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County Offices

Elko County 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

Capacity Building for Healthy Communities

Capacity building strengthens an organization’s ability to fulfill its mission to have a positive impact on communities. Strategic thinking, visioning, action planning, and board development are capacity building activities.

Coffee Shop email helps ranchers make money

Nevada agriculture specialists have taken the traditional producer coffee-shop discussions into cyberspace. Cooperative Extension’s coffee shop is a national subscription email designed to provide a two-way communication network for livestock producers. The question-and-answer service provides answers to livestock production and marketing questions.

Collaborative Resource Stewardship improves rangeland management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) has helped lead Collaborative Resource Stewardship (CRS) efforts in northeastern Nevada over the past seven years, resulting in a model for other states and areas.

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Heart & Shield: Rural Domestic Violence Prevention Program

Young girls making collages with magazine pictures

Integrated Pest Management

Nevada Department of Agriculture’s records show the use of traditional pesticides continues to increase in the state. Nevada’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program helps agricultural producers, land managers; pest control operators, homeowners and other pest managers learn about and use alternative pest management strategies in a variety of environments and settings.

Keeping Kids Safe: Recognizing, Reporting and Responding to Child Maltreatment

young girl sitting at desk in empty classroom

Nevada Range Management School

This University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program integrates sound science, collaboration and common sense to put public agency land managers, livestock permittees and other land users on the same page in terms of the range resource. It includes topics such as animal nutrition as related to range management.

Noxious Weed Control and Awareness Education

Noxious and invasive weeds are widespread throughout Nevada. They threaten agricultural and rangeland productivity. Rural counties are susceptible to significant adverse economic damage. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension education programs help individuals and weed control organization reduce the abundance of noxious weeds.

Project MAGIC

Project MAGIC is an innovative, collaborative program designed to help juvenile offenders leave the criminal justice system and become productive members of society. While participating in the program, young people ages 12 to 18 learn: positive communication skills, team building, problem solving and decision making, self-responsibility, conflict resolution, aspiration building and goal setting. Youth also select and conduct a service project designed to benefit their community. Parent sessions include the same life skills.

Risk Management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) develops and delivers a comprehensive risk management education program to livestock and forage producers in Nevada.

Sustainable Agricultural Practices

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension conducts several sustainable agriculture programs including researching alternative crops, introducing sustainable biodiversity/multiple use of rangelands, and increasing the number of pest control materials labeled in and increasing the knowledge and implementation rate of IPM practices in Nevada.

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

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