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UPDATE Newsletter


Cooperative Extension works with Nevadans and uses research to meet the challenges our communities face, growing a stronger Nevada together.

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Learn more about us and our work in this UPDATE newsletter.

Director's Message

Ivory W. Lyles


I am very happy to be sending you this newsletter. Just coming on board as University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Director last November, I know I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting or talking with you all yet. But, I look forward to the opportunity to do so in the future. In the meanwhile, if you would like to know a bit more about me and my experience with Extension throughout the country, you are welcome to read this short article that was written when I arrived.

In this newsletter, you'll read about just a handful of the many important things that Cooperative Extension is busy doing throughout the state. You'll also learn more about what I intend to be one of my major focuses - our Nevada 4-H Camp. On my first visit to the camp, I was awestruck, standing there on the south shore of Lake Tahoe. But, I also noticed that the property needs some work and updating.

I am very grateful to have our State 4-H Program Director Carrie Stark and our long-standing 4-H Advisory Council who continue to help advise us on a number of issues regarding management and operations of the camp. To help provide support and guidance for the future of the camp facilities, I am also forming a new "Friends of 4-H Camp" group. It is my hope that this group will help guide and support our efforts to make sure this camp has the facilities needed to continue to provide the exceptional camp and learning opportunities to our 4-H youth and others for decades to come. We are also looking forward to the Legislature considering our request for a budget increase to support 4-H program enhancements and are optimistic our representatives will support this request.

I also wanted you to know that our Cooperative Extension Advisory Council is back up and running, and met in February in Las Vegas. Our next meeting will be held in August in Reno. I sincerely appreciate all those who have generously agreed to help serve on this Council and offer us their support.

I want to thank all of you for your continued interest in and support of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. In order to continue to grow our Extension programs we will continue to rely on your assistance and support. Please contact Director of Development Mitch Klaich, 775-682-6490, to learn more about the various ways you can support our work.

I hope you enjoy reading more about the Nevada 4-H Camp and some of our other Extension activities in this newsletter, and would welcome the opportunity to hear from you. Please feel free to drop me an email or give me a call anytime.


Ivory W. Lyles
Associate Dean for Engagement and Director of Cooperative Extension
Phone: 775-784-7070 | Email:

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Children, Youth & Families | The Nevada 4-H Camp

Kayackers on Lake Tahoe Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.

On the shores of Lake Tahoe, arguably the most exceptional 4-H camp setting in the country

Owned and operated by the University of Nevada, Reno, the Nevada 4-H Camp is on 32 acres at the south shore of Lake Tahoe. It has a rich tradition as a setting for youth to build lifelong camp memories and learn life, leadership and citizenship skills.

The diverse forest, meadow and beach ecosystems provide an unparalleled opportunity for outdoor environmental education and STEM, hands-on learning activities. There's also plenty of time for participating in and learning about healthy, physical activities, such as shooting sports, kayaking, swimming, volleyball and more. Dating back to the first 4-H summer camp held on the property in 1939, thousands of Nevada youth have benefitted from the camp.

"It is a gem that we treasure," said Cooperative Extension Director Ivory Lyles, "and that we know we must continue to maintain and update to benefit generations to come."

4-H campers near camp sign Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.
Two 4-H campers in a kayak on Lake Tahoe Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.

Generosity of the past

In 1938, Mr. and Mrs. William Rabe recognized that an annual camp would benefit Nevada's young people, and so they sold 30 acres of heavily wooded land that extended to the shores of Lake Tahoe to the Nevada Farm Bureau to establish a permanent 4-H Camp. After contributions from the Nevada Farm Bureau, University of Nevada and the U.S. Forest Service allowed construction of an access road and some initial buildings, 4-H clubs camped at the site for the first time in 1939.

The ownership of the camp was transferred to the State of Nevada under the direction of the Agricultural Extension Service and University of Nevada Board of Regents in 1953. And in 1947, an additional 3.29 acres of Lake Tahoe shorefront was deeded from D. Park to the State of Nevada, adding a beach to the property.

Adding to the camp's 14 cabins, in 2006, a new solar-powered two-story lodge, built under strictest environmental rules and "green" building guidelines was constructed, allowing the camp to accommodate as many as 224 campers. In 2009, the Marshall R. Matley Foundation and the H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation provided funds that allowed for construction of a permanent outdoor eating structure. But shortly after, the Great Recession hit, and the camp has since received little maintenance or updating.

4-H camp sign

Joanne Foster Elston (center), pictured eating watermelon at camp, serves on our Cooperative Extension and 4-H Camp Advisory Councils and has been active in and an advocate for 4-H and Cooperative Extension for decades.

