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County Offices

Carson City Programs

Herds and Harvest

Cattle grazing on a ranch The Herds & Harvest Program provides information on topics useful to Nevada’s ranchers, as well as its farmers, such as workshops on processing and selling locally grown meat, food safety, and business planning. Photo by Robert Moore.

Educational and mentoring programs and workshops help Nevada’s beginning agricultural producers

Relevance/Issue

Agriculture is the second-largest component of economic stability in Nevada rural communities. At least 95 percent of state land is devoted to farming and ranching, with 4,135 farms.

Most agricultural sales in Nevada include cattle and calf production, followed by hay, other crops, milk and other dairy products, vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Nevada has seen an increase in specialty crop operations, with the U.S. Census of Agriculture from the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service reporting at least 1,000 new farms over the past decade. These producers primarily sell through farmers markets, roadside stands and Community Supported Agriculture projects.

Women, American Indians, Hispanics and operators of more than one race comprise a large portion of the total number of operators. The demographic profile of Nevada’s beginning producers characterizes the need in Nevada for a project that reaches socially disadvantaged and limited-resource farmers and ranchers.

Response/What’s Been Done

Since 2011, through the Herds & Harvest Program, Extension has provided workshops and educational business management and mentoring programs to support over 1,000 beginning agricultural producers, targeting individuals identified and/or recruited through the USDA, most of whom qualify as socially disadvantaged and limited-resource beginning farmers and ranchers. In 2017, 16 workshops educated 392 people on topics such as business strategies, winemaking, hops, small-scale poultry, hoop-house farming, social media marketing, and meat processing and quality.

Herds & Harvest mentoring programs also help beginning producers increase their profitability and sustainability through one-on-one and small group networking. In 2017, 176 mentoring sessions were held on topics such as enterprise budgets and production agriculture, including 21 sessions on Indian reservations serving 315 tribal members. Many other producers benefitted from networking with one another through the program.

Results/Impact and Partners

Since 2011, at least 157 workshops have been offered, reaching 1,098 beginning farmers and ranchers.

Program impacts in 2017 were measured via post-program evaluations. Of the 392 program participants, 126 returned evaluations, of which:

  • 96 learned how to improve quality in their products
  • 94 learned how to add value to the products they produce
  • 91 learned how to increase their income
  • 73 learned how to increase yields
  • 71 learned how to increase farm and ranch income

Partners included Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Services Agency, Nevada Farm Bureau, Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, local agriculture producers and wineries.

IMPACTS




1,098

beginning farmers and ranchers reached since 2011



96

participants learned how to improve quality in their products in 2017



“As a result of our contacts with [Herds & Harvest], we became connected to the agricultural community, exchanging help, ideas and resources. Our business grew due to these connections and prompted changes in our methods.”

— Agricultural producer


Contact: Staci Emm, Mineral County Extension Educator, 775-945-3444, ext. 1039

Programs Program Information

4-H Youth Development

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

Carson City Community Garden

The Community Garden began in 2001 and allows community members who don’t have room for a vegetable garden to rent a 4-by-16-foot garden bed for $20 a season at a 25-bed garden complex on Beverly Drive east of the cemetery. The price includes water, soil preparation, some seeds and fertilizer.

Family Storyteller Literacy Program

National award-winning Family Storyteller is a literacy program aimed at encouraging and training parents to play a vital role in the literacy development of their children. Developed by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), KNPB-TV, the Washoe County libraries and Washoe County School District, the statewide program creates an opportunity for parents and young children to interact around literacy and language activities. Family Storyteller is designed especially for families that may have limited language skills and few children’s books at home.

Grow Your Own, Nevada

 A tray of vegetables

Living With Fire

Be Ember Aware publication

Master Gardeners in Nevada

 A bumblebee pollinating a yellow flower

Nevada Radon Education Program

The Nevada Radon Education Program is a partnership with the Nevada State Health Division to educate Nevadans about the possible health risk posed by elevated levels of radon in the home. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) offers literature, educational programs and radon test kits in many county Extension offices.

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month

Living With Fire logo

Social Media Training

Extension Educator Lindsay Chichester explaining Facebook Page Best Practices to a room of people

The Greenhouse Project

The Carson City Greenhouse Project was conceptualized in November 2008 in partnership between UNCE; the Carson City Cultural Commission; The Greenhouse Project Committee, a grassroots, community organization; the Carson City School District; Nevada State Parks; and numerous volunteers. The Greenhouse Project serves as a teaching facility for hands on programs at the Carson City High School. Students help to cultivate and distribute vegetables and herbs for culinary classes and community food banks. Additional flower baskets are grown to beautify downtown Carson City.

Statewide Programs *Statewide programs may not be available in all counties

Programs Program Information
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Herds and Harvest
Integrated Riparian Management/Creeks and Communities
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada State GEAR UP
Nevada Youth Range Camp
People of the Land
Pesticide Safety Education Program
Risk Management
Stronger Economies Together
Weed Prevention and Management
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals