Extension News from the West

Gardening in Nevada class discusses less painful gardening

Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Kathy Williams takes a less painful approach to gardening. Extension offers a class on gardening safety and best practices Feb. 27. Photo by Wendy Hanson Mazet.

University teams up with Washoe Parks and Bartley Ranch to offer free series

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and their Certified Master Gardeners offer free gardening classes in February and March. "Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series” is for anyone who wants to garden — those with big yards, small yards, or just patio or balcony space. The classes, offered in partnership with Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space, run 6 — 8 p.m., every Tuesday, Feb. 20 — March 27, at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road in Reno.

“Northern Nevada has an ever-changing, unpredictable climate,” Cooperative Extension Horticulturalist and Master Gardener Coordinator Wendy Hanson Mazet said. “Learning to grow plants successfully here can be a challenge. Through this series, anyone interested in gardening and landscaping has the chance to learn from Master Gardeners and other successful Nevada gardeners who have decades of experience gardening here.”

The classes are taught by Cooperative Extension horticulturists, experts and certified Master Gardener volunteers, as well as local business owners. Some classes offer International Society of Arboriculture continuing education credits. The next three classes are:

  • Feb. 27: Gardening is a full contact sport — Certified Arborist, Commercial Pesticide Applicator and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Dale Hildebrandt will cover basic safety measures and best practices to make gardening less painful.
  • March 6: Training and pruning fruit trees — Certified Arborist and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Michael Janik will discuss the basics of fruit tree pruning, pruning to maximize production and the art of espalier (training fruit trees to grow on trellises or against a flat surface). This class offers continuing education credits.
  • March 13: Choosing the right tomato for you — Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Pamela Van Hoozer will explain how to custom pick tomatoes for your garden.

For more information on “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series,” or for general horticultural inquiries, contact University of Nevada Cooperative Extension at 775-784-4848 or mastergardeners@unce.unr.edu, or visit the Cooperative Extension website. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

Free landscape trainings offered in Spanish and English

Cooperative Extension offers “Planting and watering” Feb. 28 as part of a series of free landscaping trainings in Spanish and English. Photo by M.L. Robinson, Cooperative Extension.

Cooperative Extension classes teach landscaping skills and solutions to common landscape problems

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is offering free landscaping trainings in both Spanish and English for new and experienced landscapers. The workshops offer solutions to common landscape problems and practical skills for landscapers and others in the green industry.

“These classes are a good opportunity for people in the horticulture field to add to their knowledge base,” said Cooperative Extension Horticulture Specialist M.L. Robinson, who is teaching some of the classes. “Many employers even offer incentives to encourage employees to take these classes.”

The workshops will be offered 5:30 — 8:30 p.m., every Wednesday, Feb. 28 — March 28 at the Cark County Cooperative Extension office, 8050 Paradise Road, Suite 100, in Las Vegas. Topics include:

  • Feb. 28: Planting and watering
  • March 7: Plant selection: what works where and why
  • March 21: Pruning: trees and shrubs
  • March 28: Using pesticides safely

Participants will receive a certificate for each class taken. The trainings will also include materials focusing on improving English and math skills, meeting job expectations, paying attention to details, and practicing safety and worker protection. They are open to both public and private employers, and to the general public. The workshops are funded by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service through the Nevada Division of Forestry.

Those interested in attending can register by calling 702-275-5580 (Spanish) or 702-257-5522 (English and Spanish). Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the trainings they intend to attend.

Community Wildfire Protection Plans focus of upcoming annual conference

Community Wildfire Protection Plans can include the use of defensible space and noncombustible building materials. Photo by Cooperative Extension.

Cooperative Extension hosts fourth annual Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities Conference

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will hold the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities Fourth Annual Conference 8 a.m. — 5 p.m., March 12, at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, 3800 S. Virginia St. in Reno. Registration is almost full, but a few spots are still available. Participants represent the many stakeholders in Nevada’s wildland-urban interface fire issue, including members of wildfire-prone communities; local fire service representatives; local, state and federal agencies; and Community Emergency Response Team volunteers from Carson City, Douglas and Washoe Counties. The conference is free to the public, but attendees must register by March 5.

“At this year’s conference, we will discuss how to plan and complete or update a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which can serve as a roadmap for completing projects to better prepare a community and its residents for wildfire,” said Natural Resource Specialist Ed Smith, Living With Fire Program director.

The Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities began as part of Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program, founded in 1997 to teach homeowners how to live more safely in Nevada’s high wildfire-hazard environments. The goal of The Network is to connect interested community members with the resources and partners they need so they can reduce their wildfire threat, be better prepared to evacuate when a wildfire occurs, and ultimately work toward becoming fire adapted. During this year’s conference, The Network will be transferred from Cooperative Extension to the Nevada Division of Forestry with oversight by the Nevada Fire Board.

“We are excited to see this transition become finalized, advancing the mission of The Network,” said Smith.

A continental breakfast, lunch, refreshments and conference materials will be provided. For more information or to register, visit the Living With Fire website or call Jamie Roice-Gomes, Living With Fire Program manager and outreach coordinator, at 775-336-0261.

The conference is made possible by funding from a Community Assistance Agreement with the Bureau of Land Management Nevada State Office, and through a State Fire Assistance Grant from the Nevada Division of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service. Additional support was provided by a Good Neighbor Citizenship Company Grant from State Farm Insurance.

Gardening in Nevada class discusses controlling nuisance weeds

Cooperative Extension offers “Identifying and controlling nuisance weeds” Feb. 20 as part of the Gardening in Nevada series. Photo by Wendy Hanson Mazet, Cooperative Extension.

University teams up with Washoe Parks and Bartley Ranch to offer free series

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and their Certified Master Gardeners offer free gardening classes in February and March. “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series” is for anyone who wants to garden — those with big yards, small yards, or just patio or balcony space. The classes, offered in partnership with Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space, run 6 — 8 p.m., every Tuesday, Feb. 20 — March 27, at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road in Reno.

