Extension News from the West

Chefs Clint Jolly and Mark Estee to give food demos at Nevada Field Day

Plants grown in the University’s greenhouses will be for sale at Nevada Field Day, Sept. 30, to support future research and graduate student work. Photo courtesy of Robert Moore.

Free University event features hands-on activities, local food, demonstrations and education Sept. 30

At Nevada Field Day on Sept. 30, visitors will be treated to a variety of free activities and giveaways, and even some tasty food samples.

As part of this year’s activities, nationally acclaimed local food advocates and Chefs Clint Jolly and Mark Estee will be performing cooking demonstrations. Jolly, who recently won Food Network’s Chopped: Impossible Restaurant Challenge, will demonstrate how to make homemade sausage at 11 a.m. Estee, who has been featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and in Esquire Magazine, will demonstrate how to make a traditional French dish, Cassoulet a la chez, at 1 p.m.

The University of Nevada, Reno event features hands-on activities and information focusing on the latest advancements in agriculture, horticulture, nutrition, natural resources and the environment. The event will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the University’s Main Station Field Lab, 5895 Clean Water Way in Reno, near the intersection of McCarran Boulevard and Mill Street. It is a collaborative project of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources; Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station; and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

“September is great time of year for people to visit the University’s Main Station Field Lab,” said Bill Payne, dean of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources. “There will be a lot to see and do, and it really helps people understand how we blend the missions of the University in terms of teaching, research and engaging with our communities to serve Nevadans in their everyday lives.”

Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener volunteers will be on hand to provide information on fall planting and pruning, as well vegetable gardening and other topics for home gardeners. The Desert Farming Initiation will be holding a Farmers Market, selling local produce. Plants grown in the University’s greenhouses will also be for sale to support future research and graduate student work.

For those interested in growing food and plants, there will be demonstrations and information on:

  • constructing hydroponic systems for growing fruits and vegetables at home,
  • implementing conservation measures in an urban agricultural setting,
  • attracting beneficial pollinator insects, and safely managing insect pests, and
  • salt-tolerant and low-water-use crops and plants.

There will be many hands-on activities for youth, including:

  • a 4-H Drone Discovery activity, where youth will experiment with flying foam planes with mounted cameras,
  • 4-H clubs providing information and demonstrations on raising animals, such as goats and horses,
  • the “Ember House” bean-bag toss, where children learn about embers and the wildfire threat,
  • a Lilliputian Garden Necklace craft using live plants that the kids can take home, and
  • activities involving Nevada’s plants and animals from the Museum of Natural History.

Adults can learn more about making healthy life choices and protecting their homes and families from wildfire, floods and disease-carrying pests, such as mosquitos. They can also learn from faculty and students about the latest research on many other issues, such as managing Nevada’s water resources, wetlands and rangelands.

Others will also be on hand providing information, including University student clubs; the Nevada Department of Agriculture; the Nevada Department of Wildlife; the Academy of Arts, Careers & Technology; the Natural Resources Conversation Service; and many others.

For over 60 years, University students and faculty have used the 800-acre ranch at the University’s Main Station Field Lab to provide education and research, not only on raising and processing healthy cattle, but also on a variety of other important issues, including controlling noxious weeds, developing alternative low-water-use crops, and preserving air and water quality.

“This year’s Field Day has a lot fun hands-on activities and takes place where some of our research happens — at the Main Station Farm. It is a great way to get to know the University and see what we are doing on campus, at our research stations and in Nevada’s communities,” said Mark Walker, director of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

The Battle Born and All Wrapped Up food trucks will be open for business at the event, selling lunches. Admission to the event is free and open to the public, thanks to event support from the Nevada Agricultural Foundation and Truckee Meadows Water Authority. For more information, visit the Nevada Field Day website or call 775-784-1660. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance are asked to call at least three days prior to the event.

Agriculture producers have opportunity to learn business strategies

Cooperative Extension offers “Business Strategies for Nevada Agriculture Producers” Sept. 10. The workshop will cover how to identify risks, ways to reduce risk, and ways to improve agricultural businesses.

Cooperative Extension offers Business Strategies for Nevada Agriculture Producers workshop Sept. 20

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is offering a workshop on “Business Strategies for Nevada Agriculture Producers” Sept. 20, 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. It will be held in Reno, but will also be available via interactive video at Cooperative Extension offices in Elko, Fallon and Logandale. Presenters will discuss how to identify risks, ways to reduce risk, and ways to improve agricultural businesses.

