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Programs

Agricultural Programs

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.

Issue:

Invasive weeds can move into an area and out-compete native plants for water and nutrients. Eventually, they can entirely replace native vegetation and create a variety of problems — from fire hazard to erosion and water quality issues. Certain weeds that invade the land around water bodies — called riparian areas — can accelerate erosion and prevent native plants that shade the water from becoming established. Without shade, water temperatures rise and fish populations are damaged.

What has been done:

The Weed Warriors program is one of several Cooperative Extension programs that tackles the growing problem of weeds on public and private land. There are more than 30 volunteer-staffed Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMAs) in Nevada, and the Weed Warrior program provides the training for many of their volunteers. The training helps volunteers better identify and manage weeds in their specific geographic regions. In the Tahoe Basin, for example, two basin-wide inventories and treatment cycles of weeds have been completed on more than 5,500 acres, and weeds were treated on 374 acres. Efforts in the Tahoe Basin eliminated an invasion of purple loosestrife after it had been detected early.

Impact:

In the Truckee Meadows, four sites infested with medusahead were found and prioritized for treatment in 2011. An infestation of jointed goatgrass, another high-priority weed that is new to the area, was also found and treated. Volunteers continue to be an asset to the community, removing a total of 53 cubic yards of weeds from three sites last year. The volunteer labor was valued at $2,850. Weed group efforts resulted in 1,635 acres inventoried; 711 acres treated; 859 acres monitored; and 95.5 acres revegetated. Monitoring of treated sites revealed an overall 80 percent reduction in weed populations.

As a weed warrior you can help on community dig days; help map weed infestations, which help determine the extent of the problem as well as the effectiveness of control efforts; and join special projects to find new outbreaks of invasive weeds. For example, after a series of Cooperative Extension public service announcements on the invasive weed medusahead aired, volunteers with weed training were sent out to map, photograph and collect samples from areas identified by viewers.

Weed Warriors play an important role in educating the public; they collect weed samples and press and mount them for us in the classroom. Many master gardeners go through the weed warrior training but it’s not required.

Contact: Melody Hefner, (775) 784-4848

Agricultural Programs

Programs Program Information

Beef Quality Assurance

The Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program, a national initiative, is dedicated to teaching beef producers safety and quality assurance practices in all aspects of their production.

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.

Eagles and Agriculture

The seven-year-old Eagles and Agriculture program promotes the benefits agriculture provides wildlife and the community in western Nevada. The program enhances participant knowledge of wildlife habitat and local agriculture.

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.

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.