“Northern Nevada has an ever-changing, unpredictable climate,” Cooperative Extension Horticulturalist and Master Gardener Coordinator Wendy Hanson Mazet said. “Learning to grow plants successfully here can be a challenge. Through this series, anyone interested in gardening and landscaping has the chance to learn from Master Gardeners and other successful Nevada gardeners who have decades of experience gardening here.”

The classes are taught by Cooperative Extension horticulturists, experts and certified Master Gardener volunteers, as well as local business owners. Some classes offer International Society of Arboriculture continuing education credits. The next three classes are:

  • Feb. 20: Identifying and controlling nuisance weeds — Urban Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Safety Education Coordinator Melody Hefner will explain the differences between noxious and nuisance weeds, ways to identify common noxious and nuisance weeds in the Truckee Meadows, and control methods for noxious and nuisance weeds.
  • Feb. 27: Gardening is a full contact sport — Certified Arborist, Commercial Pesticide Applicator and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Dale Hildebrandt will cover basic safety measures and best practices to make gardening less painful.
  • March 6: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees — Certified Arborist and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Michael Janik will discuss the basics of fruit tree pruning, pruning to maximize production and the art of espalier (training fruit trees to grow on trellises or against a flat surface). This class offers continuing education credits.

For more information on “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series,” or for general horticultural inquiries, contact University of Nevada Cooperative Extension at 775-784-4848 or mastergardeners@unce.unr.edu, or visit the Cooperative Extension website. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

Free kits to test for deadly gas available through February

Test kits include a postage-paid mailer, instructions, a datasheet and the test device. Nearly 25 percent of homes tested in Nevada found radon concentrations at or above the EPA action level.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers free test kits at public meetings statewide

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program is offering free short-term radon test kits to Nevadans until Feb. 28. Radon test kits are available at Cooperative Extension offices and partnering locations, as well as at presentations statewide.

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless. It comes from the ground and can accumulate in homes, raising the risk of lung cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates 21,000 Americans die each year from radon-caused lung cancer, killing more people than secondhand smoke, drunk driving, house fires and unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning combined.

In Nevada, one in four homes tested show radon concentrations at or above the EPA action level. According to experts, living in a home with radon concentrations at the action level poses a risk of developing lung cancer similar to the risk posed by smoking about half a pack of cigarettes a day.

The risk of radon-caused lung cancer can be reduced. A simple three-day test can determine if a house has a radon problem, and winter is an ideal time to test a home for radon. If radon problems are found, they can be fixed.

Scheduled presentations are:

  • Feb. 15 at the Storey County Senior Center, 100 Mill St., Virginia City, at 12:45 p.m.
  • Feb. 21 at Incline Village GID, Public Works, 1220 Sweetwater Road, Incline Village, at 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 24 at Northwest Reno Library, 2325 Robb Drive, Reno, at 2 p.m.

Free test kits are available through Feb. 28 at the following northern Nevada locations:

  • Carson City/Storey County Cooperative Extension, 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15, Carson City.
  • Carson Tahoe Cancer Resource Center, 1535 Medical Parkway, Carson City.
  • Churchill County Cooperative Extension, 111 Sheckler Road, Fallon.
  • Douglas County Cooperative Extension, 1325 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville.
  • Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District, 931 Mitch Drive, Gardnerville.
  • Genoa Town Office, 2289 Main St., Genoa.
  • Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market St., Stateline.
  • Elko County Cooperative Extension, 701 Walnut St., Elko.
  • City of West Wendover City Hall, 1111 N. Gene L. Jones Way, West Wendover.
  • Humboldt County Cooperative Extension, 1085 Fairgrounds Road, Winnemucca.
  • Lander County Cooperative Extension, 815 N. Second St., Battle Mountain.
  • Lyon County Cooperative Extension, 504 S. Main St., Yerington.
  • Fernley City Hall, 595 Silver Lace Blvd., Fernley.
  • Central Lyon County Fire District, 231 Corral Drive, Dayton.
  • Mineral County Cooperative Extension, 205 S. A St., Hawthorne.
  • Pershing County Cooperative Extension, 810 Sixth St., Lovelock.
  • Storey County Library, 175 E. Carson St., Virginia City.
  • Washoe County Cooperative Extension, 4955 Energy Way, Reno.
  • Sun Valley General Improvement District, 5000 Sun Valley Blvd., Sun Valley.
  • Incline Village Recreation Center, 980 Incline Way, Incline Village.

In southern Nevada, free test kits are available through Feb. 28 at the following locations:

  • Clark County Cooperative Extension 8050 Paradise Road, Suite 100, Las Vegas.
  • Northeast Clark County Cooperative Extension, 1897 N. Moapa Valley Blvd., Logandale.
  • Southern Clark County Cooperative Extension, 55 Civic Way, Laughlin.
  • Eureka County Cooperative Extension, 701 S. Main St., Eureka.
  • Lincoln County Cooperative Extension, 360 Lincoln St., Caliente.
  • White Pine County Cooperative Extension, 995 Campton St., Ely.

Nevadans can also order free test kits online, or by mailing in the Radon Test Kit Order form. Ordered test kits will require $4 for shipping.

For more information, call the Radon Hotline at 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610) or visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website. Cooperative Extension, the EPA and the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health urge all Nevadans to test their homes for radon.

The Nevada Radon Education Program is a program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and is funded by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health through Grant Number K1-96963518-0 from the EPA. Since the program began in 2007, more than 26,000 homes have been tested in Nevada.

Gardening in Nevada class discusses matching trees to gardener’s needs

Cooperative Extension offers “Is this the right tree?” Feb. 13 as part of the Gardening in Nevada series. Photo by Wendy Hanson Mazet, Cooperative Extension.

