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Roots Extended: An Ag Student's Mission

Ryan Salcido

Ryan Salcido is pictured with his sister and parents, who he credits as the inspiration for pursuing his agronomy degree at NMSU. His hard work and dedication, along with the opportunity afforded by the Waid Academic Scholarship, enables him to move forward on his path toward graduation.

Waid Scholar Ryan Salcido, a sophomore at NMSU, grew up in Brawley, California, a small agricultural town on the U.S.-Mexico border. His great-grandfather was a farmer and both of his parents have worked in ag-related fields. Born into a family and community with deep agricultural roots, his decision to pursue a degree in agronomy was a natural fit.

The motivation to pursue this academic path, however, became more personal for Ryan when his mother and sister were diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis. Now, Ryan sees agronomy as a way to improve their lives.

"One of the best ways for people with autoimmune diseases to manage their symptoms is to avoid processed foods and eat an abundance and wide variety of quality vegetables," says Ryan. That's why he plans to return to his hometown after graduation and use what he has learned at NMSU to find better ways of producing high-quality crops. "I want to be part of growing food in a sustainable, healthy way."

He credits his family with inspiring him to pursue his degree, citing their support as a key motivator. However, Ryan must finance his own education. Despite working summers to save money, Ryan says that without scholarships, including the Buck and Evelyn Waid Endowed Academic Scholarship, he would not be able to attend NMSU.

"I have driven a tractor the last two summers to help pay for school, but it is not enough to cover everything. I am grateful for the Buck and Evelyn Waid Scholarship, which helps fill the gap.

"You can change the course of someone's life with a donation to an NMSU scholarship," Ryan emphasizes, thinking about his own journey.

The Waids' transformational estate gift is helping make college possible for Ryan and other students. He and fellow scholarship recipients are taking great strides toward obtaining their degrees. Buck and Evelyn's investment in students resonates through and beyond the NMSU community to places—like Ryan's hometown—where Aggie graduates continue to extend the roots of leadership, service and philanthropy.

If, like the Waids, you are interested in turning your estate into a legacy at NMSU to benefit students like Ryan, contact Robert D. Peterson at or (575) 646-4358 or (800) 342-6678.