Conversation with Ann McMahon

Looking for the Perfect Home?

Well, MAM, it is very nice to end my stay in Silver City talking with you, another person I believe is dedicated to making Grant County a better place. 

When we arrived in Silver City in 2010, right after retirement from thirty eight years of owning and operating broadcast properties in the Gulf South, we followed a long time friend who had recently purchased property near Mangas Valley. We were impressed with the University, the Western Institute of Life Long Learning, the regional hospital, the small town ambiance and the magnificent beauty of the Gila National Forest and Wilderness.

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Aldo Leopold Charter School Receives $15,000 Grant from the Public Education Department

Aldo Leopold Charter School (ALCS) Partners with San Vicente Farms to Promote Sustainability in Education

Silver City, NM – Aldo Leopold Charter School (ALCS) is thrilled to announce the receipt of a generous $15,000 grant from the Public Education Department (PED). This grant, being distributed to ALCS and 20 other schools, is aimed at fostering sustainable environments within educational institutions and providing students the knowledge and experience about the significance of locally grown food production to reduce the ultimate amount of landfill waste.

With the grant, ALCS plans to construct a protective perimeter fence to safeguard their produce from deer and explore an unique approach to reducing food waste by introducing pigs to utilize leftover food scraps, thereby mitigating methane emissions. ALCS is committed to the principles of "reduce, reuse, recycle," ensuring that every resource is utilized efficiently.

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Silver City's Beautification Efforts Highlighted in Annual Report

EmilyCoxYouth interns Emily Cox (who is now program coordinator), her dog, Canelo, and Tylan Cantrell take a break from cleanup, beautification and conservation efforts at Silver City's Big Ditch Park earlier this summer. The planter is one of several that were planted and placed throughout the park. Other successes of the Cleanup and Toss No Mas initiative funded by the Town of Silver City and New Mexico Clean and Beautiful grant funds include graffiti removal, erosion control, plantings of native and drought-tolerant plants, and trash cleanup. Silver City -- Silver City's Pick It Up - Toss No Mas program staff recently compiled the 2022-23 annual report, and shared numerous successes realized as part of the town's second year as a New Mexico Clean and Beautiful grant program participant.  Allyson Siwik, executive director of GRIP - the Gila Resources Information Project - serves as the program manager, under contract with the Town of Silver City.

"I'm happy to report that the Pick it Up - Toss No Mas initiative resulted in the disposal of 7,670 pounds of trash and the diversion of 127 pounds of recyclable material from the landfill," said Siwik. "I'm so grateful to the 330 volunteers and youth interns who were able to make this happen.  Our community is cleaner and more beautiful, thanks to their efforts."

Mayor Ken Ladner, who is responsible for getting the program started, said he is "thrilled with this project" and how successful it's become under GRIP's management. It all began as a result of his “Monday Meetings With The Mayor.”

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New Livestock Class To Be Shown At This Year’s Fair

RowanBurchettRowan Burchett and Mooana (Photos Courtesy of Pat Hunt)The Cliff Gila Grant County Fair which begins September 20th will have a new class of livestock this year, Dairy Heifers.  At last year’s fair, Robert Burchett and his son Rowan showed a Holstein heifer after the regular steer show in an effort to encourage interest in raising and showing something other than beef steers and heifers. Robert has convinced the Fair Board that this is an opportunity for more 4-H kids to work with animals. He sincerely believes in the program as he showed dairy heifers growing up in Lincoln County.  He recently hosted a showmanship class at the family home and shared his years of experience with the kids. Several families with 4-H kids took the challenge by obtaining, feeding and working with their heifers this past year and they are ready to show the attendees of this year’s fair the results of their hard work.

The Dairy Heifer program has several advantages for the families as the initial investment in the animal chosen is considerably less than that typically spent on a beef steer.  The young heifer is “rented” from a local dairy, shown at the fair as a yearling and then shown again a second year as a young bred cow.  They are judged on femininity and potential milking productivity.  After the second fair, the farmer buys the cow back from the family taking into consideration how much she has grown in two years. Thus the family receives back part of their investment which helps them purchase their next heifer and the cow is returned to her herd to become a milk producing member.  It is a win-win agreement between the 4-H member and the dairy farmer. 

