Range Monitoring – These workshops are designed to educate land user and livestock producers about identifying rangeland concerns through vegetation analysis. This is a hands-on learning experience for producers. Handouts will include plant listing and calculation of carry capacity. Several vegetation data collection methods will be used to determine diversity, cover, indicator species, and forage weight. We have been privileged to have Mr. Arnold Clifford, Navajo Botanist, to assist us during these workshops. Mr. Clifford is very familiar with the vegetation throughout the Navajo Nation and a fluent Navajo speaker.
Demonstration Farm – The Diné College Demonstration Farm has been developed to help foster student learning and research. Over the years students have experimented with several crop varietals and implemented numerous watering techniques with the drip irrigation system that was established by the students for the farm. The drip system is used to conserve water by channeling the water directly to the seeds and plants throughout the planting and growing seasons. A consistent watering schedule and drip-line checks are important to the outcome and can make for a pleasant harvesting season. The students have also worked with a transplanting system that is started early in the year inside the hoophouse and cold-frame greenhouses. That gave them the chance to start the season early but a cold spring disrupted the process because the ground was still cold and growth was stunted.
Our office has also provided a space at the farm for community members to plant their own crops. There are about 6 plots that have been occupied since we first offered this to the community. During the harvesting season, our office hosts a Farmer’s Market here in Tsaile near the local convenience store. The market is fun. Many local families come and buy the produce and ask questions about the farm. Overall, this event is good for the community’s spirit.
Hoophouse – Through our extension partnership with New Mexico State University, the infamous agricultural specialist Del Jimenez led the LGO effort to build three hoophouses to help facilitate the agricultural project here at Diné College. Hoophouses are used to extend the growing season of crops in the areas with a short growing season. The LGO can conduct workshops in your community and teach participants how to construct a hoophouse, learn about warm and cool season crops, transplanting and harvesting.
Herd Health Management (Horse, Cattle, and Sheep) – The herd health management workshops are conducted in a hands-on style of teaching. It incorporates the use of equipment, handling adult cattle and calves, administering the vaccinations, and the types of vaccination and vitamins. Past presenters include local veterinarian, veterinarian technicians, grazing officials, and the Land Grant staff.
The workshop can be from three days to hour long presentations. The intent is to educate the producers to vaccinate their animals annually to avoid diseases outbreak in a herd. These problems are a major concern to the Navajo Nation due to much open range grazing.
Sheep is Life Celebration – Annually the Land Grant Office has been assisting with coordinating events during the annual Sheep is Life Celebration conducted by the Diné Be Iina organization. This event is filled with workshops from weaving, wool production, sheep shearing, and herd health. This event is usually held in the month of June. We are proud to say that Diné College agrees to host the Sheep Is Life Celebration in 2011.
Native Landscaping – 2008 marked the 40th Anniversary of Diné College’s dawning as “The Higher Education Institution of the Navajo”. Student interns began brainstorming ideas to propose a landmark or memorial signifying the special occasion of the college’s first groundbreaking ceremony, as well as adding to the institution’s overall elegance. In the beginning, the students considered the layout and how it would be accessible to the public. The students also talked about posting a plaque with a brief histroy of the college and a small statue of the ceremonial “gish” or firepoker to inform visitors of the historic event that took place 40 years ago. A statue of a corstalk, which signifies the educational philosophy of Diné College, was commisioned by the college administration and donated as the ornament that would be adorn the memorial site.
Throughout the campus students have also planted native plants to decorate the campus. They also make benches and tables to create a more sociable environment for the students of the college.
The college’s Ned Hatathli Building has also been furnished with some student intern landscaping which was designed by Twy Kedelty. She cleared an area on the southeast side of the building where she planned to execute the work and create her design, a native design with an arrowhead in the center. She used gravel of three pigments to complete her design.