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UPDATE, News from Cooperative Extension Logo

Issue: No. 13 | July 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

University of Nevada's College of Cooperative Extension is changing, with new faculty and staff and several initiatives. These changes mean increased capacity to meet community needs and support for important programs.

We recently hired Carrie Stark (formerly of the University of Idaho) as State 4-H Youth Development Program Director. Since her start on May 2, Carrie has visited every county Extension office. She met with volunteers, program leaders and Extension Educators to introduce herself and to discuss current 4-H programs and program needs. She brings tremendous experience and great ideas from her former position as 4-H Youth Development Specialist with Extension at the University of Idaho.

Dan Brush is our new fiscal officer. Dan has extensive experience with NV Energy and the University of Nevada Controller's office. He will be visiting our county offices to learn about programs and the people who design and deliver them.

Extension will have a part-time development officer, Wendy Nelson. Wendy will focus on fundraising for 4-H and other Extension programs. She will be based in the Clark County Lifelong Learning Center, which also houses Extension's Southern Area and Clark County Extension offices. Wendy has extensive experience with the University of Nevada School of Medicine and will be visiting county offices to get a clear sense of needs and opportunities.

We will have a new climate specialist working within the College of Science's Geography Department. Kerrie Ormerod, formerly with the University of Arizona, begins work as an assistant professor on July 1 and will have several projects focused on drought and drought education.

Extension has also taken the lead on several initiatives, including the Living With Drought Program. This provides information to help audiences take action as the effects of our four-year drought become apparent and severe. Extension has had a prominent role in drought response, with membership on Governor Brian Sandoval's Drought Forum; a close working partnership with Extension systems in California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Hawaii; and excellent educational efforts for our rural and urban stakeholders. Our educators and specialists are developing and delivering programs to help Nevadans meet the challenges of voluntary water use reductions.

Our well-established programs, Living With Fire and the Nevada Radon Education Program, continue as important ways for people to protect their safety and health. The National Association of State Foresters recently recognized the Living With Fire Program as a national leader in the category of Fire Adapted Communities. The Nevada Radon Education Program compiles and reports the results of radon tests in every Nevada County and offers advice about how to take action if test results indicate a problem. (See mapped results for each county.)

The western regional office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service reviewed several of Extension's nutrition education programs, with very positive results. Our nutrition and health team delivers very effective programs and is working to complement their very effective classroom activities with efforts that focus on policies, nutritional systems and environmental factors conducive to improving nutrition, especially for youth and seniors.

University of Nevada's College of Cooperative Extension is changing, especially with respect to our capacity to identify and meet community needs. Our faculty and staff continue to deliver the very best programs to stakeholders in Nevada.


Mark Walker, Dean and Director

Program Spotlight

Workshops helped ag producers get information on drought assistance

Cattle on drought-stricken field

As every county in Nevada is experiencing severe to exceptional drought, the United States Department of Agriculture is offering several federal assistance programs for Nevada agricultural producers. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension held workshops statewide in June to provide discussion and information on these programs.

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Doolittle Senior Center Community Garden helps feed the hungry

The Doolittle Express is on the right track! For 10 years, Master Gardener Don Fabbi has been coordinating and educating the gardeners, volunteers and neighboring residents at the City of Las Vegas Doolittle Senior Center Community Garden.

"This community garden has been assisting the hungry in our community," explained Fabbi. Whatever the gardener cannot use at harvest is donated to the City of Las Vegas Doolittle Senior Center Community. "That's how we came up with the name, Doolittle Express," he laughed.

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School gardens coordinator recognized by school district

Karyn Johnson, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension school gardens coordinator, and Cooperative Extension were honored and recognized at the Clark County School District's (CCSD) Board of School Trustee's meeting. The honor was in recognition and thanks for all the work Johnson and Cooperative Extension has done to support the school garden programs across the district.

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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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