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Agricultural Programs

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month

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Firefighters stand near their firetrucks Firefighters teach community members about wildfire during Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month. Photo by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

Collaborative monthlong effort encourages homeowners to reduce the wildfire threat


The wildfire threat to Nevada communities is significant and increasing, with 265,156 acres burned in 2016. Key to reducing this threat is an aware and proactive public who implement the necessary pre-fire activities, those actions that improve house survivability during wildfire. In Nevada, there is a diverse group of entities who have a role in promoting wildfire awareness and assisting in the adoption of pre-fire activities, including homeowners, firefighting organizations, elected officials, schools, Cooperative Extension, landscape management professionals, community leaders and others. Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program established Nevada Wildfire Awareness Week/Month as a means to expand the education program and launch a coordinated, statewide wildfire awareness campaign each year. The efforts are continued throughout the year.

Response/What’s Been Done

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month began as a weeklong statewide effort in 2005 and expanded in 2014 to the entire month of May. It’s a collaborative effort coordinated by Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program, with participation by program partners including local, state and federal firefighting agencies and many others. Activities are designed to build awareness and encourage homeowners to take action to reduce the wildfire threat. The 2017 message, communicated at events and via a coordinated marketing campaign, was “Wildfire! Prepare. Anticipate. Evacuate.” This emphasized the importance of pre-planning and action for safe, effective evacuation during a wildfire. A total of 9,974 people attended one or more of the 189 events, and marketing efforts extended into all 17 Nevada counties. The program audience includes homeowners living in high-wildfire-threat areas, firefighters who protect those communities and others who provide services to help them prepare for wildfire.

Results/Impact and Partners

In 2017:

  • Eight other states joined Nevada in securing a multi-state proclamation in observance of Wildfire Awareness Month. Living With Fire helped initiate this effort nine years ago.
  • 189 events or activities were held statewide by Cooperative Extension and partnering organizations.
  • 9,974 people attended events.
  • 866,120 indirect contacts were made via newspaper articles, school flyers, social media efforts and other methods of communications.
  • 23 proclamations were issued, including 17 from Nevada counties, two from municipalities, and one from the Nevada League of Cities.
  • 129 households participated in Junk the Junipers events.
  • 258 truckloads of ornamental junipers and other flammable material were collected at Junk the Junipers events.
  • 149 runners participated in the Nevada Wildfire Fire Awareness Multihour Trail Run, which raised $4,400 for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
  • Reported in-kind contributions from federal and nonfederal sources totaled $29,909.

179 program partners collaborated on Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month activities, including Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Division of Forestry, Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators, Nevada League of Cities, Bodine’s Casino, CarsonNow, Barrick-Cortez Mine, Winnemucca City Fire Department, Panaca Market, Pioneer Crossing, Battle Mountain Elementary School, North Lyon Fire Protection District, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, KKOH Radio, Washoe County Emergency Management, Cumulus Media and Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month with its many events and activities has served as a template for other states to emulate. For example, the South Dakota Wildland Fire Division started a Junk the Juniper event modeled after Nevada’s. Wildfire Awareness Month messages and graphics have been shared at no cost with other states over the years for adaptation into their own Wildfire Awareness campaigns.



people attended events in 2017


reported in-kind contributions from federal and nonfederal sources in 2017


raised for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in 2017

“I have been on the Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month planning committee for several years now, and every year it just seems to keep growing with more partners and more events statewide. I’m not aware of any other state having anything quite like it.”

— Rodd Rummel, Carson City Fire Department

Contact: Sonya Sistare, 775-887-2252

Agricultural Programs

Programs Program Information

Cattlemen’s Update

Cattlemen’s Update is University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s (UNCE) annual educational program offered for beef cattle producers to learn about issues affecting profitability and product quality in the Great Basin region.

Coffee Shop email helps ranchers make money

Nevada agriculture specialists have taken the traditional producer coffee-shop discussions into cyberspace. Cooperative Extension’s coffee shop is a national subscription email designed to provide a two-way communication network for livestock producers. The question-and-answer service provides answers to livestock production and marketing questions.

Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program

The purpose of Nevada’s Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program (FRTEP) is to improve the ability of Native American farmers and ranchers to manage their agricultural enterprises effectively, efficiently and profitably.

Herds and Harvest

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and IR-4 program

This program is to test potential pesticides necessary for producing forages in Nevada and submit requests for federal testing and registration from the IR-4 program, which is a federal cooperative program established in 1963 to help the producers of minor crops obtain clearances for pest control materials on those crops. The purpose of IR-4 is to work with farmers, agriculture scientists and Cooperative Extension personnel to carry out research and petition the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to obtain tolerances for specific pesticide uses needed by minor-crop producers.

People of the Land

Historically, American Indian agricultural producers and natural resource managers have not actively participated in programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — even though tribal leaders have indicated the need to strengthen agriculture on Indian lands. Meanwhile, federal professionals have described the difficulty they have reaching American Indian agriculture producers and natural resource managers on reservations. The situation is sometimes referred to as the "Indian situation." The goal of this program is to train agricultural professionals to better understand Indian culture and make them more effective in helping American Indian producers strengthen sustainable agriculture and natural resource management on the reservations.

Pesticide Safety Education Program

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program provides Web-based training for pesticide applicators seeking to apply restricted and general use pesticides safely, properly and according to the law. Pesticide licensure and certification is administered by the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

Processing and Marketing of Local Meat Products: A Feasibility Analysis

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) developed a feasibility study to find ways to improve financial stability for Nevada livestock producers through processing and niche marketing.

Risk Management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) develops and delivers a comprehensive risk management education program to livestock and forage producers in Nevada.

Soybean Production in Nevada

Farmer standing on a tractor observes harvested soybeans being unloaded from the tractor into a large white canvas bag

Sustainable Agricultural Practices

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension conducts several sustainable agriculture programs including researching alternative crops, introducing sustainable biodiversity/multiple use of rangelands, and increasing the number of pest control materials labeled in and increasing the knowledge and implementation rate of IPM practices in Nevada.

Tef Crop Production

The purpose of this program is to introduce Nevada farmers to and help train them in the cultivation of tef, a small-seeded grain and forage crop that requires less water than alfalfa and can be more profitable. There is a strong market for tef seed, which is made into flour to make an Ethiopian flat bread known as injera, as well as for tef hay as a high-quality horse hay.

Weed Prevention and Management

Integrated weed management is based on economically viable and environmentally friendly weed management tactics that combine judicious use of herbicides with other control tactics, such as mowing, burning, tillage, grazing and revegetation. By taking steps to prevent weed invasion, land owners/managers and other stakeholders can avoid the economic and environmental impacts of noxious and invasive weeds.

Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training

The Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training Program is held several times a year, usually in late winter or spring. This eight-hour, two-day introductory-level training introduces participants to the principles of Integrated Weed Management and focuses on improving ability to identify noxious weeds of local importance. A small fee is charged for program materials, and the class can be videoconferenced to other locations upon request. Each year, several dozen people go through the training and become certified Weed Warriors. Pesticide applicators receive six Continuing Education Credits for attending this course. Each year in May during a community event in the Truckee Meadows, Weed Warrior volunteers help rid parks and riverfront areas of invasive thistles.