University teams up with Washoe Parks and Bartley Ranch to offer free series

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and their Certified Master Gardeners offer free gardening classes in February and March. “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series” is for anyone who wants to garden — those with big yards, small yards, or just patio or balcony space. The classes, offered in partnership with Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space, run 6 — 8 p.m., every Tuesday, Feb. 13 — March 27, at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road in Reno.

“Northern Nevada has an ever-changing, unpredictable climate,” Cooperative Extension Horticulturalist and Master Gardener Coordinator Wendy Hanson Mazet said. “Learning to grow plants successfully here can be a challenge. Through this series, anyone interested in gardening and landscaping has the chance to learn from Master Gardeners and other successful Nevada gardeners who have decades of experience gardening here.”

The classes are taught by Cooperative Extension horticulturists, experts and certified Master Gardener volunteers, as well as local business owners. Some classes offer International Society of Arboriculture continuing education credits. The next three classes are:

  • Feb. 13: Is this the right tree? — Certified Arborist and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Rod Haulenbeek will discuss how to combine plant characteristics and your needs to get the best fit. This class offers continuing education credits.
  • Feb. 20: Identifying and controlling nuisance weeds — Urban Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Safety Education Coordinator Melody Hefner will explain the differences between noxious and nuisance weeds, ways to identify common noxious and nuisance weeds in the Truckee Meadows, and control methods for noxious and nuisance weeds.
  • Feb. 27: Gardening is a full contact sport — Certified Arborist, Commercial Pesticide Applicator and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Dale Hildebrandt will cover basic safety measures and best practices to make gardening less painful.

For more information on “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series,” or for general horticultural inquiries, contact University of Nevada Cooperative Extension at 775-784-4848 or mastergardeners@unce.unr.edu, or visit the Cooperative Extension website. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

Cooperative Extension offers program on combating Nevada’s bedbug problems

A free educational program on detecting, preventing and controlling bedbugs will be offered by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Feb. 21. Photo by Dawn H. Gouge, University of Arizona.

Feb. 21 presentation offered at eight locations statewide for community leaders and others.

As the number of families in Nevada being affected by bedbugs continues to increase, eight University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices across the state will offer a free program Feb. 21, aimed at providing the most recent research-based information on prevention, detection and control measures.

The program will include discussion on school, hospital, hotel and restaurant control measures; detection, inspection and monitoring strategies; and Nevada pesticide regulations. Those responsible for bedbug prevention, detection and control should attend, including school leaders, public housing managers, health and hospital professionals, child care operators, senior center directors, government officials, and pesticide applicators.

The program will be presented 8:30 a.m. — 5 p.m. at the following University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices:

  • Clark County, 8050 Paradise Road, Suite 100, Las Vegas
  • Lander County, 815 N. Second St., Battle Mountain
  • Lyon County, 504 S. Main St., Yerington
  • Churchill County, 111 Sheckler Road, Fallon
  • Washoe County, 4955 Energy Way, Reno
  • Carson County, 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15, Carson City
  • Douglas County, 1325 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville
  • Elko County, 701 Walnut St., Elko

“Bedbugs are hitchhikers. Those who work with the public should monitor their workplaces regularly,” said Lisa K. Taylor, University of Nevada Reno assistant professor and Extension educator in Lander County. “Without monitoring and appropriate control measures in place, they spread very rapidly.”

Joy Newton, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension entomologist and Extension educator in Lyon County, secured a three-year U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to fund the program and to be able to offer it free of charge. Newton serves on the Western Region Bedbug Working Group, a group of professionals who collaborate in research and Extension to share science-based education for the management of bedbugs.

Pesticide applicators who attend the program can also obtain Continuing Education Units (CEUs) free of charge. Registration and the complete agenda are available online. For more information, contact Joy Newton at newtonj@unce.unr.edu or 775-463-6541.

Carson Valley student places first in National Radon Poster Contest

Carson Valley Middle School’s Jacob Pipho, from Carson City, placed first in the 2018 National Radon Poster Contest with his poster, “The Element of Surprise.”

Jacob Pipho awarded for poster urging communities to test for radon

Carson Valley Middle School eighth-grader Jacob Pipho, from Carson City, placed first in the National Radon Poster Contest, after taking home first place in the Nevada Radon Poster Contest. He competed against student winners from several other states and will receive $1,000 for his poster, “The Element of Surprise.”

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program conducts the Nevada Radon Poster Contest each year to educate students and their families on the dangers of radon in the home, and to encourage Nevadans to test their homes for radon, a radioactive, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that comes from the ground. Radon can accumulate in homes and can cause lung cancer. Free test kits are available at Cooperative Extension offices and partner locations throughout the state until the end of February.

In addition to $1,000, Pipho will receive $75 for placing first in the statewide contest. His teacher, Lin Falkner, will receive $50 for classroom supplies. This is the second time that one of Falkner’s students has won the National Radon Poster Contest, with former student Chris Rowe winning in 2016.

Eighth-grader Audrey Ruckman, also from Carson Valley Middle School, placed third in the statewide contest with her poster, “Space Test.” She will receive $45, and her teacher, Michelle Norris, will receive $20 for classroom supplies, which she has chosen to donate back to the Radon Education Program. The Carson Valley student winners and their teachers will receive their awards following an educational presentation on the dangers of radon at 6 p.m., Feb. 8 at CVIC, 1604 Esmeralda Ave. in Minden.

Amaya Wilson, from Silverland Middle School in Fernley, placed second in the Nevada contest with her poster, “Radon is Deadly.” She and her teacher, Megan Holmes were recognized at the Jan. 3 Fernley City Council meeting. Wilson will receive $60, and Holmes will receive $35 for classroom supplies.

The National Radon Poster Contest is cosponsored by the American Lung Association and the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The American Lung Association provides $1,500 in prize money for the three winning posters.