4-H campers eating watermelon together

Looking to the future

Today, the 14 cabins "need a major facelift," according to Lyles. The boys' cabins don't even have connected restrooms, requiring them to go outside to use the facilities, even in the middle of the night, and seriously restricting use of the cabins in the winter. And, there is no facility adequate to host large events.

Lyles points out that updates are needed not just for the safety and benefit of 4-H youth, but for all the others that use the camp. Many youth organizations use the facilities, including National Guard Youth , Nevada Diabetes Association Youth , Nevada Girls State , and many others. And although 4-H, FFA and youth groups are given preference, adult groups also hold organization retreats and other activities at the camp.

"This is a state asset that we can't neglect," Lyles said. "We simply have to keep it maintained and bring it to current-day standards so that it will be used and enjoyed to its full potential."

Lyles is also looking at the management and staffing of the camp. He thinks the facility is understaffed to maintain it and continue to run quality programs for youth. He hopes to secure additional funds or an endowment to help provide for additional camp and program management.

4-H Summer Camps

Learn more about 4-H camp

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4-H logo

Program Briefs

Natural Resources | Living With Fire

Children toss wool socks filled with beans at orange Velcro spots on a miniature fake house Children take turns throwing "embers" at Velcro spots on The Ember House while learning about spots where embers can start a fire on a real house. Photo by Ashley Andrews.

This month, Cooperative Extension's Living With Fire Program is partnering with other agencies to encourage Nevada communities to prepare and protect themselves as part of Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month. This year's theme is "Prepare Now! Wildfire Knows No Season." The month features several events statewide to educate and assist homeowners in making their homes safer from the threat of wildfire. The annual Battle Born Trail Series: Fire Up for Firefighters Multi-Hour Event is an organized run and held in Reno on May 6. At the Junk the Junipers event on May 12, residents removed highly flammable vegetation, such as junipers, that are close to their homes and brought them to specified locations in Silver Lake and Washoe Valley in northern Nevada to be chipped for use as mulch. The Ember House, a bean-bag-toss game, and the Juniper Toss, a game where participants throw fake juniper trees into a trash can, will be used at several events to educate children and their parents on wildfire awareness.

The Living With Fire Program partners with at least 220 entities, including local, state and federal firefighting agencies; public safety agencies; community organizations; and local businesses. And with the wildfire threat year-round, program staff keep busy year-round with materials, presentations, workshops and events to teach Nevadans how to live more safely in high-wildfire-hazard environments. The program has received multiple regional and national awards, and program materials and social media have been used in 25 other states and in 25 countries.

Learn more about Living With Fire

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Agriculture | Capital City Farm Days

Youth at table with plant samples At Capital City Farm Days, elementary-age youth learn about various types of vegetation in Nevada.

On April 19-20, kids in Carson City, Storey County, Douglas County and Dayton Valley learned about Nevada agriculture, where food and fiber come from, and environmental issues related to agriculture at Capital City Farm Days, hosted by Cooperative Extension's Nevada 4-H Youth Development Program. There were more than 30 presentations and demonstrations, wild horses, burros, and even a visit from "Moolissa," the Department of Agriculture's life-size interactive milking cow model. In addition, Future Farmers of America and 4-H youth brought their livestock project animals and shared about what it takes to raise a market animal.

Adults also got the chance to learn more about Nevada's agriculture at the Governor's Conference on Agriculture , April 27, in Las Vegas. There was a vendor show in which Cooperative Extension and the University's College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources had a booth providing information and answering questions. Attendees also learned about growing agribusinesses in Nevada, ensuring a safe food supply, attracting talent and fueling innovation for Nevada food and agriculture, and crossing sector lines.

Learn more about our
agriculture programs

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Community & Economic Development | Lincoln County Workforce Development

Young adults watching a professional make a lamp Lincoln County Workforce Development Program participants learn how to make lamps as part of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) occupational training.

Extension and its partners are helping underemployed and unemployed adults and at-risk youth gain education, training and sustainable jobs through the Lincoln County Workforce Development Program. In 2017, the program trained 31 adults, of which 17 became employed, seven completed occupational training, and 10 received on-the-job training. The project also helped 37 youth learn how to make and follow career plans. The project held one-on-one consultations with all participants to gauge skills, interests, education levels and social barriers. Participants learned how to identify a fulfilling career and received on-the-job training and employment counseling. In addition, businesses created work experience positions for participants, and many of the participants received tutoring.

But helping youth and adults wasn't the program's only activity. Program staff also collaborated with the Lincoln County Regional Development Authority to help with economic development, increase job opportunities, and obtain funding. In addition, staff worked with the Lincoln Communities Action Team on efforts to increase tourism and use education to build businesses and sustainability.

