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Elko County Programs

Heart & Shield: Rural Domestic Violence Prevention Program

Young girls making collages with magazine pictures Heart & Shield Children’s Site Coordinator Melinda Gomez helps girls make and share collages of activities they enjoy or want to learn. Children and parents can discuss the pictures, encouraging communication and bonding. Photo by Jill Baker-Tingey, Elko County Extension Educator.

Program works to promote resiliency, strengthen positive future relationships and stop the domestic violence cycle


Nevada’s domestic violence rates are some of the highest in the nation. Needs assessments in Elko and Churchill Counties showed that domestic violence prevention is a high-priority issue. Children living in violent homes have an increased risk for abuse. Research shows that as children witness violence in the home, they develop attitudes about violence and power in relationships that can be passed on to future generations. Children who witness violence also experience long-lasting problems such as adult depression, anxiety, trauma-related symptoms, and increased tolerance for and use of violence in relationships.

Response/What’s Been Done

Extension’s Heart & Shield: Rural Domestic Violence Prevention Program works to spread awareness and prevent violence in Elko and Churchill Counties in three ways:

  1. Law enforcement training. In 2009, Extension worked with law enforcement to create training on optimal law enforcement response to domestic incidents.
  2. Community education. Since 2013, Extension educated local agencies, human services providers and other partners about the impact of domestic violence and ways to help survivors.
  3. Direct education and noncrisis intervention for surviving families to promote resiliency, strengthen positive future relationships, and stop the violence cycle. Extension developed a curriculum in 2014, and in 2015, offered a 9-week series and monthly family activities for survivors.

Since 2015, 68 adults and 138 youth completed the third part of the program, including 39 adults and 72 youth in 2017. Extension also gave 47 community education presentations in 2017.

Results/Impact and Partners

Overall, participating parents recognized that how they respond in the aftermath of violence affected their children’s resilience. In addition, participants rated 20 of 27 activities four or more, out of five, in terms of how helpful the activities were. In answers to three open-ended questions after the direct education and noncrisis intervention series, parents and children indicated improved communication, increased ability to handle frustration and an enhanced understanding of each other.

Program staff noted that families adopted positive routines, and that parents responded more calmly, firmly and kindly to children’s challenging behaviors. Leadership skills and attention to personal care also improved.

In addition, many families chose to continue with the monthly activities or to repeat the series. With repeating families, staff observed even greater levels of family cohesiveness and communication and fewer disagreements between parents and children.

Partners included:

Public Value Statement

Based on results from a 2003 Center for Disease Control and Prevention study of domestic violence-related medical costs (including ambulances, hospital stays, physical therapy and mental health services) for women 18 and older, Heart & Shield helped save at least $838-$3,062 per prevented rape, $816-$3,682 per prevented physical assault and $294-$690 per prevented stalking.

Nationally, the cost of domestic violence in 1995 was $5.8 billion for medical and mental healthcare, and $1.8 billion was lost in paid and household productivity. When updated to 2003 dollars, domestic violence costs exceeded $8.3 billion, which included $460 million for rape, $6.2 billion for physical assault, $461 million for stalking and $1.2 billion in the value of lost lives.



adults and youth completed the third part of the program since 2015.


community education presentations given in 2017.


domestic violence-related medical costs saved per prevented stalking, physical assault or rape.

“I am so blessed to have all these wonderful moms, leaders and teachers come into myself and my children’s lives and help us start healing.”

-Program participant

“We are definitely more communicative. When we feel something is [wrong], we are able to problem solve. We share affection more on a daily [basis]. We’re more productive, more understanding, and we’re better listeners.”

-Parent during a program exit interview

Contact: Jill Baker-Tingey, 775-738-1721

Programs Program Information

Capacity Building for Healthy Communities

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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