This is the ninth year that the Nevada Radon Education Program has held the Nevada Radon Poster Contest, open to children ages 9 to 14, which determines the state winner who is then allowed to compete in the national contest. The Nevada contest is sponsored by the Nevada Radon Education Program, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

This year’s Nevada Radon Poster Contest had 131 entries. Posters were judged on accuracy of information, visual communication of the topic, reproducibility and originality. Voting for the contest took place on the Nevada Radon Education’s Facebook page; and by polling of Cooperative Extension faculty and staff, representatives from the Radiation Control Program of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, Nevada radon industry professionals, representatives from the Nevada Radon Education Program, and other stakeholders.

The Nevada Radon Education Program is a program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and is funded by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. Since the program began in 2007, more than 26,000 homes have been tested in Nevada.

For more information, visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website, or call the Radon Hotline at 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610).

Registration open for wildfire awareness multi-hour race

2017 racers ran to bring awareness of fire danger and to raise funds to help firefighters. This year’s event is May 6 at Bartley Ranch Regional Park in Reno. Photo by Cooperative Extension.

Event to raise money to help injured firefighters and the families of fallen firefighters

Registration is open for the Battle Born Trail Series: Fire Up for Firefighters Multi-Hour Event, hosted by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and Desert Sky Adventures. All proceeds from the race will benefit Nevada fallen firefighters’ families and local firefighters injured in the line of duty via the Nevada Local Assistance State Team Program.

“We’re excited to invite everyone to enjoy this festive, family-friendly event,” said Sonya Sistare, Living With Fire Program senior manager.

The event, formerly known as the Northern Nevada Wildfire Awareness Race, is May 6, at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road in Reno. Participants can choose how long they want to run, either one, three, six or 12 hours, and then they see how many laps around the one-mile flat, dirt trail loop they can run in the chosen amount of time. Participants can register as solo runners or as teams.

Costs vary per chosen race time and ticket purchase date. Cost includes a t-shirt, goodie bag, finisher’s medal, snacks, race photos and refreshments, including refreshments courtesy of the Brewer’s Cabinet. For pricing information, more race information or to register, visit the Battle Born Trail Series website.

The event will also include a variety of fire engines and displays of educational information, along with a visit from Smokey Bear.

“Friends and family are encouraged to come out and cheer on the runners, visit with firefighter representatives, have a picnic in Nevada’s outdoor beauty and support this worthy cause,” Sistare said.

The Nevada Local Assistance State Team Program is a collaborative effort among local, state and federal firefighting entities. The proceeds of the race will help their efforts to support families’ needs during times of loss or recovery of injured or fallen firefighters.

The race is part of the activities for Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month in May, which is a collaborative effort of local, state and federal firefighting agencies; University of Nevada Cooperative Extension; and many others.

Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program, which began in 1997, teaches homeowners how to live more safely with the wildfire threat. The program has received numerous national awards, and been credited with spurring actions that have saved many homes. For more information about Living With Fire, visit the Living With Fire website, or contact Jamie Roice-Gomes at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, roicej@unce.unr.edu or 775-336-0261.

Cooperative Extension’s Gardening in Nevada classes return in February

Cooperative Extension offers “Selecting and caring for fruit trees” Feb. 6 as part of the Gardening in Nevada series. Photo by Wendy Hanson Mazet, Cooperative Extension.

University teams up with Washoe Parks and Bartley Ranch to offer free series

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and their Certified Master Gardeners offer free gardening classes in February and March. “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series” is for anyone who wants to garden — those with big yards, small yards, or just patio or balcony space. The classes, offered in partnership with Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space, run 6 — 8 p.m., every Tuesday, Feb. 6 — March 27, at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road in Reno.

“Northern Nevada has an ever-changing, unpredictable climate,” Cooperative Extension Horticulturalist and Master Gardener Coordinator Wendy Hanson Mazet said. “Learning to grow plants successfully here can be a challenge. Through this series, anyone interested in gardening and landscaping has the chance to learn from Master Gardeners and other successful Nevada gardeners who have decades of experience gardening here.”

The classes are taught by Cooperative Extension horticulturists, experts and certified Master Gardener volunteers, as well as local business owners. Some classes offer International Society of Arboriculture continuing education credits. Classes include:

  • Feb. 6: Selecting and caring for fruit trees — Certified Arborist and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Michael Janik, who grows more than 100 varieties of fruit trees in northern Nevada, will give tips on fruit tree selection, planting, maintenance, and soil and pest management. This class offers continuing education credits.
  • Feb. 13: Is this the right tree? — Certified Arborist and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Rod Haulenbeek will discuss how to combine plant characteristics and your needs to get the best fit. This class offers continuing education credits.
  • Feb. 20: Identifying and controlling nuisance weeds — Urban Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Safety Education Coordinator Melody Hefner will explain the differences between noxious and nuisance weeds, ways to identify common noxious and nuisance weeds in the Truckee Meadows, and control methods for noxious and nuisance weeds.
  • Feb. 27: Gardening is a full contact sport: Certified Arborist, Commercial Pesticide Applicator and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Dale Hildebrandt will cover basic safety measures and best practices to make gardening less painful.
  • March 6: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees — Certified Arborist and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Michael Janik will discuss the basics of fruit tree pruning, pruning to maximize production and the art of espalier (training fruit trees to grow on trellises or against a flat surface). This class offers continuing education credits.
  • March 13: Choosing the right tomato for you — Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Pamela Van Hoozer will explain how to custom pick tomatoes for your garden.
  • March 20: Gourmet Gardening — Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Whitney Lauren will discuss growing herbs in your garden, landscape and in containers.
  • March 27: Successful Vegetable Gardening — Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Randy Robison will share how he produces abundant crops and tips on improving garden soil, crop rotation, companion planting and gardening in raised beds.

For more information on “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series,” or for general horticultural inquiries, contact University of Nevada Cooperative Extension at 775-784-4848 or mastergardeners@unce.unr.edu, or visit the Cooperative Extension website. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

Cooperative Extension educator to be recognized for watershed conservation efforts

Douglas County Extension Educator Steve Lewis will be recognized for his more than 28 years of watershed conservation. Photo by Michele Lewis.