“For new and beginning farmers, or producers who wish to diversity, the way their business is structured has ramifications for day-to-day operations and financial outcomes,” said Extension Educator Carol Bishop, one of the workshop’s presenters. “This class is to inform people of their options, and how those different options can impact both their routines and their bottom line.”

Other presenters include Extension Educator Holly Gatzke, a local producer and a representative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s assistance programs, including the USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

Topics include:

  • What is Risk, Risk Tolerance, Types of Risk, Mitigating Risk with Insurance Options
  • Concepts in Credit
  • Maximizing Profit
  • IRS Schedule F and Potential Agriculture Law Changes
  • Marketing Concepts and Consumer Buying Behavior
  • USDA Assistance Programs

The workshop is $15 and will be held at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension Office, 4955 Energy Way in Reno, where lunch will be provided. It will also be available via interactive video at the following Cooperative Extension office locations:

  • 111 Sheckler Road in Fallon,
  • 701 Walnut St. in Elko, and
  • 1897 N. Moapa Valley Blvd. in Logandale.

(Lunch will not be available at the Fallon, Elko and Logandale offices.)

For more information or to register, visit the event’s registration page or contact Registration Coordinator Catrinna Berginnis, berginnisc@unce.unr.edu or 775-945-3444, ext. 1033. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should contact Bishop, bishopc@unce.unr.edu or 702-397-2604, at least three days prior to the workshop.

The workshop is part of Cooperative Extension’s Herds and Harvest Program that helps farmers and ranchers across the state develop agricultural entrepreneurship, implement sustainable agricultural marketing strategies and improve profitability. The program is in collaboration with the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources; and is supported by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency and the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Visit the Herds and Harvest webpage for more information.

Gardening in Small Places: roses

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers workshop Oct. 21

Award-winning Demonstration Rose Garden at the Lifelong Learning Center.

Join University of Nevada Cooperative Extension on Saturday, Oct. 21, for a one-day workshop on Gardening in Small Places: roses. The class runs from 8 a.m. to noon.

Roses are a desirable addition to any garden, even here in the Mojave Desert. With about 100 species and thousands of cultivars to choose from selecting the right rose for the right place may seem daunting. Let Master Gardener and Rosarian Judith Kafantaris teach you about the attributes to look for in roses that will do well in our dry climate. In addition, she will teach you how to care for your roses so you can get the biggest blooms and the healthiest plants. Homeowners and other interested parties are welcome to attend.

There is a $10 fee for the workshop. Class space is limited to 25 and pre-registration is required. To register for this class, held at the Lifelong Learning Center (8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev.), call or email Elaine Fagin at 702-257-5573. Register online via Eventbrite.com.

Final gardening class of the series is scheduled for Nov. 18, growing fruit at home.

Cooperative Extension and Rose Society Oct. meeting

Learn how to frame your rose photographs

Various sizes of picture frames.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and the South Valley Rose Society are collaborating and offering educational meetings throughout the fall. On Thursday, Oct. 26 find out how to expertly frame your rose photographs at this free, open to the public, workshop.

Rose photography entries in Rose Shows have become a very popular event in the last several years. If you every wonder how to display your pictures in Rose Shows this program will show you where to buy the picture frames and how to mount the photographs.

Christina Ropeter has been a member of the American Rose Society since 1989. She is Consulting Rosarian for 30 years and a Master Gardener for 2 years. Christina has been exhibiting her roses and photographs, winning Queens, Kings, and Princess in both categories.

All educational meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the Lifelong Learning Center located at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev. (I-215 and Windmill Lane). For more information, please email or call the Master Gardener Help Desk at 702-257-5555.

The next Rose Society meeting is Friday, Nov. 17: preparing for the rose show. Don’t miss the South Valley Rose Society’s 1st Annual Rose show on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Cooperative Extension and Rose Society Sept. meeting

Learn how to start roses from cuttings

Beautiful rose from the Botanical Gardens.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and the South Valley Rose Society are collaborating and offering educational meetings throughout the fall. On Thursday, Sept. 28 find out how to start roses from cuttings at this free, open to the public, workshop.

