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News Release

The New Mexico Grow Project Grant Continues to Help Students Grow

Photo of attendees NM Ag in the Classroom





June 18, 2020

​The New Mexico Grow Project Grant Continues
to Help Students Grow

ALBUQUERQUE – New Mexico Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and New Mexico Agriculture in the Classroom (NMAITC) are excited to announce the 2020-2021 NM Grow Project Grant awardees. This is the second year of providing a unique grant opportunity designed to help educators and students from across the state make important connections to agriculture and natural resources. The grant provides all the materials needed for a complete 4X8 raised garden bed with drip irrigation system and a classroom hydroponic system. Not only do classrooms get these much-needed tools to extend their curriculum, more importantly, they receive specialized on-site and virtual trainings along with continual support throughout the school year on use of materials and ways to incorporate the project across the curriculum with free Ag in the Classroom lessons and resources. 

“This is a great time to delve in and explore the importance of maintaining safe, reliable, and accessible food systems while raising awareness of the vital role natural resources play in these processes,”says Traci Curry, NMAITC Director. The grant affords each classroom the chance to observe and compare the challenges and benefits of different growing methods as well as provides a plethora of opportunities to design experiments and solve problems. These grant tools can provide powerful real-world learning opportunities and excellent ways for students to see themselves as scientists, researchers and farmers which are all very important careers necessary to the future of our food production. “An exciting new addition to the grant is that many of the educators that received the grant last year are now willing to help mentor this year’s award winners.  This adds a wonderful new level of support to the grant that will be invaluable as it helps teachers navigate, troubleshoot, and avoid issues that might arise,” says Curry.

“NRCS is proud to once again partner with NMAITC on the New Mexico Grow Project,” says Alicia Rodriguez, NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Partnerships. “Agriculture is fundamental to the health and economy of our state and our nation. This year’s applicants were exceptional, demonstrating the incredible work that New Mexico schools are doing acrossthe state to promote science and agricultural literacy, to build awareness of the role of agriculture in our daily lives, and to establish important ties between schools and their local agricultural communities. NRCS believes that the grant awards will help promote student’s interest in agriculture with the hopes of encouraging the next generation of farmers, conservationists and scientists in helping people help the land. We thank NMAITC for their commitment to agricultural education and look forward to working together on future endeavors.”

Congratulations to these twelve schools receiving a NM Grow Project Grant:

Region I & II: 

• Wilson Middle School, Susan Schipull, Albuquerque, NM
• Mountain Mahogany Community School, Pili Burkett, Albuquerque, NM
• Rudolfo Anaya Elementary, Maria Rivera Alvarez, Albuquerque, NM
• Desert Montessori School, Liza Marshal Frolkis, Santa Fe, NM
• Melrose Middle/High School, Alan Daugherty, Melrose, NM
• Maxwell High School/ FFA, Christina Rubio, Maxwell, NM

Region III & IV:

• Garfield Elementary, Pam Carpenter, Hatch, NM
• Snell Middle School, Cindy Lee, Bayard, NM
• Aztec Youth Academy, Corrina Franks, Las Cruces, NM
• Columbia Elementary, Amanda Krentz, Las Cruces, NM
• Holloman Middle School, Holly VanderMolen, Holloman Air Force Base, NM
• Berrendo Middle School, Kathleen Arias, Roswell, NM

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Services is an agency committed to “helping people help the land.”  Their mission is to provide resources to farmers and landowners to aid them with conservation. Ensuring productive lands in harmony with a healthy environment is their priority. With operations in the United States, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam, the agency touches the lives of a diverse range of individuals.

New Mexico Agriculture in the Classroom (NMAITC) is a non-profit educational outreach program funded primarily by the membership of the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau. The purpose of NMAITC is to educate the general public, with an emphasis on K-12 students and educators, about the importance of agriculture.  Visit us at for more information.

​New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau is a 20,000-member organization comprised of farmers and ranchers, and those who are interested in private property rights and a local food supply.  NMF&LB is the state's largest, private agricultural organization and was founded in 1917.  For information about joining us, please call 575-532-4703 or visit


USDA is an Equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.