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Cooperative Extension and USDA to host workshop for Nevada agriculture

Posted 8/2/2013

Brings together experts from University’s College of Business, Governor’s Office, Farm Service Agency

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will host a workshop in Reno Aug. 20 to provide information on agricultural economic trends and financial assistance available to mitigate drought impacts on Nevada’s agricultural producers. The workshop will be available statewide via videoconference, with presenters from the University’s Cooperative Extension and College of Business, the USDA Farm Service Agency, the Governor’s Office on Economic Development and others.

The "Agribusiness Economic Outlook: Prices and Drought Workshop," funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency, focuses on helping producers manage their business risks through effective, market-based risk-management solutions. It is one of many such programs that the Risk Management Agency and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension are teaming up on to preserve and strengthen the economic stability of Nevada’s agricultural producers.

"There is great interest in assisting our agriculture industry," said Staci Emm, Mineral County Extension educator, who has spearheaded many of these assistance programs in the state. "Nevadans know that our farmers and ranchers not only contribute to our economy, but can also provide us with a local, stable source for healthy, reliable foods."

Tom Harris has lined up a variety of speakers to address pertinent issues for this particular workshop. Harris is the director of the Center for Economic Development at the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business, as well as community development specialist at Cooperative Extension. He also conducts research for the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station, part of the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources.

"The workshop will help address agricultural financial questions," he said, "including how the current drought and comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke impact the financial success and survivability of Nevada agriculture."

Harris will open the workshop and be on hand to help answer questions. In addition, he has scheduled a diverse panel of experts to cover the relevant issues, including:

  • Elliott Parker, economics professor at the University’s College of Business, who will discuss national economic trends
  • Mike Helmar, research analyst at the University’s College of Business, who will discuss the Nevada agricultural outlook
  • Clint Koble, the state executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency, who will give a USDA overview and Farm Bill update
  • Carolyn Persinger, farm loan director at of the Farm Service Agency, who will give information on drought assistance programs
  • Jaime Jasmine, district conservationist with Natural Resources Conservation Service, who will talk about planning for drought through conservation planning
  • Ray Connelly, vice president at American AgCredit, who will discuss interest rate volatility and risk management
  • Bob Potts, research director at the Governor’s Office on Economic Development, who will discuss targets for Nevada agriculture

The workshop will be 9 a.m. — 4 p.m., Aug. 20 at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office, 4955 Energy Way, Reno. It will be offered via videoconference at Cooperative Extension offices in Caliente, Fallon, Hawthorne, Lovelock, Tonopah, Winnemucca and Yerington. It will also be available at Great Basin College in Elko and Western Nevada College in Carson City. Other locations may be added.

The registration fee for the all-day workshop is $20 and includes lunch. Two people per farm may attend for the $20 registration fee. To register or for more information, contact Heather Steel, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension intern, at 775-934-8021 or

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