EAT SMART, BUY LOCAL, BE LOBO!
Vision: The Lobo Growers’ Market will connect the region’s agricultural heritage to the university community through an outdoor gathering space that promotes education, healthy living, strong local economies, and a vibrant network of sustainable growers and producers.
Mission: To celebrate the local foodshed in an on-campus outdoor market, where customers learn about healthy sustainable food and meet their local farmers and producers. The market will strengthen the livelihoods of farmers and producers, and will provide students with hands-on opportunities to develop practical skills. The market will be a welcoming and diverse gathering place, and will foster collaborative community partnerships.
The 12th Annual UNM Sustainability Expo will return on April 21, 2022!
At the University of New Mexico, the Lobo Growers’ Market was originally developed as a Sustainability Studies Program student project and was held for the first time in the Fall of 2007. Students brought numerous growers and value-added producers on campus to promote local farming and small business – and ultimately, to educate campus members about sustainable agriculture and healthy food choices. The market has subsequently been held over 30 times. We currently offer one Earth Day-inspired growers’ market event in the spring semester as a vital component of the annual Sustainability Expo.
The Sustainability Expo is now organized and managed in its entirety by students in the SUST-364 Local Food Systems Practicum course. Students spend the spring semester exploring the environmental, social and economic benefits of local and regional food systems, with two main goals in mind:
- To immerse themselves in Albuquerque’s local foodshed and food value chain, and
- To develop the Sustainability Expo & Lobo Growers’ Market on UNM Main campus.
Students research the logistical aspects of planning and managing an event, while simultaneously organizing the Sustainability Expo on campus. The class receives guidance from local farmers, value-added producers, restaurateurs, market managers, produce distributors, and sustainable agriculture advocates. In 2020, students had the opportunity to visit the Santa Fe Winter Farmers’ Market, the Desert Oasis Teaching Garden, Silver Leaf Farms, Chispas Farm, Roots Farm Cafe, De Smet Dairy, the La Montanita Co-op Distribution Center warehouse, and to pack food club boxes for the MoGro mobile grocery at the Roadrunner Food Bank.
The 12th Annual Sustainability Expo will be held April 21st, 2022 on Cornell Mall from 10:30am to 2:30pm. The event provides the university community with an opportunity to support local and sustainable small businesses. There will be farms selling fresh produce, herbs and starter plants; prepared-food and value-added vendors; and local artisans and musicians. Student and community groups will promote the values of sustainable living through numerous informational booths and informal “how-to” demos.
Our program has also sponsored a 6- to 8-week series of markets during the fall semesters of 2012, 2013 and 2015. The autumn series of markets are managed by a student who has completed the SUST-364 Local Food Systems Practicum course.
In the meantime, we want your input on how to improve the Sustainability Expo and future Lobo Growers’ Markets. Let us know which organizations, products or specific local producers you’d like to see on campus, and we’ll do our best to make it happen. We appreciate the feedback.