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UPDATE, News from Cooperative Extension Logo

Issue: No. 5 | January 2013Make 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

Despite devastating state budget cuts and an uncertain future for our college, our faculty and staff continued to bring effective, unbiased scientific information directly to Nevadans in 2012. We helped farmers and ranchers cope with the drought with water management and risk management information. We tested new corn and amaranth crops that may become commercial successes for agricultural producers. We helped counties identify future economic development opportunities, and we continued to train Nevada entrepreneurs and help them make the connections that will allow them to succeed. As always, we trained day care workers, planted school gardens and built new partnerships across the academic and governmental spectrum.

The year 2012 was also a benchmark as we said good-bye to some longtime friends and colleagues who retired or moved on to new challenges. Chief among these was Karen Hinton, our dean and director, who led us so ably for 11 years. We will all truly miss Karen, although we suspect she will still be a visible supporter on Cooperative Extension in the coming months.

As we encounter new and ongoing challenges in the coming year, I can assure all of you that we will to continue to work the way we always have – with passion and innovation. Extension has always thrived due to its ability to adapt, and that's why I'm optimistic that we will emerge from 2013 stronger than ever.


Jerry Buk, Interim Dean

Program Spotlight

SET team unveils 9-county blueprint for economic development across Western Nevada

The Stronger Economies Together (SET) Regional Team unveiled its "Economic Development Blueprint for Western Nevada" Nov. 28, targeting five economic development sectors for future work to move the region's economy forward.

Representatives from the nine counties in the Western Nevada Development District have been working together since February in a hands-on economic development training and planning process.

"My No. 1 goal for this effort was to create a habit of collaboration across this region," said Sarah Adler, state director of USDA Rural Development, one of the sponsors of the SET process. "That has been achieved and much more – we now have a pragmatic plan for sharing strengths to create economic growth across the region."

The NV SET Team targeted agribusiness, energy, manufacturing, tourism, and transportation/logistics as the economic sectors to focus on for the future. The SET Regional Team reviewed economic development strategies such as export enhancement and import substitution to either expand exports of products and services from a region or stop leakage of goods and services purchases to suppliers outside the region.

Read more »

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Radon efforts highlighted on TV program

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's (UNCE) Nevada Radon Education Program (NREP) was featured on KNPB's "A Conversation" with Brent Boynton on Dec. 14 and Dec. 16. The segment included interviews with Jamie Roice, UNCE radon education coordinator; Eric Matus radiation physicist, Nevada State Health Division; and Norm Denny certified radon mitigator, Pinnacle Construction.

The guests discussed what radon is, the health risks, how to test for it, how radon gets into homes and how to get rid of it. Viewers were also be able to see how local homeowners Carol Ort and Jim McCauley benefitted from installing mitigation systems in their homes.

"It is a great testimonial towards UNCE and how UNCE helped these homeowners find out about radon," said Susan Howe, UNCE's radon program director.

The Nevada Radon Education Program will continue its fine work all month with workshops through the state. Read more »

Landscaping association honors Kratsch

Heidi Kratsch being presented with award.

Heidi Kratsch, UNCE western area horticulture specialist, won an award for Education from the Nevada Landscaping Association recently. The focus of the association is to educate those within the Green Industry as well as upholding responsible resource management for the beautification of Nevada.

The award is given once a year to a member of the NLA who exhibits excellence in educating their group and doing research that benefits them. Kratsch, who is on the Board of Directors of the NLA, conducts three different educational programs. Read more »

Bishop and Emm named finalist for book award

Carol Bishop being presented with award.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Educators Carol Bishop and Staci Emm were chosen as national finalists for the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) bound book award for their publication "Evaluating Alternative Low-Water -Use Crops for Great Basin."

The publication, published in 2010, was created to assist those that help agricultural producers to determine what alternative crops are best for their area, will reduce their water use and maintain agricultural profitability, according to Bishop.

The curriculum, also co-authored by Kynda Curtis, associate professor and state specialist at Utah State University, was part of a multi-state Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education funded program to train agricultural professionals in assisting their clients with selecting low-water-use crops.

Bishop was honored that the publication was chosen as a national finalist.

"I was thrilled at the recognition of the publication and the exposure that it would give the agricultural programs in Nevada," Bishop said.

Foster's corn experiment produces results

Stephen Foster in corn field

Steve Foster, the Extension Educator for Pershing County, was spotlighted recently in a story in the Lovelock Review-Miner about his research growing corn instead of alfalfa in a field near Lovelock.

Foster's research growing 11 corn varieties on 300 acres showed that corn could be a lucrative alternative to alfalfa during years when there is adequate water supplies, strong corn prices and local demand for the crop.

Foster worked with Mike Phillips, Nevada Nile Ranch farm manager, and neighboring alfalfa farmer Ronnie Burrows, to track corn planted in May and harvested in November. Foster recorded growth rates, moisture content, yields, production costs and other factors to compare with alfalfa, the main local crop.

"Basically, we wanted to look at the viability of a potentially high income rotational crop for alfalfa," Foster said. "We've seen that, if we get enough water, it is feasible to grow corn here. We also wanted to determine if corn production can be profitable. This may be an alternative with more profitability than our other rotational crops like wheat and teff."

Study explores why 4-H helps mold successful youth

Cassia Reed

Eight years ago, 11-year-old Cassia Reed was invited by a friend to attend a meeting for 4-H, the youth development education program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Little did she know but that meeting would drastically change her life for better. But according to a longitudinal study by the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, Reed's experience is not unusual; the study found that youth in 4-H are three times more likely to give back to their communities and have higher education achievement. The research also discovered that the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that young people receive in 4-H plays a vital role in helping them achieve future life successes. Read more »

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