Everyone will need to have a saucer and milk container. Saucer size should fit their milk bottle (saucers and milk container can be left at home the day of the meeting). Cheryl Hume will be making up pots with soil perlite and peat moss. Bring your favorite cutting (miniature or mini-flora). Bring your roses in water. Cuttings need to have about 6 - 8 eyes.

Hume has a been a member of the American Rose Society (ARS) since 1982 and a proud holder of a Life Subscription To ARS. Hume was the President of South Valley Rose Society. She also served as President of Las Vegas Valley Rose Society twice and first Vice President for 8 years. Hume has successfully started roses from cuttings for over 10 years. Her percentage of success in cuttings survival rate is over 90 percent. Hume likes everything roses: rose people, rose exhibiting, rose books and rose clothes.

All educational meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the Lifelong Learning Center located at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev. (I-215 and Windmill Lane). For more information, please email or call the Master Gardener Help Desk at 702-257-5555.

Upcoming Rose Society meetings are Thursday, Oct. 26: Framing rose photography and Nov. 17: Preparing for the first annual rose show.

Safety Day to help children learn ways to stay safe in different situations

The Living With Fire Program’s Ember House, a beanbag-toss activity that teaches about the ember threat during wildfire, is one of many activities available at the free Safety Day Sept. 9.

Cooperative Extension and local organizations provide hands-on activities to teach safety

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension presents a free Safety Day event for children and their families. The event, held in partnership with local businesses, organizations and agencies, is 8 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Sept. 9, at Mills Park, 111 E. William St. in Carson City.

“Families, specifically youth, will have a chance to learn how to be safer in a variety of situations,” said Carson City Extension Educator Lindsay Chichester. “It is important to minimize injury and try to prevent death.”

Participants will be divided into small groups that rotate between stations where they can learn about staying safe in different situations through educational, age-appropriate and fun hands-on activities. Stations include Extension’s Living With Fire Program’s Ember House, wildfire awareness, fire engines and rescue, gun and hunter safety, water safety, home pesticide safety and weeds, handwashing, fire extinguisher training, and digital citizenship and online safety. The first 300 children will receive a t-shirt and goodie bag.

This event is part of the national Progressive Agriculture Safety Day Program, sponsored by the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. The foundation has helped put on Safety Days in multiple states since 1995. To pre-register, visit the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day Event website or call 775-283-7594. Attendees can also register 8 — 8:30 a.m. at the event.

For more information, contact Chichester at chichesterl@unce.unr.edu or 775-887-2252.

Nevada Radon Poster Contest open to students

Canarelli Middle School’s Joshua Fuji Fama from Las Vegas placed second in the 2017 National Radon Poster Contest with his poster, “That Monster Radon.”

Collaborative effort seeks to raise awareness of dangers of odorless gas that causes lung cancer

Nevada students are invited to showcase their artistic talents and promote radon awareness by entering the 2018 Nevada Radon Poster Contest, offered by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program. The contest ends Oct. 31.

The contest is open to all children ages 9 to 14 years old enrolled in public, private, territorial, tribal, Department of Defense and home schools. Children can also enter through a sponsoring group, such as art, computer, library, reading, science, scouting, youth or 4-H clubs.

Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that comes from the decay of uranium. It accumulates in homes and can cause lung cancer. This type of lung cancer risk is preventable, and the only way to know if a home has elevated levels is to test for it.

The poster contest is offered by the Nevada Radon Education Program and is sponsored by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. Cash prizes for the top three entries are $75 for first place, $60 for second and $45 for third. The top three entries are also awarded cash prizes for their teachers or sponsoring organization’s representative toward classroom supplies. The first-place entry also goes on to compete in the National Radon Poster Contest.

The Nevada Radon Poster Contest is part of Cooperative Extension’s work to raise awareness of the dangers of radon in homes. Extension provides educational presentations and low-cost radon test kits year-round, and since 2008, more than 26,264 homes in Nevada have been tested. Of 21,610 valid test results collected, 5,370 homes had elevated radon concentrations. Once radon is detected, there are fairly easy, inexpensive ways to reduce the radon exposure and reduce the risk of lung cancer.

Posters in this year’s poster contest should convey one of these messages: 1) What is radon? 2) Where does radon come from? 3) How does radon get into our homes? 4) Radon can cause lung cancer, and 5) Test your home for radon. Posters will be judged on content accuracy, visual communication of the topic, reproducibility and originality. They can be created with crayon, markers, paint, collage, pencil, photographs or computer graphics.

