Meg Buerkel Hunn, Advisory Council Chair: Thank you Steve!

Apr 6, 2024 | Experiences


Thank you, Steve!

Steve Lucero has been the County Program Director/4-H Agriculture Agent for the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service in Sandoval County since 2006.  He has also shepherded the Sandoval Extension Master Gardeners – often during Master Gardener Advisory Agent vacancies.  If you’ve had the pleasure of working with Steve, you’ll know the care and dedication he puts into his work of raising and growing our communities and their knowledge.  You’ll know his love for science and the wonders of raising cattle and supporting the work of our land grant university, NMSU.

SEMG wishes to extend Steve our gratitude for years under his leadership.  Steve, you’ve helped us grow and change and thrive and make a positive impact on our community.  Thank you!  We also wish you all the best in your retirement.

-Meg, SEMG Chair


We’ve collected a few words of gratitude and “Steve Stories” – please read on…

Steve has a cool mustache and he always looks good in his black cowboy hat. He also has a welcoming smile and is easy to talk to.
-Peter Colton, SEMG 2003

Steve and I had the opportunity to work together after Lynda Garvin was assigned to another county and before Rachel Zweig arrived. This was also during the time Covid started. He helped me understand the needs of the University for reporting and how we could best fulfill the reporting request. His knowledge of the history of Master Gardeners in our county was impressive. He knows many of the Master Gardeners as he has interacted with many of us over the years. He also helped us work through the curveball that Covid threw at us. We were able to pivot as quickly as possible to online learning from the traditional in-person intern training. His help with that transition was imperative. I also worked with Steve while we were interviewing candidates for Lynda’s replacement. Through that process, I appreciated how much the Master Gardener organization meant to him and to Sandoval County.
I wish Steve all the best in his retirement.

-Barbara Boyd, SEMG 2018

Otto Stangel and I always worked at the Waterwise Garden on Thursday mornings.  After working, we would always stop at the extension office for a visit.  The office had a kitchen and sometimes we would whip up some breakfast.  Steve sausage, Nicole scrambled eggs, and Elizabeth toast and coffee.  Good company, good visits, and the best breakfast ever.
Thanks Steve and staff for good times.

-Loren Meinz, SEMG 2007

I have known Steve Lucero since I joined Sandoval Master Gardeners in 2008. I became chair of the organization at the time that our long time Extension Agent, Rudy Benavidez, retired and Steve became our agent.  Steve was honest with me – his interest did not lie in gardening, so we needed to step up.  It wasn’t a big ask – he wanted us to write our governing documents and make our organization the best in the state!  In many ways, we are what we are today because Steve gave us the opportunity to experiment and grow in ways I don’t think we expected.  Our members became resourceful, inventive and very dedicated to creating the robust and vibrant organization we are today.
Thank you, Steve, for challenging us to create this wonderful organization.

-Sam Thompson, SEMG 2008

I was President of SCMG 2013 -2014 and worked closely with Steve Lucero, who for the most part of my tenure was the MG Advisory Agent along with his other duties of directing the office and being the primary County 4H  and Livestock Agent in the County.    Steve was diligent about attending our monthly MG Board meetings and advising us on best practices to add to our SCMG policies and procedures.  He was proud of what the SCMG volunteer organization did for the County residents, and promoted us well within Sandoval County.   Of course Steve got us connected with the other sides of the SC Extension Service, such as supporting 4H and the County Fair with an annual donation and encouraging our garden exhibits.  Master Gardeners volunteered with Steve and Nicole (former 4-H Agent)  for several years in presenting environmental and water erosion demonstrations to Rio Rancho school students at an environmental expo at the RR Convention Center.    Board members under my tenure worked with Steve to sanction the new website development committee.  Steve worked with the Master Gardener committee which was tasked in reviewing new SCMG logo artwork submissions.  He ended up advising us to wait for a State Extension Master Gardener logo, which NMSU was going to roll out with their process of centralizing the county Master Gardener programs under their Bylaws.   Steve and Elizabeth Hackett were an integral part of organizing and participating in the Annual Meeting by honoring several years of new Master Gardeners and Life Members.  SCMG volunteers worked with Steve and the County on updating the Master Gardener Casita offices with flood prevention improvements, fresh interior paint, and outdoor landscaping of perennial flowers.   Steve had wanted to replace the turf at the back entrance to the Bernalillo Court House and Extension Offices and convert it to a demonstration Xeric landscape with native grasses.  That did not happen due to the shift in focus to the SCMG/ Extension office location at the county building property off of Idalia.

I have enjoyed working with Steve and consulting with him on Master Gardener business and many Home Visit issues.   Some Master Gardeners may not know this, but Steve is quite knowledgeable about plants.   That should not come as a surprise, since he has advised farmers and ranchers throughout his Extension career on horticultural issues along with livestock.   Steve grew up on a ranch in San Ysidro.   Recently, I experienced Steve’s compassion for animals.   Just last year he was trying to nurse two baby goats to health by using a syringe feeder in his office in Bernalillo.   The baby goats had gotten caught in a fence on his father’s ranch during a snow storm.   The mother goat was not able to nurse them.

Steve has always been proud of our Sandoval Extension Master Gardener accomplishments through our exemplary volunteer projects and outreach.  He has boasted our accomplishments locally through the media and at the County and State levels.  Steve has been seriously dedicated to the growth of the County 4-H program and involvement with the State Fair commission during his tenure with the County Extension Service.  I will miss seeing Steve Lucero dressed in his western wear and his dog Sli at the Bernalillo Extension Office after April.  Steve has provided a down to earth New Mexico presence and local color to the Sandoval Extension Office.  I am happy to have experienced that.

-Sandy Liakus, SEMG 2008