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Living on the Land Team to Accept National Award in D.C.

Posted 10/17/2008

by Robert Mills

UNCE Teammates Develop Multistate Program Emphasizing Sustainable Small-acreage Properties

The Living on the Land team, led by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), will receive the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Services (CSREES) Partnership Award for Multistate Efforts Tuesday, October 21 at the CSREES Day of Appreciation in Washington, DC. CSREES annually recognizes teams and individuals who have made outstanding contributions in support of the USDA’s mission to positively impact agriculture, environment, communities and people.

The Award for Multistate Efforts is presented annually to a team that successfully develops a program that responds to the critical needs of two or more states. Individuals who are employed by land-grant universities, cooperating institutions or those who receive support from CSREES are eligible for the award.

Susan Donaldson, UNCE water quality specialist and team leader, will accept the award on behalf of the Living on the Land program. Donaldson, along with Melody Hefner, Ed Smith and Sherman Swanson of UNCE, comprised the 16-member team from nine states to develop an educational program specializing in the sustainable management of small-acreage properties. The Living on the Land program provides small-acreage landowners with tips on efficient land management, productive plant growth and resourceful maintenance of small-farm enterprises.

Donaldson said she was happy to be receiving the award and she is proud of the impact that she and her team have made nationwide.

"It’s an honor to be receiving a national award, particularly one that recognizes this kind of multistate partnership," Donaldson said. "Every team member played an integral part in bringing this project to successful completion."

Through resource-based management and goal setting, the Living on the Land program has made a positive impact on the lives of small-acreage landowners in 42 states. To date, nearly 1,500 copies of the "Living on the Land" instructional CD-ROM have been distributed throughout the nation and to seven foreign countries, with several hundred copies of the newly updated version already ordered.

Karen Hinton, UNCE dean and director, said she was pleased to hear the news.

"We are proud that such outstanding work is being recognized on a national level," Hinton said. "This program has had substantial impact by helping small-acreage landowners become better environmental stewards."

Funding for the curriculum development was provided by the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE) Professional Development Program.

For more information or to order the newest version of the "Living on the Land" curriculum, please contact Susan Donaldson at 775-784-4848, 775-856-8401 or

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