University’s Steve Lewis awarded for work with Carson River watershed

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Douglas County Extension educator Steve Lewis will be recognized for more than 28 years of conservation efforts next month, when he receives the Andy Aldax Award for Exemplary Service in Conservation and Protection of the Carson River Watershed. The award, given annually by the Carson Water Subconservancy District since 2007, is given to individuals or organizations who have been actively involved in Carson River watershed conservation activities for 10 or more years, have worked toward the district’s Carson River Watershed Vision, and live or work in the watershed. Lewis will receive the award at the district’s Feb. 21 board meeting.

“I am most humbled by this recognition as I join a list of individuals who have worked with the future in mind for the watershed we want to create,” he said.

Lewis has been involved with more than 17 groups that actively work to educate and participate in conservation efforts for Carson River management and preservation. He has educated agriculture producers, land managers, decision-makers, businesses and communities on many topics related to the watershed, including flood safety in master-planning, groundwater management, agriculture benefits to both wildlife and communities, sage-grouse conservation and wildfire safety.

In addition, Lewis has organized land conservation meetings and coordinated planning workshops with churches, schools and community groups, participating in over 4,000 meetings. He also wrote multiple fact sheets and publications, including working with Extension Water Resources Specialist John Cobourn to write the first Cooperative Extension publications on protecting Nevada communities from flash floods.

Lewis and Cobourn founded northern Nevada’s first citizens’ group on flooding as well, which went on to influence Douglas County to add a flood control element to the 1996 County Master Plan. The pair also led the team that brought community members together to form the watershed group, the Carson River Coalition.

“The river and its watershed are our lifeline,” Lewis said. “We can’t have a healthy community without a healthy environment. Healthy air, water and land quality all contribute to community well-being.”

Lewis’s most recent project included working with Cobourn and others to determine how much of the floodplain lands in Carson City and Douglas and Lyon Counties are protected from development and continue to perform as functional floodplains.

Classes offered for landscapers and nursery workers

Green industry professionals will learn about plant diseases, such as fairy ring fungus, Feb. 1 as part of Cooperative Extension’s green industry training. Photo by Wendy Hanson Mazet, Cooperative Extension.

Series of Cooperative Extension classes teach sustainable horticulture to local professionals

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with the Nevada Department of Agriculture, will offer a series of eight classes for those in the green industry beginning Feb. 1. The program benefits people wanting to enter the industry, beginners in the industry and established industry professionals.

Heidi Kratsch, Cooperative Extension horticulture specialist, said landscapers, nursery workers, groundskeepers and others in the green industry who attend the classes will learn science-based, sustainable horticulture practices to help them manage plants and landscapes efficiently and safely.

“This training provides the most up-to-date and scientifically accurate information available,” said Kratsch.

The trainings will be held 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Feb.1 — 27, with an optional, no-cost exam day on March 1. Classes are taught by Cooperative Extension and Nevada Department of Agriculture staff and industry professionals, and are held at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office in Reno at 4955 Energy Way. Class topics include:

  • Feb. 1: Plant Disease Basics
  • Feb. 6: Pruning Landscape Plants
  • Feb. 8: IPM and Pesticide Safety
  • Feb. 13: Soils, Potting Mixes and Fertilizers
  • Feb. 15: Sustainable Turfgrass Maintenance
  • Feb. 20: Landscape Water Management
  • Feb. 22: Insect Identification
  • Feb. 27: Noxious Weeds and Weed Law

Classes are $15 each or $80 for all eight. Further discounts are available to organizations enrolling multiple employees. Fees include course materials, certificates of attendance, refreshments and International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and Pesticide Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Course fees also support the Green Industry Continuing Education Series and Trees and Drought sessions, which are held year-round as needed.

Register online at the Green Industry Training website. For more information on classes or certification, contact Melody Hefner at hefnerm@unce.unr.edu or 775-336-0247. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the class they intend to attend.

Presentations teach radon safety and offer free radon test kits

Nearly 25 percent of homes tested in Nevada found radon concentrations at or above the EPA action level.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers free test kits at public meetings statewide

January is National Radon Action Month, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program is offering free short-term radon test kits to Nevadans from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28. Radon test kits are available at Cooperative Extension offices and partnering locations, as well as at presentations statewide.

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless. It comes from the ground and can accumulate in homes, raising the risk of lung cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates 21,000 Americans die each year from radon-caused lung cancer, killing more people than secondhand smoke, drunk driving, house fires and unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning combined.

In Nevada, one in four homes tested show radon concentrations at or above the EPA action level. According to experts, living in a home with radon concentrations at the action level poses a risk of developing lung cancer similar to the risk posed by smoking about half a pack of cigarettes a day.

The risk of radon-caused lung cancer can be reduced. A simple three-day test can determine if a house has a radon problem, and winter is an ideal time to test a home for radon. If radon problems are found, they can be fixed.

