Cooperative Extension offers expertise at Fallon farm conference
UNCE instructors give Nevada’s producers the tools, skills for success
By Andrew Church
Several University of Nevada Cooperative Extension faculty members will be presenting workshops and informational presentations to Nevada’s small farmers when the 2012 Nevada Small Farm Conference convenes March 8-10 at the Fallon Convention Center and Western Nevada College Fallon Campus.
Cooperative Extension experts will be leading sessions on the following topics:
- Local Beef: From Farm to Market: UNCE Extension Educator Staci Emm will join a panel to discuss how Nevada ranchers can respond to the growing demand for locally grown meat.
- Hops, Barley and Local Beer: UNCE Alternative Crops specialist Jay Davison will discuss how Nevada growers can respond to the demand in Nevada for locally grown hops and barley for the burgeoning micro-brewery industry.
- Hoop House Production — Extending the Season: UNCE experts will be on hand to discuss how farmers can extend their growing season with hoop houses and row covers. Cooperative Extension has been a pioneer in the use of hoop houses — to help niche farmers expand and diversify their farms for the restaurant market, but also to enhance agriculture and nutrition in communities and Indian reservations.
- What New Farmers Need to Know: UNCE faculty Steve Lewis and Carol Bishop will present information on how to start a farm, exploring both the planning part of agriculture as well as the business preparations that are needed.
- Tomorrow’s Table: Emm will give a presentation on a new Cooperative Extension program geared toward helping Nevada growers who are new to agriculture or are interested in diversifying their current farming and ranching activities.
UNCE has already implemented several programs to address the needs of Nevada’s agricultural community, and to promote local, community oriented agricultural practices. UNCE’s "Beginning Farmers and Ranchers" program helps less-experienced growers learn the latest agriculture techniques as well as financial management tools and entrepreneurial skills. The "Great Ideas from Growers" program takes these lessons one step further, connecting producers from across the state and allowing them to share their experiences and advice with one another.
UNCE’s farmers market initiative has worked to promote Nevada grown produce by connecting local producers with consumers and business owners in Las Vegas, Tonopah, Fallon and other communities. Extension also provides business training, economic research, leadership training, risk management assistance and other resources to help small-scale farmers and ranchers succeed. To find key research articles on farming and ranching issues, search the Cooperative Extension publications archive at www.unce.unr.edu.
More details about the conference schedule and events can be found online at http://www.wnc.edu/ce/sci/ or by contacting Ann Louhela at 775-351-2551.