By Mike Linn
PORTALES — Milk has a reputation of promoting healthy teeth and bones. The dairy product will also promote Eastern New Mexico University in the near future.
About 100 new milk trucks to arrive at Milk Transport Services in Portales are slated to bear a large green decal that reads: “Got College? Eastern New Mexico University.”
Travelers will have an opportunity to take note of the ENMU decals on highways and freeways in 48 states and Canada.
Officials at ENMU are excited about having the university name recognized as far north as Maine and as far south as Florida.
“First of all we just want to create an awareness of the university,” ENMU communications director Wendel Sloan said. “This will benefit Eastern in several ways: Of course we always hope to increase enrollment, but also — for example — if alumni see the decals it should give them a good feeling about the school and who knows it may increase the possibility of them giving some money to the school which would help increase scholarships.”
The idea for the decals came from Alva Carter, who is on the ENMU Board of Regents and the MTS board.
A local dairy operator and co-owner of Chuck Daggett dealerships in Portales and Clovis, Carter said the decals are an example of dairies and education working together.
“Eastern New Mexico University is out here all by itself and nobody thinks of this area as having one of the top universities in the nation,” Carter said. “It’s a bridge between the dairy business in the area and the university and a plus for ENMU and the milk industry.”
Carter said he thought of the decals after Gov. Bill Richardson challenged him to find a way to mix education with private business.
The MTS business has a fleet of more than 1,100 trucks nationwide, with about 100 stationed at the Portales plant.
Money for the decals came from Carter’s Big Valley Chuck Daggett branch in Portales. Carter said the decals were created by Robbie Martinez of Clovis-based Solar Shield Inc.