Scheduled presentations for northern Nevada are:
  • Jan. 17 at Verdi Community Library & Nature Center, 270 Bridge St., Verdi, at 4 p.m.
  • Jan. 23 at Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market St., Stateline, at 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 24 at the Carson City Senior Center, 911 Beverly Drive, Carson City, at 6:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 7 at South Valleys Library, 15650 Wedge Parkway, Reno, at 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 8 at CVIC, 1604 Esmeralda Ave., Minden, at 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 15 at the Storey County Senior Center, 100 Mill St., Virginia City, at 12:45 p.m.
  • Feb. 21 at Incline Village GID, Public Works, 1220 Sweetwater Road, Incline Village, at 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 24 at Northwest Reno Library, 2325 Robb Drive, Reno, at 2 p.m.
Scheduled presentations for southern Nevada are:
  • Jan. 25 at Mesquite’s Amazing Library, 121 W. First N St., Mesquite, at 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 27 at Mount Charleston Library, 75 Ski Chalet Place, Mt. Charleston, at 12:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 27 at Green Valley Library, 2797 N. Green Valley Parkway, Henderson, at 4 p.m.
  • Jan. 28 at Summerlin Library, 1771 Inner Circle, Las Vegas, at 2 p.m.
  • Jan. 29 at Centennial Hills Library, 6771 N. Buffalo Drive, Las Vegas, at 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 30 at West Charleston Library, 6301 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, at 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 31 at Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, at 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 1 at the Doolittle Senior Center, 1950 N. J St., Las Vegas, at 11 a.m.
  • Feb. 1 at Enterprise Library, 25 E. Shelbourne Ave., Las Vegas, at 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 2 at the Cora Coleman Senior Center, 2100 Bonnie Lane, Las Vegas, at 11:15 a.m.
  • Feb. 5 at Boulder City Library, 701 Adams Blvd., Boulder City, at 6 p.m.
For those who cannot attend a presentation, free test kits are available through Feb. 28 at the following northern Nevada locations:
  • Carson City/Storey County Cooperative Extension, 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15, Carson City.
  • Carson Tahoe Cancer Resource Center, 1535 Medical Parkway, Carson City.
  • Churchill County Cooperative Extension, 111 Sheckler Road, Fallon.
  • Douglas County Cooperative Extension, 1325 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville.
  • Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market St., Stateline.
  • Elko County Cooperative Extension, 701 Walnut St., Elko.
  • City of West Wendover City Hall, 1111 N. Gene L. Jones Way, West Wendover.
  • Humboldt County Cooperative Extension, 1085 Fairgrounds Road, Winnemucca.
  • Lander County Cooperative Extension, 815 N. Second St., Battle Mountain.
  • Lyon County Cooperative Extension, 504 S. Main St., Yerington.
  • Fernley City Hall, 595 Silver Lace Blvd., Fernley.
  • Central Lyon County Fire District, 231 Corral Drive, Dayton.
  • Mineral County Cooperative Extension, 205 S. A St., Hawthorne.
  • Pershing County Cooperative Extension, 810 Sixth St., Lovelock.
  • Storey County Library, 175 E. Carson St., Virginia City.
  • Washoe County Cooperative Extension, 4955 Energy Way, Reno.
  • Sun Valley General Improvement District, 5000 Sun Valley Blvd., Sun Valley.
  • Incline Village Recreation Center, 980 Incline Way, Incline Village.
In southern Nevada, free test kits are available through Feb. 28 at the following locations:
  • Clark County Cooperative Extension 8050 Paradise Road, Suite 100, Las Vegas.
  • Northeast Clark County Cooperative Extension, 1897 N. Moapa Valley Blvd., Logandale.
  • Southern Clark County Cooperative Extension, 55 Civic Way, Laughlin.
  • Eureka County Cooperative Extension, 701 S. Main St., Eureka.
  • Lincoln County Cooperative Extension, 360 Lincoln St., Caliente.
  • White Pine County Cooperative Extension, 995 Campton St., Ely.

Nevadans can also order free test kits online or by mailing in the Radon Test Kit Order form, also available online for printing. Ordered test kits will require $4 for shipping.

For more information, call the Radon Hotline at 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610) or visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website. Cooperative Extension, the EPA and the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health urge all Nevadans to test their homes for radon.

The Nevada Radon Education Program is a program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and is funded by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health through Grant Number K1-96963518-0 from the EPA. Since the program began in 2007, more than 26,000 homes have been tested in Nevada.

Cattlemen’s Update provides latest information for ranchers starting January 8

The University of Nevada, Reno will offer the Cattlemen’s Update Jan. 8 — 12 at various locations.

Educational programs to be held throughout the state, hosted by University of Nevada, Reno

The Cattlemen’s Update will provide Nevada’s cattle producers and ranchers with the most current education and research information Jan. 8 — 12, at various locations across Nevada. The annual event is being presented by the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency, the Nevada Department of Agriculture and other local sponsors.

“This is a great opportunity for livestock producers in Nevada to interact with University faculty to learn about ongoing research and Extension education programs and to hear updates from the Nevada Department of Agriculture,” said Dean Bill Payne from the College. “Our new Extension Director Ivory Lyles will also be on hand to meet and talk with participants.”

The Cattlemen’s Update provides current research-based information about important management practices and issues that may affect the efficiency, productivity, profitability and sustainability of cattle production businesses. Each day, the program is held at a different location in the state, where experts discuss pertinent topics with participants. Sessions are approximately three to four hours, and the cost is $20 per ranch per location attended, which includes lunch or dinner, event proceedings and the “Red Book” recordkeeping guide for cattlemen.

Experts from the University and Nevada, Reno; Nevada Department of Agriculture; and Nevada Cattlemen’s Association will discuss the following topics:

  • University of Nevada Cooperative Extension update
  • College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, horses and burro update
  • Advances in meat science at the University of Nevada, Reno
  • Progress of foothill abortion research in Nevada
  • Have your cattle been watered enough?
  • Use of electronic identification tags for age and source verification, interstate movement and disease surveillance
  • Intrastate movement of livestock
  • Nevada climate and drought update
  • Sponsor updates
  • Local veterinarian update

Here is this year’s schedule. Times given are the registration times, and the programs begin 30 minutes after registration.

Jan. 8, 10 a.m., Reno, lunch provided Washoe County Cooperative Extension Office, 4955 Energy Way This session will also be offered via interactive video at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices in Caliente, Logandale, Lovelock and Eureka.

Jan. 8, 5:30 p.m., Sierra Valley, California, dinner provided Sierra Valley Grange #466, 92203 Highway 70

Jan. 9, 10 a.m., Wellington, lunch provided Smith Valley Community Hall, 2783 State Route 208

Jan. 9, 5:30 p.m., Fallon, dinner provided Fallon Convention Center, 100 Campus Way

Jan. 10, 5:30 p.m., Ely, dinner provided Elks Lodge, 694 Campton St.