There is no fee to enter, but each child is limited to one entry. Entries must be received at 4955 Energy Way, Reno, NV 89502 by Oct. 31.

Contact Nadia Noel, radon education coordinator for Cooperative Extension, at 775-336-0252 or noeln@unce.unr.edu for more information on the contest. For more information on the dangers of radon and the Nevada Radon Education Program, visit the Nevada Radon Education website or call the Radon Hotline at 1-888-Radon10 (888-723-6610).

Cooperative Extension’s Grow Your Own, Nevada classes return in September

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will present “Bring Beneficial Insects to the Garden,” 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 19 as part of Grow Your Own, Nevada!.

Eight classes offered statewide to teach high-desert gardeners about growing and preserving food

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s fall Grow Your Own, Nevada! Program presents eight classes statewide to help Nevadans get on the path to more sustainable, local, healthy living by growing and preserving more of their own food.

The series features back-to-basics information for backyard or small-acreage edible gardening.

“If you’re new to this area, this class is essential,” said Cooperative Extension Horticulture Specialist Heidi Kratsch. “But, even if you’re not new to Nevada, you will learn things you never thought you needed to know.”

The program runs 6 — 8 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept. 19 through Oct. 12. Classes will be held at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office, 4955 Energy Way in Reno, and will be available via interactive video at several Cooperative Extension offices throughout the state.

Along with Kratsch, presenters include Cooperative Extension Horticulturist Wendy Hanson Mazet, Urban Integrated Pest Management Program Coordinator Melody Hefner and Extension Educator Joy Newton.

Workshop topics include:

  • Sept. 19: Bring Beneficial Insects to the Garden
  • Sept. 21: Strategic Garden Cleanup
  • Sept. 26: Cover Cropping for Home Gardens
  • Sept. 28: Canning Jams and Jellies
  • Oct. 3: Growing in Greenhouses and Hoop Houses
  • Oct. 5: Growing in Raised Beds
  • Oct. 10: Prune Fruit Trees to Increase Production
  • Oct. 12: Prep Your Soil for Spring Success

To register for any or all of the upcoming Grow Your Own, Nevada! classes, visit the Grow Your Own, Nevada! website. The class fee for those attending at the Washoe County office is $15 per class or $60 for all eight classes. The cost covers class supplies, materials, refreshments, the website and International Society of Arboriculture Continuing Education Units. Reno participants attending all eight classes will also receive a USB flash drive containing gardening resources. K-12 teachers and Master Gardeners in Reno receive a discount on registration cost. Class fees in other locations vary. Residents should contact their local Cooperative Extension office for information on attending the workshops in those locations. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

For more information, watch "About the Grow Your Own, Nevada! program". Watch the "Grow Your Own, Nevada! program beginnings and benefits" video to learn about the program’s history on the benefits of a Backyard garden.

In the Garden series continues

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners answer questions, offer suggestions

Monarch’s visit the Milkweed plants in the Botanical Gardens.

During their monthly garden workdays, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners invite the community to visit the Botanical Gardens. As part of the In The Garden series, residents may bring their gardening questions on the following days during Sept.:

  • Children’s Garden — Every Tuesday in Sept., 7 — 10 a.m.
  • Butterfly Habitat — Friday Sept. 8 & 22, 8:30 — 9:30 a.m.
  • Fruit Orchard - Tuesday, Sept. 12 & 26, 8 — 9 a.m.
  • Vegetable Community Garden — Monday, Sept. 22, 9 - 10 a.m.
  • Herb Garden ~ Wednesday, Sept. 27, 9 — 10:30 a.m.

Master Gardeners will answer questions on proper seasonal plant care techniques. Visitors should be prepared to be outdoors (sun protection, closed toe shoes, drinking water). The gardens are part of the campus surrounding Cooperative Extension at 8050 Paradise Rd., Las Vegas, Nev. and feature 1300 species of desert-adapted plants identified by botanical and common names.

For meeting locations or other questions, email or call the Master Gardener Help Desk at 702-257-5555. Master Gardener volunteers staff the desk Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. — 3 p.m.

In 2016, Master Gardeners answered questions from 1,648 individuals from 91 out of 114 zip codes, 246 emails and assisted 268 walk-in people at the Help Desk. Master Gardeners taught 1,709 classes or spoke to over 31,097 people at community events. Two-hundred, twenty-nine active Master Gardeners working on 35 community projects logged over 35,268 hours. Based on the $23.56 national average, the value of Master Gardener volunteer service to Clark County was $830,916.90.

