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Agricultural Programs

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.


Three reservations scattered in the northern rural areas of Nevada are participating in the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) Indian Reservation Program. However, the geographic location of these tribes offers their governments limited opportunities for economic development. Excluding tribal government, agriculture is the primary income for people living within these reservations. The remaining area for economic development is to explore optimum uses of natural resources.

What Has Been Done:

The 2005 Nevada Indian Agriculture and Environmental Summit was held in Reno and provided a venue for Native American Indian agriculture producers to gather at one location for advanced learning and collaborative opportunities. The Summit was a collaborative project with UNCE, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

How to maximize net profit while sustaining natural resources and agriculture was the theme of the 2005 summit hosted by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. Speakers discussed niche and value-added marketing, range and livestock management, income tax structures on reservations, the Farm Bill and invasive plants. About 33 presentations covered 17 subjects that had been identified as relevant to Nevada’s tribes. Attending the conference were 115 people; 34 participated in a field day where producers learned how to freeze brand and pregnancy check cattle.

In 2007, a t-test was used to statistically measure knowledge gain of attendees who participated in the curriculum piloted in the FRTEP. Statistical analysis measured knowledge before the 30-minute curriculum pilot session and after the session, reflecting a significant increase in knowledge in seven of the 16 topic areas.

A paper presented at an international audience was evaluated at the 2007 International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) conference in Polson, Mont. The presentations were evaluated on usefulness, quality and knowledge gained. UNCE presented a paper on strengthening sustainable agricultural practices on Native American lands in the western United States.


The 2005 Nevada Indian Agriculture and Environmental Summit was rated a success by all attending. Knowledge gained is the primary indicator of impact on attendees. With 34 people participating in the cow pregnancy testing workshop, nine experienced an actual "in cow" pregnancy evaluation technique. Five reported this was their first attempt at pregnancy testing, and two said they planned to participate in advanced workshops in the future.

A Memorandum of Agreement with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and the satellite Cooperative Extension office at Pyramid Lake were established. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s MOA was extremely successful, as it creates a partnership of county, tribal and FRTEP funds to create a full-time position and a functional office. This template expanded as UNCE worked with Tribal governments and counties, providing additional opportunities with Nevada tribes.

In 2005, a formal MOA was signed with the Walker River Paiute Tribe. This partnership included Mineral County Cooperative Extension and the UNCE Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program. Through the collaboration, a part-time FRTEP position was created on the reservation to work in youth development and adult agriculture. The first comprehensive needs assessment for the Walker River Reservation was implemented in 2005.

Measuring knowledge before the curriculum pilot session and after the two-hour pilot session during the Intertribal Agricultural Council/Indian Nations Conservation Alliance in 2007 reflected, “Very good session with a balance of historical perspectives of Native American ongoing land tenure and changing dynamics of federal and tribal government politics.”

Further expansion of the program will create professional development training on how to work effectively with Native American Indian Tribes in Nevada, Oregon and Washington for USDA and other agriculture professionals.


Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE), CSREES

Contacts: Jerry Buk, Central/Northeast Area Director, 775-428-0206
Randy Emm, 775-945-3444
Frank Flavin, Western Area Director, 775-856-8404

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