Jan. 11, 12:30 p.m., Elko, dinner provided Great Basin College Solarium, 1500 College Parkway

Jan. 12, 10 a.m., Winnemucca, lunch provided Humboldt County Cooperative Extension, 1085 Fairgrounds Road

For more information, contact Mineral County Extension Educator Staci Emm at emms@unce.unr.edu or 775-475-4227. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call or notify Emm at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

Local sponsors include American AgCredit; Boehringer-Ingelheirm Pharmaceuticals; Churchill County Cowbells; First National Bank of Ely; Humboldt County Cattlewomen; Kirby Manufacturing, Inc.; Lahontan Valley Veterinary Clinic; Multimin USA; MWI, Animal Health; Nevada Beef Council; Nevada Cattlemen’s Association; Pinenut Livestock Supply; Plumas-Sierra Cattlemen’s Association; Plumas-Sierra County Conservation District; Plumas-Sierra County Farm Bureau; Producers Livestock Marketing Association; Progressive Rancher; Smith Valley Future Farmers of America and Steptoe Future Farmers of America.

El Niño and La Niña, what’s the difference?

Nevada’s unpredictable weather is explained in a new publication, “Nevada’s Weather and Climate.” Photo taken by Extension’s Kent McAdoo in Austin, Nev., in late June 2014 at the Nevada Youth Range Camp.

New Cooperative Extension publication explains Nevada’s weather and climate

As winter approaches, many are wondering if Nevada is going to have another wet winter and may be hearing terms such as “El Niño” and “La Niña.” But, what are they, and how exactly do they impact Nevada winters and the moisture we will receive? Kerri Jean Ormerod and Stephanie McAfee, with the University of Nevada, Reno, recently published a short, easy-to-understand fact sheet, “Nevada’s Weather and Climate,” to explain these and other terms and factors affecting weather and climate throughout the state.

“So many of the decisions that we make throughout the year relate to weather and climate,” McAfee said. “‘Will there be enough water to increase my cattle herd,’ ‘do I really need to xeriscape,’ ‘should I buy a ski pass?’ We hope this publication will raise awareness and literacy about Nevada’s weather so that people will be more informed when making these decisions.”

Ormerod and McAfee relied on the best scientific research available to make the publication accurate, relevant and clear for all Nevadans. As a result, the publication covers how Nevada’s mountains and basins impact wind, temperature and rainfall; how the frequency of floods, heat waves or snowstorms can provide insight into Nevada’s climate; and how volunteers can help the State Climate Office, National Weather Service and scientists. McAfee is the deputy state climatologist and is with the University’s College of Science. Ormerod is the water, climate and drought hazards program leader with the University’s Cooperative Extension unit and College of Science.

The two aim to help the public and land managers understand basic terms, commonly used charts and graphs, and potential hazards tied to Nevada’s weather and climate. The fact sheet addresses floods, droughts, fire and heatwaves, and provides resources for more information on these hazards.

“Weather is varied across the state,” Ormerod said. “It’s also hazardous. We wanted to help people know about what resources were available to help them prepare for and respond to weather-related events.”

The fact sheet also provides information on how citizens can participate in tracking and monitoring Nevada’s weather. To view Nevada’s Weather and Climate or for additional information on preparing for Nevada’s weather and climate events, including droughts, floods and fires, visit Cooperative Extension’s website.

Risk management education program for agriculture producers receives grant

Cooperative Extension’s Risk Management Education Program helps ag producers learn about available crop and livestock insurance and other ways to reduce business risk. The program received funding for another year.

Cooperative Extension’s Risk Management Education Program teaches producers about reducing risks

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Risk Management Education Program was awarded a $248,000 grant to provide educational programs for Nevada’s agriculture producers. The grant, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, will allow Cooperative Extension to continue and expand the program, which it began in 2006, for another year.

“This program has reached several hundred farmers and ranchers across the state, with many reporting that they have made changes in their business practices because of what they have learned,” said Ivory Lyles, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Director. “It helps them to sustain their businesses in difficult times and to improve profitability, ensuring that Nevada keeps a healthy agriculture industry. I am very pleased the USDA sees the value of the excellent work our educators are doing, and is granting the program additional funds to continue.”

Program Director Staci Emm develops workshops and other outreach efforts to help Nevada’s producers understand the risks they face in agricultural production and teach strategies to mitigate those risks to increase the chance of economic survival and sustainability. The program also helps address the problem of Nevada’s food deserts and helps provide healthy local produce and meat for Nevada citizens. Commercial, beginning, socially disadvantaged, and transitioning farmers and ranchers in Nevada learn about crop and livestock insurance; financial record keeping; using the rainfall index and drought monitor to make informed decisions; livestock market decision making; and the agricultural market outlook for hay, cattle and dairies.

The renewed grant will allow the project to offer 14 components in the coming year, including 60 additional workshops. The team will also work with the USDA’s Risk Management Agency and insurance agents to advertise, create hypothetical circumstances to help producers determine if crop insurance is necessary, and better inform producers about deadlines for purchasing different types of insurance. In addition, the project will be able to expand outreach and community connections through social media and at county fairs, conventions and other public events.

The Nevada Risk Management Education Program is run in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nevada Department of Agriculture, American Indian Tribes, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, Nevada Farm Bureau and Nevada Agricultural Foundation.

Grant funds Stepping into STEM Program for young children

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Stepping into STEM Program will work much like Extension’s Family Storyteller literacy program, pictured here, offering parent-child workshops. Photo by Teresa Shaerer, Cooperative Extension.