Learn how to become a Nevada Naturalist

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers adult volunteer program

Nevada Naturalists participate in a botany hike along the Frist Creek trail at Red Rock.

Nevada Naturalist, a University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program, is looking for interested adults to participate. If you love the outdoors, this program is for you! The Nevada Naturalist Program educates and trains adults interested in learning about the natural resources in southern Nevada. Participants study natural resources, environmental education and interpretation, laws and regulations, and environmental issues.

The focus of the program is to give a broad understanding of nature to participants interested in learning, volunteering, teaching, and participating in conservation projects and issues. The program will also give participants the skills and confidence necessary to make a difference for environmental stewardship and conservation in Southern Nevada.

The program is open to individuals of all backgrounds. The fall semester begins Sept. 11, 2017 on Monday’s and Wednesday’s from 6-9 p.m. Field trips are scheduled on Saturday’s at various times and locations. The cost is $195 per which includes all program materials, refreshments and some field trips. For more information on this program, or to register, please email or call Denise Parsons at 702-948-5906. Semester two will be offered in the spring of 2018.

Topics include site stewardship, regional plants and animals, invasive species, geology and soils, environmental laws, taxonomy, biological diversity, and more. Classes are held in the spring and fall in a variety of settings including classrooms, museums and in the field. Additionally, students complete a project intended to increase their capacity and knowledge about specific issues that interest them. Participants receive a certificate following the completion of the course and their projects.

The Nevada Naturalist Program is sponsored and coordinated by Cooperative Extension. The program capitalizes on the incredible expertise of individuals and organizations in Southern Nevada who are partners and participating instructors.

Along with Cooperative Extension, participating partners include The Henderson Bird Preserve, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas Museum of Natural History, Clark County Wetlands Park, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service and Nevada Department of Wildlife.

6th Annual Healthy Kids Festival ready to roll in September

It’s time to move with ‘All 4 Kids’

Photo of kids Zumba from the 2016 Healthy Kids Festival.

To celebrate Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s All 4 Kids© Program and Clark County Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor the sixth annual Healthy Kids Festival (HKF) that will take place on Saturday, September 30, 2017.

The free festival, open to young children and their families, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Walnut Recreation Center, 3075 N. Walnut Road, Las Vegas, Nev. Local community partners will come together to promote health, nutrition and physical activity in young children and their families. The event will include teaching children to purchase and grow fruits and vegetables, healthy food tasting, music and dance instruction, BMI and health assessments, city/county and local recreation, sports and outdoor venues.

Unlike typical health fairs, each agency will provide interactive, hands-on experiences for children who visit their activity stations where a bingo-like game card is stamped. Donated prizes are used to promote completion of game cards given to children to encourage participation in all areas. Last year’s event presented childhood obesity awareness and prevention to almost 1000 attendees.

Reaching out and empowering families of young children is the key to successful, healthy living. Parents and families are invited to learn how to support and model positive and healthy eating habits, and to adopt physical activity in their young children’s daily routines in an effort to help them make healthy choices as they approach the adolescent years.

For more information about the Healthy Kids Festival, email or call 702-940-KIDS (5437). Pre-register via Google!

Workshop for ag producers to teach about available federal assistance programs

Cooperative Extension offers a USDA Program Update workshop covering information about federal assistance programs available for crop and livestock producers.

The weather patterns impacting Nevada 2018 are unknown at this time. Nevada was designated as a high-risk area for severe to exceptional drought in 2016 and designated for extreme flooding in 2017. Depending on the risk, there are U.S. Department of Agriculture programs that are designed to assist producers in managing their risks. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, in partnership with the USDA, is offering a USDA Program Update workshop at several locations in Nevada for producers to learn what programs are available.

The workshop will focus on water conservation and emergency programs offered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service; crop insurance, emergency loans and livestock feed programs offered by the Farm Service Agency; crop and livestock insurance programs offered by the Risk Management Agency for the 2018 agricultural year; predictions on weather patterns in 2018; and information about renewable energy assistance by the State of Nevada.

