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UPDATE, News from Cooperative Extension Logo

Issue: No. 7 | August 2013Make a gift to UNCE

UPDATE is published 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

Mark Walker

I am very pleased to be Dean of the University of Nevada's College of Cooperative Extension for the next two years. Cooperative Extension's faculty and staff are regarded highly by their communities and by colleagues in the University's academic departments. I share this assessment of our faculty and staff—they are accomplished, resilient, dedicated and, above all, they have a strong sense of purpose.

The past two years have challenged the college. Our faculty and staff are coming to grips with the results of budget reductions and loss of positions. We are working through difficult decisions, to set priorities for programs that Extension faculty and staff care deeply about in roles that have yet to be completely defined. This is an uncertain period.

I plan to visit all of Extension's offices in Nevada by the end of the year. My visits so far have been encouraging. Faculty and staff are prepared to refocus and rebuild. They have offered astute suggestions and constructive comments about where Extension is and where we need to go. These will be important elements of our plans to keep our commitments to the communities we serve as a part of the University of Nevada.

I look forward to helping Nevada recognize the value and popularity of our county-based and statewide programs. I look forward to meeting community members who appreciate and support our work. My visits to Extension offices help me tremendously in connecting our work with our campus-based audiences and colleagues. Overall, my visits help me understand the rich collaborative opportunities that Extension can provide. Extension serves as a conduit to the many communities in Nevada that appreciate a strong, local connection with the University of Nevada. Campus-based faculty members take advantage of Extension's appreciated presence throughout the state to identify opportunities to bring training and expertise to bear on local issues and problems.


Mark Walker, Dean and Director

Program Spotlight

Living With Fire Program continues to expand

Living With Fire Poster with different community members. Text says reduce the fuel, reduce the risk.

The eighth annual Nevada Wildfire Awareness Week was held May 4-11, expanding to include events held throughout May. Assisted by grant funds from the Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Division of Forestry and USDA Forest Service, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Living With Fire Program coordinated this multi-agency effort. The message for this year's campaign was "Reduce the Fuel – Reduce the Risk," encouraging residents to take steps now to protect their homes from wildfire. The theme was so well received that organizers from Keep Oregon Green and Firesafe Montana used the same message and graphics for their wildfire awareness campaigns. Additionally, a multistate wildfire awareness proclamation was issued for the fifth year in a row, expanding from its original group of California, Idaho, Nevada and Oregon to include Washington.

Efforts included a total of 123 events and activities taking place in all 17 counties, with 2,280 direct participants and more than 140,000 indirect contacts via newspaper articles, school flyers and other methods. More than 134 collaborators contributed to the success of this effort. Plans for next year include expanding to the entire month of May. Unfortunately, we know that the trend is for more wildfires to occur in Nevada, and residents need to be prepared.

While awareness efforts continue throughout the year, the Living With Fire Program is creating a new organization to serve as a support system for Nevada's wildfire-prone communities. The Nevada Network of Fire-Adapted Communities will provide assistance to volunteer community groups interested in reducing their wildfire threat through education, creation of action plans, sharing of ideas and information, and membership recruitment. Read more »


Cooperative Extension and USDA to host workshop for Nevada agriculture

Close up of radishes

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.

Read more »

Cooperative Extension offers 'Cottage Foods' and 'Farm to Fork' workshop

Two new laws that went into effect in Nevada this month are sparking a lot of interest, especially among those involved with the local foods movement. The laws provide farmers, home-growers, home-cooks and others with increased opportunities to produce and sell their products locally, as well as to hold dinners featuring their homegrown products.

But, as with the passage of most new legislation, many people have a lot of questions. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has convened a panel of local and national experts to explain the legislation, provide guidance and answer questions at a workshop 9 a.m. — 4 p.m., Aug. 12. The workshop will be held in Las Vegas, but people throughout the state will be able to participate at several other locations, via videoconference. Registration is now open, and the response has been overwhelming, according to Carol Bishop, Extension educator for North East Clark County and the event's organizer.

Read more »

2014 Radon Poster Contest, Open until Oct. 31, 2013

Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that comes from the ground. It accumulates in homes and can cause lung cancer. This type of lung cancer is preventable, and the only way to know if a home has elevated levels is to test.

Every year, the Nevada Radon Education Program hosts a statewide Radon Poster Contest to help raise awareness during January's National Radon Action Month. The top three winners of Nevada's Radon Poster contest will continue to the National Radon Poster Contest.

The Nevada Radon Poster Contest is open to children aged 9-14 and offers cash prizes of $75 for the first place winner, $60 for second, $45 for third and $25 each for fourth and fifth place. The teachers or sponsoring organization's representative of the children who win first, second and third place will also receive a cash award to be used toward classroom supplies. The first-place winner's teacher will receive $60, second place $45 and third place $30.

Read more »

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

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