Cooperative Extension creates series of workshops for children and their parents

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension received a five-year, $640,000 grant for a program to increase at-risk Spanish-speaking children’s interest, knowledge and engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Extension was one of three recipients nationwide to be awarded one of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Children, Youth, and Families at Risk awards.

The program, University of Nevada Sustainable Community Project — Stepping into STEM, will not only teach preschool through second-grade children, but will also work with their parents to show them how to help their children become interested in STEM.

“Latinos are woefully under-represented in STEM careers as adults,” said Cooperative Extension Human Development Specialist and Project Director Dan Weigel. “Many children are not involved in formal child care programs and don’t have STEM opportunities before they start school. We want to catch them at young ages, since foundational academic interest in STEM begins before kindergarten.”

Stepping into STEM will work much like Cooperative Extension’s effective Family Storyteller and Fun to Play Programs, both of which were created by Weigel and his Cooperative Extension colleagues, Project Co-Director YaeBin Kim and Project Evaluator Bill Evans. The programs offer a series of interactive parent-child workshops that include books, in-class activities and take-home activities. The Family Storyteller curriculum, due to its effectiveness in working with both parents and children to enhance children’s literacy skills, has won numerous awards, was chosen as a national Extension program and has been used in at least 29 other states.

Weigel’s Stepping into STEM team will create a curriculum, hire instructors, implement a pilot test and translate all take-home materials into Spanish. From there, Stepping into STEM will be offered as a series of workshops at elementary schools with large Latino populations in Reno and Las Vegas, as well as at select libraries, Head Start programs and family engagement centers in Las Vegas.

Check out Cooperative Extension’s children, youth and family programs for more information on STEM and literacy programs offered.

Gardening in Small Places: pruning

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension continues the monthly gardening workshops

Dr. Angela O’Callaghan assists a workshop participant with pruning techniques.

Join University of Nevada Cooperative Extension on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 for a workshop on Gardening in Small Places: pruning from 8 a.m. to noon.

During this workshop you will learn the what, when, where, why and how of pruning your landscape plants to keep your plants healthy and looking their best. O’Callaghan, social horticulturist, leads this hands-on class and gives you the opportunity to get a feel for pruning by letting you try your skills on our landscape before doing your own. If you want to get some hands-on experience, please bring your pruners, gloves and eye protection. Please do not purchase pruners for this class. One of the topics is tools and we want you to know what to purchase before you do. We have tools here you can try out, but please bring your own gloves. Homeowners and other interested parties are welcome to attend.

There is a $10 fee to cover materials. Class space is limited and pre-registration is required via Eventbrite.com.

For more information about this workshop held at the Lifelong Learning Center (8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev.), email or call Elaine Fagin at 702-257-5573.

Upcoming Gardening in Small Places workshop dates are February 3, vegetable gardening; March 10, composting; April 28, irrigation; May 19, problem solving; and June 16, soil.

Growing Under the Stars with Master Gardeners

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners offer evening classes

Wash in bloom located at Cooperative Extension’s Botanical Gardens.

Since gardening is a year-round activity in Las Vegas, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program is offering a free evening speaker series, Growing Under the Stars. The monthly speaker and topic will change depending upon the gardening concerns for that month.

The New Year starts on Wednesday, Jan. 10 with tips on working with native plants. If you are interested in working with native plants, you may find that the plants have not transplanted as successfully as you may have hoped. In addition, if you’ve decided to plant from seed, you may find that the seeds are very hard to find or quite expensive. Master Gardener Anne Marie Lardeau and her team of Master Gardeners have worked successfully with natives on our campus for several years and have learned from some of their more frustrating experiences. Join Lardeau for this class to learn how to work with natives and enhance your chances of having them thrive in your garden.

The session runs from 6 - 7:30 p.m. at the Lifelong Learning Center located at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev.

For more information, email or call the Master Gardener Help Desk at 702-257-5555.

Workshop offered for small-scale poultry owners

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers a small-scale poultry class Dec. 8 to help poultry owners improve their operations and protect their flocks.

Cooperative Extension workshop to help poultry owners get started and maintain a healthy flock

Small-scale backyard poultry has become quite popular in recent years in northern Nevada. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Herds and Harvest Program is offering a small-scale poultry class Dec. 8 to help poultry owners get a good start and maintain a healthy flock.

Topics include:

  • What a small-scale operation will cost, taught by Malieka Landis, with the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business. Attendees are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet for this session.
  • Getting started: facility requirements, chicken sources, free ranging tips, manure management and safety concerns, taught by Rob Holley from Holley Family Farms.
  • What’s legal and what’s not, taught by Teresa Long and Michael Tourey with the Washoe County Health District.
  • Facility options, chicken breeds, egg sales and acquiring licenses, taught by Nancy Ogan from Ogan Family Farm.
  • Zoning regulations, taught by Chad Giesinger with Washoe County Planning and Development.
  • Health and nutrition, feeds and feeding, egg production and sales, taught by Wendy Baroli from Girl Farm.
  • Predator prevention, taught by Jessica Heitt from the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
  • Producer certification labeling and grading standards, taught by Jake Dick from the Nevada Department of Agriculture.
  • Common diseases in backyard poultry, vaccinations, prevention and home treatment, taught by Veterinarian Matt McSweeney from Lone Mountain Veterinarian in Carson City.

The workshop is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Nugget Casino Resort, 1100 Nugget Ave. in Sparks. Interested individuals can register online, or by contacting Jessica Harris at 775-336-0242 or by email. The cost is $20 per person and includes snacks, lunch and workshop materials. Those attending are encouraged to pre-register to ensure ample space and educational materials are available. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

Cooperative Extension’s Herds and Harvest Program helps farmers and ranchers develop agricultural entrepreneurship, implement sustainable agricultural marketing strategies and improve profitability. Since 2011, the program has reached several hundred farmers and ranchers across the state. Two-thirds of the participants report they would make changes in their business practices because of what they learned through the program. The program is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, part of the United States Department of Agriculture.