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Agriculture Education graduate student Erica Valdez scores scholarship

Erica Valdez

Graduate student Erica Valdez was singled out for a scholarship from the Young Cattlemen's Leadership Committee of the New Mexico Cattle Grower's Association (NMCGA). Valdez is pursuing a master's degree in agriculture education through NMSU's Department of Agricultural and Extension Education (AXED).

"I am proud of Erica for being recognized with this scholarship," said her advisor Frank Hodnett, department head of AXED. "It gives her additional resources to reach her academic and professional goals."

Raised on a cattle ranch in southern New Mexico, Valdez grew up competing in horse shows and rodeos and knew early on she wanted a profession related to the "family business." After she receives her graduate degree, she plans to pursue a teaching career in or around her hometown of Animas.

Valdez earned her undergraduate degrees in agriculture education/agriculture business from NMSU in 2004. After graduating, she worked as a marketing specialist for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture before returning to her family's ranch and enrolling in graduate school.

Each year, the NMCGA awards graduate scholarships; applicants must be residents of New Mexico and come from a beef cattle production background.