KaydenSmithKayden Smith being advised by Robert Burchett (Photos Courtesy of Pat Hunt)The Burchett family is looking forward to showing in this year’s fair.  10 year old Rowan will show the 2 year old and 7 year old Brennan will show the younger heifer.  Their mother, Alida stated that “This is an animal project that is considerably lower maintenance in terms of training, care and initial investment.  This program could be a very attractive draw for families whose kids often want to show animals but also want to play team sports, participate in club activities and keep up with demands from schoolwork.  Also the heartache of sending your animal to the meat packer is eliminated as the kids can look back on their hard work and know their beloved friend is now happily living out her days at a dairy.”

The Dairy Heifer show is scheduled after the Steer and Beef Heifer shows which start at 4:00 pm Friday the 22nd.

BillyMeeksBilly Meeks role-playing as Judge (Photos Courtesy of Pat Hunt)

Grant Soil and Water Conservation District – A Surprising Story

dusty huntDusty HuntBy Frost McGahey

"We've been in a 10-year drought that was more severe than the drought during the 1930's Dustbowl," Dustin Hunt, Jr. said at the meeting of the Grant County Republican Women held Monday, September 11. "But because of one man and all the farmers and ranchers who voluntarily worked to prevent a reoccurrence, we didn't go through another Dustbowl. Although we've suffered, it's nothing like what happened before."

Hunt was at the meeting to explain what the Grant Soil and Water Conservation District did and does for the community.

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WNMU Recognizes Hispanic Serving Institution Week

WNMUBannersWNMU is proud to serve as a federally designated Hispanic Serving InstitutionSilver City, NM—As the Hispanic population in the United States continues to grow, the role of higher educational institutions in educating this population becomes even more important. There is no time this is more apparent than this week, September 11-17, 2023, which is Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Week. HSIs are defined as having 25% or more undergraduate Hispanic student full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment. The percentage of FTE undergraduate Hispanic students at WNMU is 54.5%.

The HSI designation was recognized by the United States Congress in 1992, following a push by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), an organization that advocates on behalf of Hispanic students. “In 1992, HACU led the effort to convince Congress to formally recognize campuses with high Hispanic enrollment as federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institutions and to begin targeting federal appropriations to those campuses,” wrote Felipe de Ortego y Gasca in 2015. Ortego was Scholar in Residence at WNMU at the time.

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Social Work and Counseling Programs Team Up at WNMU

WNMUSocWkWNMU is working with the NM Expanding Opportunities Program to increase the number of school-based mental health professionalsSocial Work and Counseling Programs Team Up at WNMU to Work with the NM Expanding Opportunities Project

Two Western New Mexico University master’s degree programs, the Master of Arts in Counseling and the Master of Social Work, have teamed with the New Mexico Expanding Opportunities Project (EOP) to support graduate students who plan to provide mental health care in the state’s school system. Sponsored by the NM Department of Education’s Safe and Healthy Schools Bureau, the EOP “aims to recruit and retain school-based mental health (SBMH) professionals to serve the needs of students across New Mexico, focusing on rural and frontier communities with a high percentage of at-risk and vulnerable student populations,” according to the program’s website. The program is funded with a grant from the United States Department of Education.

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WNMU Programs Named Among the Best in the Nation

WNMUCollegeEduWNMU College of Education has received an A+ rating for preparing aspiring teachers at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the most effective methods for teaching reading. The programs are two of only 48 in the U.S. to earn this highest distinction from the National Council on Teacher Quality.Western New Mexico University Programs Named Among the Best in the Nation for Exemplary Preparation of Future Elementary Teachers in the Science of Reading

Silver City, New Mexico—The undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation programs at Western New Mexico University have been recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) as among the best in the nation in preparing future elementary teachers to teach children to read, earning an A+ distinction.

The programs are among just 48 nationwide and are the only programs in New Mexico highlighted by NCTQ for going above and beyond the standards set by literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction—often called the “science of reading.”

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