The workshop will be offered at seven locations throughout the state:

  • 10 a.m., Aug. 28, in Nixon, in the Tribal Chambers at the Pyramid Lake Piute Tribe, 208 Capital Hill
  • 6 p.m., Aug. 28, in Yerington, at Lyon County Cooperative Extension, 504 S. Main St.
  • 6 p.m., Aug. 29, in Fallon, at Churchill County Cooperative Extension, 111 Sheckler Road
  • 6 p.m., Aug. 30, in Lovelock, at Pershing County Cooperative Extension, 810 Sixth St.
  • 10 a.m. MST, Sept. 5, in Owyhee, at the Duck Valley Reservation: Owyhee Human Development Center, 1284 OPD Road
  • 6 p.m., Sept. 5, in Elko, at the Elko Convention Center, 700 Moren Way
  • 10 a.m., Sept. 6, in Winnemucca, at Humboldt County Cooperative Extension, 1085 Fairgrounds Road

Specific presentations include:

  • Impacts of Climate on Nevada Farms and Ranches, by Nevada Climatologist Doug Boyle, with the University’s Department of Geography
  • Renewable Energy Assistance for Agricultural Producers or Small Businesses in rural counties of Nevada, by Management Analyst Susanne Linfante, with the Governor’s Office of Energy. (Presented only at Fallon, Elko and Yerington workshops)
  • Overview of crop and Livestock Insurance Sales Closing Dates, by Extension Educator Staci Emm
  • Program Update for Farm Services Agency, by the Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency Interim Director Janice Kolvet
  • Program Update for Natural Resources Conservation Service, by Natural Resources Conservation Service program staff

The workshop is funded by the USDA, Risk Management Agency. For more information, contact Program Organizer Crystal Sasser, sasserc@unce.unr.edu or 775-475-4236, or the Mineral County Cooperative Extension office, 775-945-3444. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance must call 775-945-3444 or notify organizers at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

Rattlesnake Avoidance Training Clinic offered for your pets

A training clinic designed specifically to teach dogs on rattlesnake avoidance

Before and after Rattlesnake training photos.

As expected, this year has seen a dramatic increase in rattlesnake sightings, encounters, and even bites! And, it is far from over. If you enjoy activities that take you and your dogs outdoors, you and your pets may be at risk for encountering rattlesnakes. And as the snakes move along in search of food, they may even end up in your own backyard. This training comes just in time for the opening of hunting season while the snakes are still out. The training gives dogs a head start for next spring, which is expected to be equally as heavy with snakes as this year.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with Get Rattled and Smarty Paws Canine Coaching, highly encourages pet owners to take part in this important Rattlesnake Avoidance Training Clinic. Get Rattled is providing a training session at Cooperative Extension’s Lifelong Learning Center located at 8050 Paradise Rd., Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. Trainings are scheduled in hour-long blocks between 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please plan on spending one hour at the training. Walk-ins are welcome and will be taken in as time allows. Cost for the training is $85 per dog. A refresher training is $60. The clinic does require the use of a remote training collar that will be customized to fit each dog. The clinic will provide local dog owners extra assurance and peace of mind that their dogs will avoid dangerous rattlesnake encounters, protecting their health, and their families from suffering the pain and medical costs of a rattlesnake bite.

“I’d say that most dog owners don’t really think about snake bites until they see a rattlesnake for themselves, in parks, or their backyards, and then realize their dogs can be at risk,” says John Potash co-founder and co-owner of Get Rattled. He adds, “Get Rattled is a unique training clinic designed specifically to teach dogs on rattlesnake avoidance. We have been teaching this clinic for 17 years and have successfully trained thousands of dogs.”

Potash is licensed by the Nevada Department of Wildlife and has over 25 years of experience working with venomous snakes and wildlife in areas of animal control, wildlife rescue, and public education. He works with skilled dog trainers who have decades of experience training dogs.

“Rattlesnake Avoidance Training is a crucial tool for dog owners,” stated Potash, “prevention is your number one line of defense in protecting your dogs from venomous snakes.” When dogs and their owners go hiking, hunting or to the dog parks and go off leash, this training teaches them to be fearful of the rattlesnake. It protects people as well, as the dog becomes an alert system. This training has proven to be an effective tool in teaching rattlesnake avoidance to all dogs from Great Danes to Chihuahuas.

