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UPDATE, News from Cooperative Extension Logo

Issue: No. 4 | October 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

Jerry Buk

In 2013 — just a couple of months from now — Cooperative Extension will be marking its 100th year of working for the citizens of our nation. Cooperative Extension services around the country were created with the passage of the federal Smith-Lever Act, which in 1914 directed all land-grant universities in the country to bring their research and knowledge to the public for the greater good.

Today, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension maintains 145 separate programs, bringing knowledge, training and reliable research to Nevadans in six main areas – agriculture; horticulture; community development; natural resources; children, youth and families; and health and nutrition.

  • We use the best science available to help farmers and ranchers attain sustainable operations.
  • We teach neighborhoods and homeowners how to protect their property from wildfire.
  • We train day-care managers and workers to provide a safe learning environment for young children.
  • We train and lead a vast team of adult volunteers in bringing 4-H to thousands of youth in urban and rural youth throughout the state.
  • We help senior citizens remain healthy and independent.
  • We develop cutting-edge programs that address our state's childhood obesity problems.
  • And to accomplish all this and more , we collaborate with every college at UNR and nearly every institution within the Nevada System of Higher Education.

We have one mission and we are absolutely dedicated to its success. Identify the peoples' most pressing issues then bring practical, research supported knowledge to those who will use it to resolve the issue. In other words "We bring the University to the people." This is what we do every day, in every county in Nevada.

Cooperative Extension over the last 99 years has proven to be a lasting, potent influence in helping people improve the environment, the economy and their lives. Extension, particularly in Nevada, has always been nimble and responsive, changing with times as the needs of our state and its citizens have changed.

The year 2013 certainly promises to bring that agility and adaptability to the test. Starting in July, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will emerge from the dust of budget cuts as a leaner, more streamlined college. Due to the massive reductions in state funds, all of our faculty and Extension educators will become part-time employees, and many of our faculty who in recent months have decided to retire or otherwise move on will not be replaced. Of course, with less funding, UNCE will provide fewer programs and those remaining will be smaller but we will find ways to reinvent ourselves and remain an important source of trusted applicable science that is relevant to the issues of the day.

Despite these unfortunate changes, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will remain the primary outreach arm of this land-grant institution. We will keep all of our county offices open, and we vow to maintain the high standards we have established over the years for assessing the needs of our communities and delivering quality, valued programs to those 17 counties of Nevada.


Jerry Buk, Interim Dean

Program Spotlight

All 4 Kids earns prestigious award

Kids dancing

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's (UNCE) All 4 Kids: Healthy, Happy, Active, Fit program recently received the prestigious National Institute Food and Agriculture Partnership Award for mission integration.

Anne Lindsay, a specialist in exercise physiology in our Clark County office, accepted the award on Oct. 11, in Washington, D.C. Lindsay is one of the creators for the program along with Teresa Byington, a UNCE specialist in early childhood development, and Madeleine Sigman-Grant, UNCE specialist in maternal child nutrition.

The three faculty members come from vastly different academic disciplines but molded their expertise into a nationally recognized program aimed at preventing childhood obesity, a major problem in Nevada. The program, which began in 2007, encourages preschool children and families to practice healthy eating habits to be physically active every day. Such a program was needed as almost one in three children in Nevada is obese or overweight, Lindsay said.
Read more »

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Carson watershed residents invited to submit video

Student standing in Carson River filming.

Residents living within the Carson River watershed are invited to combine their creative energies with their environmental concerns to create a video about how people can help keep the Carson River cleaner and healthier.

The 2013 "Keep Streamsides Greener, Keep Water Cleaner" video contest is open to residents from Gardnerville to Pershing County, including Carson City, Dayton, Virginia City, Silver Springs, Fallon and Stillwater. Residents in Alpine County communities in California are also eligible.

The contest is sponsored by the Carson River Coalition Education Working Group. The working group includes the Carson Water Subconservancy District, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the Audubon Society and River Wranglers.

