts, and production specialists for building a sustainable bio-economy in the arid southwest.

Guar outreach and extension

Further, the Extension & Outreach Team also focuses efforts in unstructured learning environments via 4-H camps and youth activities to increase knowledge and awareness about biofuel, energy production, and bio-economy career opportunities. Youth development opportunities are offered in Arizona and New Mexico during the summer, and periodically during the year in remote regions and on Native Nations.

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Methods

Growers and Producers

Field day focused on guar production, New Mexico.
Field day focused on guar production, New Mexico.

The Extension & Outreach Team works to identify and evaluate opportunities and questions that growers face related to guar and guayule field crop conversion (e.g., cost, market, agricultural practices, pest management, and water usage).

Through a variety of stakeholder engagement tools, the Team gauges grower perceptions on a broad scale, using information gained to inform research priorities and serve as the foundation for stakeholder guidance documents and resources.

The Extension & Outreach Team is also conducting field-scale demonstrations to inform growers and other stakeholder audiences. Successful engagement will lead to measurable change in production acres of guar and guayule in the Southwestern U.S. at a scale that impacts biofuel and other high-value bioproduct markets in the near future.

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Workforce Development and Internships

The SBAR project leverages an effective collaboration model for teachers and graduate students, where SBAR graduate students, K-12 teachers, and students work together to identify opportunities for enhancing student lessons and experiences. Graduate students are encouraged and trained to translate their expertise in biofuels-related research and applications directly into classrooms and they (1) serve as role models for related careers; (2) share real-life applications of modern agriculture; and (3) help K-12 students understand the benefits of agriculture to their communities and globally.

Through a separate but related internship program (Project Puente), SBAR targets youth still at the formative stages of developing interests in science, including economically disadvantaged, Latino and Native American youth. The SBAR project introduces a new internship opportunity focusing on biofuels to help inspire students from rural high schools to attend college and pursue bioscience careers.

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SBAR 4-H Summer Camps and Youth Development

Youth participants exploring biofuel concepts through hands-on experimentation at a 4-H Youth Summer Camp
Youth participants exploring biofuel concepts through hands-on experimentation at a 4-H Youth Summer Camp

SBAR supports biofuel and energy extension and outreach to middle and high school students in rural and Native communities by offering teaching modules about land use for growing crops in biofuel production. We also are implementing a 4-H Bioenergy Youth Outreach and Engagement (BYOE) program that focuses on Native American and Hispanic youth. Through summer camps and other workshop opportunities, youth explore how natural resources, agricultural industry, and emerging technologies in the Southwest are changing energy opportunities in the context of their family, community and the world.

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Progress Made Thus Far

Guar fields established in Los Lunas, New Mexico.
Guar fields established in Los Lunas, New Mexico.

The SBAR project’s goals and objectives are advertised to farmers and the public in New Mexico and Arizona through growers’ conferences, field days and through one-on-one visits with leading regional growers. Presentations are conducted at agricultural conferences in New Mexico and Arizona. SBAR informational tables are also hosted at different events where general information about guayule and guar is distributed to stakeholders.

Through a needs assessment, growers in Arizona provided information about their questions, concerns, and gaps in knowledge regarding guayule production in Arizona. Over 100 growers responded to the survey in Arizona, and all data collected will be used to improve future outreach. A guar-focused needs assessment will be launched in New Mexico in 2018.

An SBAR project advisory committee in New Mexico has been established, comprised of growers and extension educators. The committee will provide recommendations for improving the implementation of SBAR activities in New Mexico. A similar advisory committee will be created in Arizona to address regional concerns.

Guar demonstration trials were initiated at four sites in New Mexico in 2018 (Las Cruces, Artesia, Los Lunas, and Clovis), which will be used to showcase guar production practices during summer field days and meetings.

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Research and Results

Posters and presentations

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Team

John Idowu staffing an SBAR informational table, Artesia Field Day, New Mexico.
John Idowu staffing an SBAR informational table, Artesia Field Day, New Mexico.

Principal Investigators

Name Affiliation
Sangu Angadi New Mexico State University
David Dierig Bridgestone Americas, Inc.
Kulbhushan Grover New Mexico State University
Paul Gutierrez New Mexico State University
John Idowu New Mexico State University
Gerardo Lopez University of Arizona
Bill McCloskey University of Arizona
Kim Ogden University of Arizona
Channah Rock University of Arizona
Trent Teegerstrom University of Arizona

Associated Researchers and Key Personnel

Name Affiliation
Torran Anderson University of Arizona
Sultan Begna New Mexico State University
Natalie Brassill University of Arizona
Daniela Cabrera University of Arizona
Cara Duncan University of Arizona
Jen Fields Raise the Bar, LLC
Bryan Pastor University of Arizona
Laura Rodriguez-Uribe New Mexico State University
Stephanie Sikora University of Arizona
Peter Skelton New Mexico State University
Sam Wang Bridgestone Americas, Inc.
Bob White Bridgestone Americas, Inc.

Students

Name Affiliation
Craig Bal University of Arizona
Sarah Fox New Mexico State University
Alonso Garcia New Mexico State University
Kelly Laje New Mexico State University
Travis Le-Doux New Mexico State University
Camila Prieto New Mexico State University
Darien Pruitt New Mexico State University
Sam Pernu University of Arizona
Joram Robbs New Mexico State University
Kimberly Salinas New Mexico State University
Jagdeep Singh New Mexico State University
Scott Woolf New Mexico State University
Stevi Zozoya University of Arizona

Interns

Name Affiliation
Adrianna Chambers Central Arizona College, Arizona
Kasia Kiela Basis High School, Arizona
Wenzhe Mi Salpointe Catholic High School, Arizona
Kyra Skuse Chandler High School, Arizona
Jocelyn Zhu Bridgestone Americas, Inc., Arizona

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