Because rattlesnakes can regulate the amount of venom they inject into another animal, the health risks to dogs from a bite can vary greatly depending on the amount of venom injected, the species and size of rattlesnake, and the size of the dog and where it was bitten. Dogs can also be bitten when owners are not around, so Potash suggests that people know some general signs of a bite along with health risks: “Dogs are usually bitten on their limbs, neck, and head or face so look for severe swelling in those areas. After some time, the venom may produce nausea, vomiting, and the dog can seem lethargic and will begin to act as if something is bothering him. If you see a snake bite happen or notice these symptoms, keep your dog calm and take him to a vet right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

To register or for more information, email or call Smarty Paws Canine Coaching at 702-396-8501, or Get Rattled at 775-234-8844.

Youth encouraged to join 4-H clubs as new program year begins

Youth at the robotics 4-H camp do a space activity challenge. Contact your local Cooperative Extension office for more information on 4-H activities. Photo by Karen Best.

As the new school year begins, so do a number of 4-H activities and opportunities. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers youth ages 5 to 19 throughout Nevada a variety of 4-H youth development clubs and programs to participate in as extracurricular activities.

Extension’s 4-H Program includes both urban and rural clubs spanning many interests, such as rocketry, robotics, shooting sports, cooking, raising and showing animals, and more. Clubs help youth develop skills in communications, leadership, citizenship and healthy living. Many clubs also enhance science, technology, engineering and math abilities.

“Parents and children look for unique learning opportunities,” said Southern Nevada 4-H Program Manager Karen Best. “With 4-H, kids get to learn hands-on through trial and error, rather than just listening to people talk about these subjects. 4-H also offers opportunities to experience projects, especially in science, that kids don’t always have access to because of expenses or where they live.”

According to the “4-H Study of Positive Youth Development,” a decade-long study completed by a team of researchers at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University in Massachusetts, 4-H youth excel beyond their peers. 4-H members are:

  • Four times more likely to make contributions to their communities;
  • Two times more likely to be civically active;
  • Two times more likely to make healthier choices;
  • Two times more likely to participate in Science, Engineering and Computer Technology programs during out-of-school time; and
  • 4-H girls are two-to-three times more likely to take part in science programs compared to girls in other out-of-school time activities.

This longitudinal study, the first of its kind, researched, defined and measured positive youth development. It began in 2002, surveying more than 7,000 adolescents with diverse backgrounds in 42 states. For measurement, the study broke down positive youth development into the “Five C’s:” competence, confidence, character, connection and caring.

“These categories were also found to lead to the ‘Sixth C:’ youth contributions,” said Carrie Stark, Cooperative Extension’s statewide 4-H director.

4-H programs can be found nationwide, in urban neighborhoods, suburban schoolyards, and rural farming communities. Nationally, there are 611,800 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 25 million alumni involved in the 4-H movement, supporting young people from elementary school through high school with programs that are designed to shape future leaders and innovators.

“Students involved in 4-H are better-prepared and better-engaged citizens,” said Washoe County 4-H Program Manager Sarah Chvilicek. “Overall they’re more civically engaged.”

For more information or to learn more about local 4-H clubs and programs, contact your Cooperative Extension office or visit the 4-H Youth Development Program Website.

Master Gardeners offer weekly Botanical Garden tours

The weekly tours are open to the public and begin at 10 a.m.

Friday garden tours conducted on the rare Las Vegas rainy day.

Plan to visit University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Botanical Gardens each Friday, from September through December to tour the gardens and learn about the plants that thrive in desert southwest landscapes. Master Gardeners will offer free walking tours weekly at 10 a.m. The tours wind around the entire gardens offering brief descriptions in over 20 areas. All tours are open to the public.

The Botanical Gardens, located at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev., feature 1300 species of desert-adapted plants identified by botanical and common names.

To join this tour, meet in the front Lobby at 10 a.m. Walking shoes, sun protection and water are suggested. In addition to scheduled tours, the grounds are open for self-guided tours weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

In 2016, Master Gardeners answered questions from 1,648 individuals from 91 out of 114 zip codes, 246 emails and assisted 268 walk-in people at the Help Desk. Master Gardeners taught 1,709 classes or spoke to over 31,097 people at community events. Two-hundred, twenty-nine active Master Gardeners working on 35 community projects logged over 35,268 hours. Based on the $23.56 national average, the value of Master Gardener volunteer service to Clark County was $830,916.90.

Growing Under the Stars with Master Gardeners

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners offer evening classes

Tomatoes and basil are companion plants.

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.

