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Programs

Agricultural Programs

Eagles & Agriculture

Two eagles standing with cattle in a field Two eagles share resources with cattle during a photography contest as part of Eagles & Agriculture. Photo by Dwayne Hicks, as part of a photography contest.

Multiday Eagles & Ag celebration helps people learn about agriculture and the benefits it provides to wildlife and the community

Relevance/Issue

The face of agriculture in Douglas County is changing, as land is divided and ranches are parceled off. Public understanding of the values agriculture provides our communities is critical to agricultural sustainability.

Although many Douglas County residents enjoy the rural character of the area, many complain about some aspects of it, such as dust, flies, odors and slow-moving farm vehicles. Farmers and ranchers often find themselves defending their industry, and many ranchers are tempted to sell to land developers or prospective homebuyers lured to an attractive valley of green pastures, livestock and wildlife, with the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada. Although the face of agriculture in Douglas County is changing as land is subdivided, public understanding of the value agriculture provides our communities is critical to its sustainability.

Response/What’s Been Done

Eagles & Agriculture is a multiday celebration of agriculture to teach about agriculture and the benefits it provides to wildlife and the community. The program, a collaborative effort that began in 2003, encourages the conservation and prosperity of ranching in western Nevada, teaches participants about wildlife and the history of agriculture in Carson Valley, and creates an agritourism model that enhances the profitability of local farming and ranching businesses. The four-day 2017 event included an opening reception with live birds; four large Ranch & Eagles tours visiting five ranches; tours of seven other ranches; four smaller 20-passenger bus tours for birders; the 50-passenger bus Owl Prowl tour with a falcon flight demonstration; the Falconer’s Dinner with guest speakers and live birds; a photography workshop; a nature hike and a photo contest. Speakers included University of Nevada, Reno Geography Professor Paul Starrs and several falconers with their birds of prey.

Results/Impact and Partners

Since 2003, 4,600 participants have been educated through the Eagles & Agriculture Program. In 2017, approximately 400 people participated, with some attending more than one day. Impacts of Eagles & Agriculture were measured using an electronic evaluation instrument, with 97 of the 400 participants responding. At least 84 participants, 87 percent of respondents, reported an increase in knowledge:

  • 84 (87 percent) indicated gaining a better understanding of Carson Valley agriculture.
  • 80 (82 percent) indicated having a greater understanding of the benefits agriculture provides to our society.
  • 80 (82 percent) indicated knowing more about the importance of habitat for bird life.
  • 83 (86 percent) indicated having a greater appreciation for the role agriculture plays in providing wildlife habitat.

Partners included Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, Lahontan Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, local farmers and ranchers.

IMPACTS




4,600

participants educated since 2013



$275,000

in estimated annual revenue brought into the local economy



“Most of us eat steak but we don’t understand all the processes that happen before we take the first bite. The ranchers helped us understand this and the Senator especially answered all our questions in a way we could understand.”

— Program participant


Contact: Steve Lewis, 775-782-9960

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.