Learn more about our
Workforce Development Program

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Health & Nutrition | Little Books and Little Cooks

Children scooping soil from a wheelbarrow into a carton Parents and their children plant seeds at Little Books and Little Cooks' Read, Plant, Eat event at Extension's Lifelong Learning Center in Las Vegas. Photo by Yae Bin Kim.

Cooperative Extension's Little Books and Little Cooks Program is offering Clark, Washoe and Lincoln County preschool children and their parents the chance to cook and read stories together. Extension provides the books, recipes and cooking instructions.

The program, which offers a new book and a new recipe each week for seven weeks and sometimes includes other events, is designed to help families learn about healthy eating and nutrition, gain positive parent-child interaction skills, and practice school readiness skills. In 2017, six new books and recipes were added, and the curriculum was also used in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Most recently, the series ran through March and April at four elementary schools and the Las Vegas Library in Clark County. It will also run through April and May at two elementary schools and a Head Start Program in Washoe County; and through June and July at locations in Pioche and Panaca in Lincoln County.

The Clark County Program team also presented information at several farmers market events and worked with Three Square Food Bank. On April 7, the program held the third annual Read, Plant, Eat event at Extension's Lifelong Learning Center, where participants planted seeds, read books about planting, cooked with kids, did garden yoga and walked a trail.

Learn more about
Little Books and Little Cooks

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Horticulture | Master Gardeners

A rose garden Master Gardeners in both northern and southern Nevada offer training on growing and pruning different rose varieties, including at the Master Gardener Rose Garden in Clark County. Photo by Cooperative Extension.

For any and all questions related to growing plants in Nevada, Cooperative Extension's Master Gardeners are available to help. In fact, in 2017 alone, Master Gardeners throughout the state volunteered 44,913 hours, valued at $1,084,200. To become a Master Gardener, they each had to complete 50 to 80 hours of basic training, which included both coursework and hands-on training, and then volunteer for at least 50 hours. To keep their Master Gardener status, each Master Gardener has to contribute at least 30 hours each year, either volunteering or completing continuing education.

Northern Nevada's new Master Gardeners just finished an 11-week training series, a take-home exam and a training on how to help walk-in customers with questions. From here, they will go on to completing their 50 volunteer hours to become certified. Southern Nevada's Master Gardener Program will begin taking applications this month for training this fall.

Between trainings, Master Gardeners are providing research-based horticulture information through a variety of activities, such as teaching classes; giving garden tours; staffing booths at community events; and answering questions in person, on the telephone and via email at Extension offices. In addition, Master Gardeners in each county perform activities and events specific to the county.

Learn more about Master Gardeners

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It is with heavy hearts that our Extension family shares that

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Professor James "Kent" McAdoo

unexpectedly passed away January 10, 2018.

Kent McAdooKent McAdoo: respected colleague, treasured friend.

Kent was a Rangeland Resources Specialist based in Elko County, whose work and research with Extension over the past 19 years had impacts that reached far beyond Elko, beyond Nevada, and beyond the United States.

Kent strived to achieve balanced collaborative approaches for rangeland issues and develop appropriate adaptive natural resources management strategies. He worked with and provided education to public agency land managers, ranchers and other land users to improve grazing management to benefit livestock production and all rangeland uses.

Kent helped tackle important challenges such as managing land to keep riparian areas properly functioning, managing invasive weeds, managing vegetation to minimize destruction and impacts of wildfire, and maintaining a wide diversity of wildlife species on our rangelands. He played a key role in addressing the sage-grouse issue, and finding solutions for collaborative approaches to preserve other sensitive species, such as the Columbia spotted frog.

Kent also took great joy in educating youth on rangeland and natural resources management through the Nevada Youth Range Camp, pictured left. He also worked with colleagues to educate international land managers, traveling to Morocco, and teaching international visitors to Nevada from 21 different countries through the International Rangeland Seminar.

Kent authored or co-authored more than 30 publications while at Extension, including curricula, fact sheets and more, as well as many journal articles. He secured numerous grants to support his collaborative projects and research. His work was also recognized with numerous awards, including the University's "Distinguished Outreach Faculty Award" in 2016.

To all of us at Extension, Kent offered insightful, gentle mentoring; a level-headed, pragmatic approach to addressing challenges; humble and unassuming leadership when we asked him to lead; warm, caring friendship; and a delightful sense of humor. We grieve Kent's passing, but celebrate and remember the tremendous impact he had on all of us, and on so many others, through his work and his friendship. We offer our sincerest condolences to his wife Cathy, son Caleb, daughter Jamie and the entire extended McAdoo family. Rest in peace, Kent, our colleague, our friend.

For more information on how you can support the Kent McAdoo memorial scholarship or other statewide initiatives within Cooperative Extension please contact Mitch Klaich, director of development, at 775-682-6490.

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