Pershing County Programs
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.
Although almost every reservation works with agriculture and natural resource professionals, including Cooperative Extension, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Bureau of Land Management, most programs are not specifically designed for American Indians. What’s more, focus group research conducted at the 2003 Nevada Indian Agriculture Summit found that agriculture professionals perceive that there are major obstacles to the adoption of sustainable agriculture and natural resource management practices on Indian reservations. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension subsequently identified a knowledge gap whereby agriculture professionals need to improve their understanding and appreciation of individual tribal histories and cultures in order to work more effectively with American Indians individuals and reservation governments.
What Has Been Done:
In 2008 UNCE faculty completed a three-year Quality of Life assessment of American Indians and agency officials working on reservations in a four-state region of the western United States. This area — including Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington — is known as the Western Range. Based in part on their findings, in 2009 the faculty completed a self-paced, eight-chapter curriculum which provides a thorough examination of the cultural, historical, social, political and economic attributes on selected Indian reservations within the Western Range and addresses the educational needs of agriculture professionals working with American Indian agriculture producers in that region. Faculty taught the curriculum throughout the region and nationally, and follow-up testing showed that agency professionals working in agriculture and natural resource management on Indian reservations came away with increased knowledge of American Indian culture; federal Indian policy over the years; the Doctrine of Discovery and Manifest Destiny; the issues of land tenure, checkerboard and fractionated lands on American Indian reservations; Indian agriculture irrigation projects; the Trust Doctrine; and many related issues.
The program has reached more than 1,200 individuals during the course of this project. Fact-finding trips and reservation tours have resulted in increased participation and support for the curriculum from American Indians. In addition, 98 percent of the contacts made during the development of the curriculum has been comprised of American Indians. Since 2005, UNCE faculty have taught segments of the curriculum within the four-state region as well as at national conferences, including the annual meetings of the Intertribal Agriculture Council and Federal Recognized Tribal Extension Program. In 2006, faculty members taught the program at the Pyramid Lake, Walker River and Duck Valley reservations in Nevada, as well as the Colville, Coeur d’Alene, Umatilla, Yakima, and Warm Springs reservations in other states. In 2007, UNCE taught on site at the Colville, Coeur d’Alene, Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Fort Hall reservations.
Integrated Pest Management
Nevada Department of Agriculture’s records show the use of traditional pesticides continues to increase in the state. Nevada’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program helps agricultural producers, land managers; pest control operators, homeowners and other pest managers learn about and use alternative pest management strategies in a variety of environments and settings.
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.
Noxious Weed Control and Awareness Education
Noxious and invasive weeds are widespread throughout Nevada. They threaten agricultural and rangeland productivity. Rural counties are susceptible to significant adverse economic damage. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension education programs help individuals and weed control organization reduce the abundance of noxious weeds.
Project MAGIC is an innovative, collaborative program designed to help juvenile offenders leave the criminal justice system and become productive members of society. While participating in the program, young people ages 12 to 18 learn: positive communication skills, team building, problem solving and decision making, self-responsibility, conflict resolution, aspiration building and goal setting. Youth also select and conduct a service project designed to benefit their community. Parent sessions include the same life skills.
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) develops and delivers a comprehensive risk management education program to livestock and forage producers in Nevada.
Small business development in rural Nevada
While small business development courses have been offered in Nevada’s urban and metropolitan areas (Washoe and Clark counties) for some time, the need for economic development in rural counties is even more critical. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offered business planning classes to existing and potential small-scale entrepreneurs through a series of interactive video and face-to-face classes.
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.
Statewide Programs *Statewide programs may not be available in all counties
|4-H Youth Development|
|Beef Quality Assurance|
|Food Safety Project|
|Grow Your Own, Nevada|
|Herds and Harvest|
|Invasive Species (Weeds)|
|Nevada Radon Education Program|
|Nevada State GEAR UP|
|Nevada Youth Range Camp|
|People of the Land|
|Pesticide Safety Education Program|
|Riparian and Watershed Assessment and Management|
|Stronger Economies Together|
|Unmanned Aerial Systems|
|Weed Prevention and Management|