To goal of the contest is to spark creative action messages about preserving, protecting and restoring the river and its sensitive shoreline. Winners will receive a raft trip on the Carson River, and winning entries will be showcased at the Carson River Watershed Film Festival to be held on World Water Day, March 22, 2013. Details »

UNCE offers help to drought- and fire-stricken farmers, ranchers

Cattle in field being rounded up.

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has been reaching out to help Nevada's drought-stricken ranchers and farmers with a series of workshops throughout the state.

Many Nevada ranchers and farmers have had to dramatically cut back on their hay and alfalfa cultivation this summer due to dwindling irrigation supplies. Mineral County Extension Educator Staci Emm, coordinator for Cooperative Extension's Herds & Harvest program, said producers throughout Nevada have also had to deal fires that have destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of rangeland used by ranchers for grazing. Emm said the result is higher costs and reduced income for many agricultural producers.

At the workshops in Winnemucca, Owyhee, Elko, Ely, Gardnerville, Yerington, Nixon and Fallon, representatives from state and federal agencies presented information on technical and financial assistance available to landowners and livestock operators. U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency representatives discussed insurance programs.
Read more »

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Living with Fire acknowledged

Ed Smith and a fire fighter.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's "Living With Fire" program was named an Exemplary Project by the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU) recently.

Living With Fire is an interagency effort initiated, coordinated and implemented by Cooperative Extension. It teaches Nevadans how to live more safely in high fire hazard environments. The program stresses that the key to reducing the wildfire threat to homes and communities is implementing pre-fire activities such as replacing wood roofs, screening vents and managing vegetation.

To promote widespread adoption of pre-fire activities in Nevada's high fire-hazard communities, a partnership was formed between UNCE and Nevada's local, state and federal firefighting and emergency organizations. Partners meet routinely to plan events and provide input into projects.

As an Exemplary Project, Living With Fire received a special plaque at the National Outreach Scholarship Conference in September at the University of Alabama and will be recognized during the APLU Annual Meeting in November in Denver. Read more »

UNCE-supported community development program wins award

The Western Nevada Development District (WNDD) and UNCE have received the National Association of Development Organization's (NADO) 2012 Innovation Award for its work to provide the Stronger Economies Together strategic regional planning process to the nine counties of the District.

The SET program was showcased at the NADO conference in Las Vegas Oct. 13-16.

UNCE partnered with WNDD, the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development, USDA-Rural Development Nevada Office; University of Nevada, Small Business Development Center; Nevada Rural Development Council; University of Nevada Center for Economic for Economic Development; and ConnectNevada to develop content and deliver it to 125 regional team members, including average citizens, government officials, private business leaders, economic development professionals, higher education representatives, workforce development representatives, and health care and human service representatives.

The SET Program is a public/private regional strategic planning effort for the nine-county region that has been ongoing over the last eight months and includes Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Humboldt, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey, and Washoe counties. The SET Regional Plan is due for completion and publication in November 2012

The SET program is just one of many examples of how UNCE is working to help Nevada's economic development efforts. Read more »

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School gardens featured

Kids gardening.

One of Cooperative Extension's school gardens was recently featured not just for the great education its bringing to middle-schoolers but the abundance of vegetables being produced. The feature in the Reno Gazette-Journal focused on the garden at Pine Middle School, one of a number of school gardens that UNCE nutrition experts and staff help start, maintain and use for teaching about nutrition, flavors and good health. "The garden cultivated at Pine Middle School in southeast Reno has become an outdoor classroom, an independent enterprise and an ambassador in the community," said reporter Michael Martinez in his story. " The garden has become about "more than agriculture," Martinez noted. It's a science, technology, engineering and mathematics-based laboratory."

Recent Publications

Upcoming Events

  • 2012 National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Ga., November 23-27 — National 4-H Congress is one of the premiere experiences for 4-H members across the country to participate in. For 90 years, members of the 4-H program have been gathering to celebrate the successes and accomplishments of 4-H at this event. National 4-H Congress provides a life-changing experience for youth to meet other 4-H members from across America, as they participate in educational workshops focusing on diversity, cultural experiences, leadership, team development, and of course having fun!

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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.