New Mexico State University Forage Faculty

Leonard Lauriault

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Leonard Lauriault has been a Forage Management Scientist at New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari since coming to NMSU in 1997. At NMSU, he has responsibilities for research in irrigated forages for pastures and hay including alfalfa. Leonard holds a B.S. in Agriculture from Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, and an M.S. in Crop Science from the University of Kentucky and is an American Forage and Grassland Council Certified Grassland Professional. Prior to coming to NMSU, he had conducted research on forage crops for 16 years at the University of Kentucky.

Mark Marsalis

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Mark Marsalis is Extension Forage Specialist at New Mexico State University and is located at the Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas. He received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Mississippi State Univeristy, an M.S. in Plant and Soil Sciences (Forage Ecology) from the University of Tennessee, and a Ph.D. in Agronomy (Forages) from Texas Tech University in 2004. His expertise is in forage and grain crops, with interests in both annual and perennial crops. His current interests and projects include hay and silage production with limited irrigation and sustainability in irrigated and dryland systems.

Ian Ray

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Ian Ray is a Professor of Agronomy at New Mexico State University's main campus in Las Cruces. He received a B.S. in Agriculture from New Mexico State University in 1985, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987 and 1989. His expertise is in alfalfa and forage grass breeding and genetics. His current research focuses on genetic characterization and improvement of drought tolerance in alfalfa through molecular techniques and conventional breeding approaches. His program developed the alfalfa cultivar 'NuMex Bill Melton', which has demonstrated high yield performance under variable soil moisture conditions in New Mexico.

Cooperating Faculty

Insect, Disease, and Nematode Pests

  • Jane Pierce
    Extension Entomologist
    Agricultural Science Center at Artesia


  • Leslie Beck
    Extension Weed Specialist
    NMSU - Las Cruces
  • Kert Young
    Extension Brush & Weed Specialist
    NMSU - Las Cruces

Crops & Soils

  • Robert Flynn
    Extension Agronomist
    Agricultural Science Center at Artesia
  • John Idowu
    Extension Agronomist
    NMSU - Las Cruces


  • Craig Gifford
    Extension Beef Cattle Specialist
    NMSU - Las Cruces
  • Robert Hagevoort
    Extension Dairy Specialist
    Agricultural Science Center at Clovis
  • Marcy Ward
    Extension Livestock Specialist
    NMSU - Las Cruces