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UPDATE, News from Cooperative Extension Logo

Issue: No. 11 | January 2015Make a gift

UPDATE is published by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the college that extends the knowledge of University of Nevada, Reno 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 six program areas – agriculture; horticulture; natural resources; health and nutrition; community development; and children, youth and families. Cooperative Extension celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014.

Dean's Message

The last three months of 2014 presented many opportunities to engage with Cooperative Extension's partners and constituents in Nevada. This included the Governor's Conference on Agriculture, the annual meeting of the Nevada Cattlemen's Association, an agricultural tour of Clark County and three searches to fill vacant positions.

The Governor's Conference on Agriculture in Reno was a well-attended meeting, with great representation from the University of Nevada, including Extension faculty and staff as speakers and participants. I served on a panel about preparing the next generation of agriculturalists with College of Agriculture Dean Bill Payne. Bill and I emphasized that agriculture is a life science encompassing many types of expertise, and that the successes of our students and constituents are the measures of our successes as part of a land-grant university. The conference included excellent sessions about marketing opportunities and connecting communities with producers.

The Nevada Cattlemen's Association annual meeting took place in Elko in November. The Cattlemen appreciated Extension's efforts to attract candidates to the 4-H Program Youth Development Leader position and expressed appreciation for Extension's continued efforts related to animal agriculture.

Thanks to Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins and staff member Janice Ridondo, Bill Payne and I saw the diversity of agriculture in southern Nevada, and met with farmers and ranchers. The visits included small-scale fruit growers, alfalfa growers, livestock producers and urban farmers.

In December, candidates from our searches for the State Director for 4-H Youth Development Leader and Lyon County Extension Educator interviewed in Las Vegas, Reno and Yerington. Faculty, staff and community partners made this process successful. We also found a permanent director of the Southern Area and offered the position to Eric Killian, who accepted.

Extension's faculty and staff developed great publications this year and received recognition with four Awards of Excellence in communications. The Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America recognized our Nevada Radon Campaign, Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month, 2014 Centennial Video and 2014 Centennial Edition Program Highlights publication.

Extension has much to look forward to in 2015. Thanks for your support, including your willingness to help us understand the best ways to meet your needs with Extension programs. Happy New Year to you and all those in your community.


Mark Walker, Dean and Director

Program Spotlight

January is National Radon Action Month

Ed Smith, natural resources specialist and director of the Living With Fire Program, advises homeowner Jenny Herz.

Free radon test kits are available from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28 at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices and partner offices statewide. Nevadans are encouraged to take advantage of this free offer to test their homes for this radioactive, colorless gas that comes from the ground, accumulates in homes and can cause lung cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 21,000 Americans die each year from radon-caused lung cancer, killing more people than secondhand smoke, drunk driving, falls in the home, drowning or house fires.

Radon-caused lung cancer is preventable. A simple three-day test can determine if a house has a radon problem, and winter is an ideal time to test a home for radon.

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Partners in Policymaking classes offered

Partners in Policymaking is an innovative national model of leadership training for people with developmental disabilities, parents and family members, designed to teach the power of advocacy, and change the way people with disabilities are supported, viewed, taught, live and work. The program is designed to provide state-of-the-art knowledge about issues and policies related to disability, and to develop participant competencies to become more effective in influencing policy development at all levels. The overall intent is to achieve a productive partnership between people with developmental disabilities, parents, and family members, and those in position to make policy.

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Nevada student places in top 10 of National Radon Poster Contest

Eighth-grader Brandon Koyama from Carson Valley Middle School in Gardnerville placed in the top 10 in the National Radon Poster Contest, after his entry took first place in the Nevada Radon Poster Contest.

Koyoma received a plaque and $100 for placing in the top 10 in the National Radon Poster Contest, sponsored by Kansas State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, Koyoma will receive $75 for taking first place in Nevada's poster contest. His teacher, Lin Falkner, will also receive $60 for the first place honors to use for classroom supplies.

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4-H Youth Development Program needs mentors for youth

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is looking for positive adult role models to mentor youth enrolled in the 4-H Youth and Families with Promise Program. Mentors will be working with youth between the ages of 8 and 14, meeting one-on-one with a youth individually and attending monthly group activity nights and trainings.

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Recent Publications

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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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