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Agricultural Programs

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.

What Has Been Done:

In 2006 and 2007, UNCE conducted an in-depth feasibility study of a producer-owned slaughter, processing and packing facility (USDA inspected and certified) to be located in the Carson City, Smith Valley or Mason Valley area. A complete feasibility analysis and report was provided to interested parties.

In 2008, UNCE conducted a Niche Livestock Marketing program and feasibility results were presented at a conference in Modesto, California, in March. Currently, UNCE is discussing the program’s status and its next steps, which could include meeting with some existing processing facilities to investigate their interest in expanding.

Educational programming was provided to the Local Livestock Marketing Group (LLMG) in Douglas County regarding business planning, business organization, marketing, packaging and health inspections. The LLMG is a group of livestock producers who are investigating the feasibility of constructing meat processing facilities in order to locally process and market their meat products.


Based on initial programming, two livestock producers have begun processing their beef and marketing it to local restaurants and at farmers markets. The participants evaluated the workshop during which more than 80 percent considered the Local Meat Processing Prospects (LMPP). When asked to evaluate the applicability of the material into their operation or job, most (more than 80 percent) evaluated the seminar from 5 to 7 (1 is not great and 7 is a great deal).

Additionally, all participants said they would attend future workshops and seminars on risk management issues They also felt that the material was informative, and they enjoyed the local presenters and input on marketing meat. The participants considered the information useful, and would like a short review mailed to them.

Six months after the workshop, the participants were mailed a follow-up evaluation about how useful at the workshop had been to them and how much they incorporated into their operation/job. Sixty-eight percent did use some information in their operation/job, and 58 percent now use the information discussed in the LMPP in their operation.

Respondents felt the seminar supported their own enterprise, it was a great workshop and they were glad the producers were on the same page. One respondent said his/her operation increased 10 percent in profits since attending the workshop. Another wanted his/her establishment to participate in a group effort to pursue marketing and processing of local agricultural products.

Contacts: Steve Lewis, Douglas County Extension Educator, 775-782-9960
Kynda Curtis, Agriculture Marketing Specialist, 775-784-6701
Thomas Harris, Community Development Specialist, 775-784-6499

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

Cattle grazing on a ranch

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.

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals

4-H members showing pigs