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News & Events

UPDATE, News from Cooperative Extension Logo

Issue: No. 3 | August 2012Make a gift to UNCE

UPDATE is published bimonthly by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the college that extends the knowledge of UNR to local communities throughout the state. UPDATE is a compilation of news, articles, events and helpful publications produced by Cooperative Extension faculty and staff, who work in UNCE's six program areas – agriculture; horticulture; natural resources; health and nutrition; community development; and children, youth and families. Cooperative Extension will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2014.

Dean's Message

Karen Hinton

While many Nevadans associate Cooperative Extension with our work with 4-H groups, farmers and ranchers, and horticulture programs like Master Gardeners, Extension faculty are also actively involved in a wide range of efforts to improve and diversify Nevada's economy.

Even before Gov. Brian Sandoval issued his economic expansion plan with its goal of creating 50,000 new jobs in Nevada by 2014, Extension experts were already hard at work creating jobs, fortifying small business and helping make our existing businesses and industries stronger and more profitable.

Our Community and Economic Development Experts are helping counties work together to strengthen their economies. Our Extension Educators are helping citizens identify local needs and write effective business plans. We're helping communities develop new and innovative tourism initiatives. We're making it easier for parents to pursue their careers by bringing vital professional training to the people who care for their children during the work day. We're expanding our workforce training and student-preparation programs so that employers will be able to find the kind of workers they need to be successful in Nevada.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension isn't doing all this alone, of course. But with 18 offices around the state, our faculty and staff understand better than most what a community needs and how to meet those needs. We do this by tapping the expertise of the University but also of state agencies and the private sector to design programs that make a measureable differences in people's lives.


Karen Hinton, Dean and Director

Program Spotlight

Extension economic diversification efforts paying off

Louise Helton

When Louise Helton needed help with her business, she turned to a free program set up by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. The nine-month course for small business owners and entrepreneurs gave her the knowledge and connections she needed to triple her revenues in one year by forging the kind of business relationships that previously seemed out of reach. She credits her success to Cooperative Extension and UNCE Economic Development Specialist Buddy Borden, who helped launch the Business Opportunity and Workforce Development (BOWD) program along with four other partners who have come to call themselves the Strategic Alliance for Emerging Small Business, or SafeSB. Read more »


More than 100 teens learn leadership skills at UNR summit

Participants at the Summer Youth Leadership Summit held at UNR William Raggio building participate in a team-building exercise.

They came from throughout Lyon County and other communities in northern Nevada to learn teamwork and leadership, and now the more than 100 participants of the Summer Youth Leadership Summit held this month at the University of Nevada, Reno have returned to their hometowns to work on projects aimed at improving their communities. The Leadership Summit is part of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Engaging Youth Serving Communities program. The program is in the second year of a two-year grant from National 4-H Council. During the summit, the youth were involved in a whirlwind of activities, including performing volunteer work at local Reno charities and social service agencies. Read more »

Range specialists offer help to ranchers hampered by drought

Cattle in field being rounded up.

Nevada farmers and ranchers should be planning now for 2013 in case this year's drought continues, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension rangeland and agriculture experts say. "It's important to have contingency plans in place," said UNCE Humboldt County Extension Educator Brad Schultz, an expert in grazing, pasture and habitat management. As a result of this year's drought, Nevada ranchers are facing a number of compounding problems. Calves are smaller, sheep and cows are being forced to expend more energy to walk to watering troughs, and the quality of sheep wool is declining. Ranchers are being forced to rent pasture land or cull their herds by selling off animals they can't afford to feed. But Cooperative Extension experts are working to help ranchers and farmers affected by the drought. Read more »

UNCE Horticulturist studying new generation of biodegradable pots

Heidi Kratsch

When researchers at Iowa State University were looking for scientists to help them develop and evaluate biodegradable pots, Cooperative Extension Horticulture Specialist Heidi Kratsch stepped forward right away. Her goal is to help develop a pot that you can plant in the ground with the seedling and be assured that it will decompose in time for the plant's roots to reach into the surrounding soil. Kratsch's research this summer will show what type of biodegradable pot breaks down best in Nevada's soil. Read more »

New Extension Educators for White Pine, Eureka counties

Cooperative Extension Central/Northeast Area Director Loretta Singletary has announced the hiring of two new Extension Educators for White Pine and Eureka counties. Seth Urbanowitz has been named the new Extension Educator for White Pine and Fred Steinmann will take over in Eureka. Singletary said Urbanowitz has the right experience to bring much-needed programs to the western Nevada county. She said he has worked with Extension specialists in Tennessee, Kentucky and South Dakota on projects ranging from agricultural production to economic development. Singletary said Steinmann brings a strong background in economic development to his new job. He has taught courses in urban planning, public administration, public policy and environmental policy at UNR, and Singletary said his research has focused on state gaming tax revenue, economic development planning, urban revitalization and the state's fiscal system. Singletary also noted that Steinmann has deep rural roots. He was born in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada and was raised in Morinville, Alberta Canada, a small farming community.

Read more about the Eureka County Extension Educator and the White Pine Extension Educator

Extension Dean and Director announces retirement

Karen Hinton

Karen Hinton, the dean and director of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) since 1998, is retiring in October. Jerry Buk, the director of Cooperative Extension's Southern Area, has been named interim dean and director by UNR President Marc Johnson. Hinton was named the interim dean and director of Cooperative Extension in July 1998 after serving three years as the Western Area director of Cooperative Extension. She was formally named to the dean and director post in December 1998. The resultant 14-year stint has made her the longest-serving top female administrator of an academic unit by more than three years, according to university records. Read more »

Extension offers help for children frightened by news

As news of the mass shooting at a movie theater in Colorado spread, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension child development experts reached out to their local news outlets with advice for parents, teachers and other caregivers on how they can support children in dealing with traumatic events in the news. "It's important to acknowledge the frightening parts of this event," said UNCE Youth Development Specialist Jackie Reilly, an expert on child abuse prevention who works with child care providers, youth-serving agencies and child care licensing agencies in Washoe County and the state. "Your children may be afraid that this kind of thing might happen to them, so reassure them that they are loved and are safe." Read more »

Recent Publications

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., The University of Nevada, Reno's Agriculture Experiment Station—joined by CABNR and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) will host the annual Valley Road Field Day. This free event is open to the public and aims to raise awareness about the latest research and community outreach projects taking place at Valley Road. Details: Kim Higgins at 775-784-1660 or
  • Nevada Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fire Summit, which brings together members of Nevada's high fire-hazard neighborhoods with the firefighting agencies responsible for protecting them, will be held Oct. 1-2 this year at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. Details: Sonya Sistare, 775-784-4848 or

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For more information on the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, contact Jim Sloan at 775-784-7070 or visit our website at

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Copyright © 2012. UNCE is an EEO/AA Institution.