Companion planting is not magic. It is known that some plants appreciate the attributes of others and they grow well together. Knowing which plants grow well together, repel insects or even repel other plants can enhance your gardening experience. Come join Master Gardener Lori Evans on Wednesday, Sept. 27 and discover the ins and outs of companion planting. 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.

NV Naturalist lecture series continues

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension presents hummingbirds

Hummingbirds find peaceful and safe nesting in Cooperative Extension’s courtyard.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Nevada Naturalist program presents Las Vegas: got hummingbirds? as the Aug. 17, 2017 Lecture Series topic. The hour-long presentation is open to the public and begins at 7 p.m.

Las Vegas is an oasis in the desert and a prime location for visiting and nesting hummingbirds. Join longtime Las Vegas veterinarian, nature photographer and falconer, Gary Weddle, as he discusses the four types of hummingbirds found in the Las Vegas Valley. Weddle offers tips to make and keep your home and yard hummingbird friendly.

The 2017 Aug. Lecture Series will be held at the Lifelong Learning Center located at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev. For more information, contact Denise Parsons at 702-948-5906 or email parsonsd@unce.unr.edu.

Since the program’s inception in 2008, one graduate acquired part-time employment at Clark County Wetlands Park; one graduate acquired part-time employment with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Two Nevada Naturalist graduates were elected to the Friends of the Desert Wildlife Refuge’s Board of Directors and one graduate is serving on the Board of Directors for Friends of Nevada State Museums. Using what he learned in the program, Todd Price celebrated his 5th year working at national parks across the nation.

Nevada Naturalist, a Cooperative Extension program, focuses on giving a broad understanding of nature to participants interested in learning, volunteering, teaching and participating in conservation projects and issues. The program will also give participants the skills and confidence necessary to make a difference for environmental stewardship and conservation in southern Nevada. If you are interested in becoming a Nevada Naturalist, email or call Denise Parsons at 702-948-5906.

View youth photography at the Eureka County Fair

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension hosted the morning camp

Alleyah’s photograph of Stokes Castle

Eleven youth from Eureka and Lander Counties participated in the Greater Austin Summer Youth Photography Camp held in July. The camp offered a unique opportunity for youth to use photography as a way to tell others about the history of their community.

The community can view their photographs from camp at the upcoming Eureka County Fair (August 10-13, 2017). After the fair exhibit, photographs and related written descriptions may be featured in future Austin, Nev. tourism brochures and on its website.

The youth photography camp and the involvment of the artists in residence would not have been possible without support and/or funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Nevada Arts Council, the Lander County Convention and Tourism Authority, Newmont North America, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin Historical Museum, the Austin Historical Society, and St. Augustine’s Cultural Center Board. The project was a joint venture sponsored by the Lander and University of Nevada Eureka County Cooperative Extension offices as a youth outreach project that fulfills the University of Nevada Reno’s land grant mission.

Growing Under the Stars with Master Gardeners

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners offer evening classes

Master Gardener Kristy McCumby-Hyland

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.

Fall can be the best time for vegetable gardening. On Wednesday, Aug. 30, Master Gardener Kristy McCumby-Hyland will guide you through the process of preparing your garden for fall. McCumby-Hyland will discuss what and when to plant for a successful fall 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.

Using native plants in your landscape

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers workshop Sept. 9

Lantana’s bloom at Cooperative Extension’s Botanical Gardens

Join University of Nevada Cooperative Extension on Saturday, Sept. 9 for a workshop on Gardening in Small Places: using native and desert adapted plants in the landscape from 8 a.m. to noon.

How about using plants that will do well in our soil, will do well with our weather and do well with our water? You can have a lush landscape while saving, energy, water and money! I’m talking about native and desert adapted plants, of course. When you think of native desert plants, do only cacti come to mind? Well, there are so many more native and desert adapted plants that will do well in your yard, giving your landscape color and interest.

If you are interested in finding out how you can have a lush landscape using these plants, please come and join Professor ML Robinson, environmental horticulturist, and discover how to use these wonderful plants in your landscape. Homeowners and other interested parties are welcome to attend.

There is a $10 fee for the workshop. Class space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register for the workshop held at the Lifelong Learning Center (8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev., I-215 and Windmill Lane), email or call Elaine Fagin at 702-257-5573. Register online at Eventbrite.com.

The next Gardening in Small Places workshop dates are Oct. 21, roses; and Nov. 18, growing fruit at home.