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UPDATE, News from Cooperative Extension Logo

Issue: No. 2 | June 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

Spring and summer are an especially busy time for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Although school is out and many people take vacations, our work accelerates as we consult with Nevada agricultural producers and backyard gardeners, continue our efforts to strengthen Nevada communities, train daycare workers, reach out with information for residents and homeowners worried about wildfire and continue ongoing health and nutrition programs. And, of course, things get very busy at the State 4-H Camp at Lake Tahoe, where campers converge from around the state for back-to-back periods, enjoying our beautiful camp at Stateline.

We're also busy these days celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, the bill that created the land-grant system in the United States. That federal law, signed by President Abraham Lincoln on July 2, 1862, allowed great universities such as the University of Nevada to come into being. The original bill created institutions in each state focused on instructing people in practical education for the professions of the day, and ensured that a college education would be available to people from all social classes.

The Morrill Act represented the federal government's desire to make the resources of land-grant universities – its faculty, innovations and knowledge – available to average citizens. In a sense, the general mission of Cooperative Extension – to give state residents easy access to the great resources of their land-grant universities – was created with the Morrill Act. "The land-grant university system is being built on behalf of the people, who have invested in these public universities their hopes, their support, and their confidence," Lincoln said as he signed the bill into law.

Congress formalized this connection in 1887 with the passage of the Hatch Act, which directed land-grant universities to conduct research and experimentation in the public interest, and again in 1914 with passage of the Smith-Lever Act, which directed land grants to take the university to all citizens through Cooperative Extension. Through this law, Congress also established a new funding arrangement for Extension through a three-way partnership between federal, state and county governments.


Karen Hinton, Dean and Director

Program Spotlight

Living With Fire program raises wildfire awareness

Children play at the Ember House during a recent Wildfire Awareness Week event.

With summer bringing the threat of catastrophic wildlife to many communities in Nevada, the Living With Fire Program was busy organizing two major events aimed at helping homeowners interested in taking steps to improve their property's chances of surviving a fire. Wildfire Awareness Week this year kicked off with an event at Mills Park in Carson City, and scores of residents and homeowners turned out to learn fire protection strategies for their homes. They were able to visit with vendors displaying fire-protection products and services, and tour various firefighting agency booths explaining how to create defensible space and otherwise protect homes and property. The kickoff event was the beginning of a series of events throughout the state aimed at helping people who live in wildfire-prone areas. Living With Fire also organized a Wildfire Awareness Week at Lake Tahoe. Read more »

UNCE also takes steps to help homeowners whose property has already been damaged by fire. This year, Living With Fire's Ed Smith, a Natural Resource Specialist, and JoAnne Skelly, the Extension Educator for Carson City and Storey County, were especially busy helping victims of the Washoe and Caughlin fires, which destroyed or damaged dozens of homes in Reno and Washoe County. They held workshops to help homeowners determine if their fire-weakened trees were being attacked by bark beetles and they advised homeowners how to determine how much of their landscape would recover from the fires.


Chefs for Kids holds annual dinner and auction

Sue Lednicky, Dave Courvoisier, Chef Chris Johns, Paula Francis

UNCE's Chefs for Kids held its annual fundraising dinner and auction in late April at Paris Las Vegas. This elegant affair featured KLAS-TV anchor Paula Francis as the mistress of ceremonies, included a gourmet dinner prepared under the supervision of Chef Eric Piston and featured a live auction conducted by the remarkable Christian Kolberg. Chef for Kids is a joint venture of the American Culinary Federation Chefs of Las Vegas and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. It is an in-school nutrition education program for primary grade children in at-risk elementary schools in Clark and Washoe counties. The program consists of two parts: an intensive, second-grade curriculum (Choose Well, Be Well) and a first-grade curriculum (Adventures with Chefs for Kids) aimed at first-graders. The first-grade, six-lesson curriculum introduces the food groups to children and focuses on food for strength, growth, health and energy. The weekly second-grade program helps children learn to choose foods from those available to them that will give the greatest benefit to their bodies. Children also learn the benefits of a physically active lifestyle and simple food safety practices. Read more »

Lyon 4-H'ers get a jump on their college careers

Group of Lyon County students in lecture room watching presentation.

Lyon County students from Smith Valley and Yerington high schools immersed themselves in the future of science recently. The daylong visit to UNR's College of Science was part of the Engaging Youth Serving Community Program, which promotes University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's (UNCE) 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education. The 46 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors all expressed an interest in the field of science. Some already said they plan to enter the medical and dental school. Read more »

SET continues its regional meetings

Tom Harris

The Stronger Economies Together Regional Planning Team continued its series of regional meeting in May with a two-day session in Minden, where it focused on demographics and economic data for the eight-county region it is studying. Nearly 60 participants attended the workshop, which is part of a 10-month training and strategic planning process for the Western Nevada Development District. This program is a collaboration of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, USDA Rural Development, and the Governor's Office of Economic Development, in partnership with the University Center for Economic Development, the University of Nevada Reno's Small Business Development Center, Western Nevada Development District, the Nevada Rural Development Council, and the Connect Nevada state broadband initiative. The goals of the SET team include: an economic plan for the counties of Carson, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, Humboldt, Pershing, Mineral and Storey; a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) that will enhance each community's ability to apply for funds; and hands-on training to help residents develop understanding and skill in economic development processes. Read more »

Working with small-acreage farmers

Carol Bishop giving presentation.

UNCE is continuing its work with Nevada agricultural producers this summer with the third installment of its Herds & Harvest series of workshops. The latest workshop, "So You Want To Be A Produce Farmer" – June 25-26 at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Lifelong Learning Center in Las Vegas – focuses on "How to Get a Farm Going" to "Running Farmers Markets." The program will be available live via interactive video to UNCE offices in Elko, Churchill and Lyon counties. The Herds & Harvest program is a three-year agricultural initiative providing Nevada's beginning farmers and ranchers with the tools necessary to own, operate and sustain their own agricultural operation. Read more »

Why you saw so many people wearing purple

Group of people from Washoe County Cooperative Extension wearing purple.

You may have noticed a number of people wearing purple on a Friday in April recently. If you did, you may have learned that it was the first ever "Purple Up! For Military Kids" event, which was observed in Nevada and across the nation. Cooperative Extension's Operation: Military Kids (OMK) was launched in conjunction with 4-H in 2005. It provides support to military children before, during and after deployment of a parent or loved one. Cooperative Extension's OMK program reaches out to all military groups but has a specific focus on Nevada Army Guard and Reserve families. More than 100 counselors and professional educators from Washoe, Elko, Humboldt and Clark counties have been formally trained on issues facing youth and their deployed parents. OMK connects military youth with other youth experiencing deployment, and allows them to participate in a wide range of recreational, social and educational programs. Participants can attend military youth camps; gain skills by participating in the SpeakOut for Military Kids program or Mobile Technology Lab programs; and receive Hero Pack backpacks filled with deployment resources and fun items as a thank you for their sacrifice. Read more »

Three faculty receive national award

Anne Lindsay, Madeleine Sigman-Grant and Teresa Byington holding award.

Three University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Faculty received the national USDA Priester Health Award that recognizes innovative health education programs positively impacting the health of individuals at the county, state and national levels. Teresa Byington, Anne Lindsay and Madeleine Sigman-Grant created and implemented the All 4 Kids: Healthy, Happy, Active, Fit educational program to encourage preschool children to eat smart, be active and live healthy at any size.
Read more »

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