SARE Professional Development Program Annual Report for Nevada
January 1 - December 31, 2012
State Extension Leader for SARE:
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
1664 North Virginia Street
Mail Stop 0404
Reno NV 89557
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Summary of 2012 PDP Activities and Results
SARE PDP-supported activities in 2012-13 focused on building the capacity of UNCE faculty, USDA and NV Department of Agriculture professionals to address key educational needs of producers addressing sustainable agriculture needs/issues in Nevada. A key focus was on developing a statewide outreach program on farm/ranch site food safety. Nationally acclaimed food safety experts were brought into Nevada to provide a training certification program, targeting UNCE faculty, USDA and NV Department of Agriculture professionals. Additionally, UNCE faculty attended professional development trainings in California relating to on-farm/ranch food safety, eco-farming systems and sustainable agricultural systems. UNCE faculty and agency professionals are using knowledge gained from attending conferences and trainings to ensure a safe, secure and affordable food supply in Nevada through teaching producers how to grow food sustainably while also sustaining and/or increasing profitability.
Context and Overview
In 2012 (extended to March 31, 2013), the Nevada SARE-PDP focused on providing travel scholarships for individual professionals to attend sustainability-related trainings provided by other organizations, associations or groups. A significant portion of funds were used to import subject matter experts into Nevada in order for larger numbers of Extension faculty and other agricultural professionals to receive critical training on food safety at the pre-harvest and post-harvest points of production.
Major expectations are for participants to improve their knowledge of “sustainability principles” and use it in their programming with clientele. Extension faculty initiated stronger working relationships with the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NVDOA). In particular, Cooperative Extension is training NVDOA and related professionals on the topic of Good Agricultural Practices for farmers and ranchers. Ongoing collaborations continue with NRCS. For additional information concerning Cooperative Extension activities, see our website.
Activities and Methods
SARE PDP-supported activities in 2012 were primarily focused on facilitating key faculty to participate in various professional development activities related to program needs in Nevada. A major focus of the SARE-PDP program is to help Cooperative Extension faculty/staff, NRCS and other agency professionals to improve their knowledge/understanding of SARE principles and/or to share this with other agricultural professionals (NRCS staff provided their own funding for training). This included supporting:
Seth Urbanowitz, Extension Educator, attended the Fresh-Cut Products: Maintaining Quality and Safety training in Davis, California. He attended this conference to learn about issues effecting quality and safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. He has used the material he learned about food safety in a presentation at the Nevada Small Farms Conference. He is continuing to use what he learned at the conference to develop a statewide program in food safety tailored to Nevada. He will continue to apply the knowledge gained in the ongoing development of food safety and quality material, as well as technical assistance to producers in Nevada.
Seth Urbanowitz, Extension Educator attended the Strengthening Agriculture’s Infrastructure: Adding Value, Breaking Down Barriers, Increasing Profits conference in Portland, Oregon. His primary reason for attending this conference was to increase his knowledge on barriers to small and medium size farm profitability. He learned about building market access through branding and cooperative ventures.
Seth Urbanowitz, Extension Educator, attended the Nevada Small Farm Conference in Sparks, NV in 2013. He applied what he learned in the Nevada Small Farm Conference in the form of building trust with local consumers and buyers and adhering to GAPs to gain market access. He will continue to apply what he learned in developing a food safety curriculum for Nevada. Mainly he will focus on practical solutions to food safety that can expand markets and reduce costs.
Holly Gatske, Carol Bishop, Seth Urbanowitz, Extension Educators and Patty Click, Jennifer Kintz, Program Support staff attended the two-day UNCE-Western SARE Food Safety Professional Certification training in Reno, NV, January, 2013. Holly, Carol, Seth and program staff used knowledge gained from this training to strengthen the capacity of agricultural professionals in Nevada to begin formal efforts to develop partnerships and programs to address food safety concerns primarily involving small producers and school/community gardens.
Trevor Suslow, UC-Davis Produce Safety Specialist, Laura Mills, GAPs & GHPs Specialist and Adrian Sbodio, Suslow Labs) brought their two-day certificate training from Davis, California to Nevada to make it possible for a larger number of Extension faculty and staff, USDA and State Department of Agriculture professionals across Nevada to attend and complete this critical professional certificate training.
Holly Gatske, Extension Educator, attended the EcoFarm January 2013 in Pacific Grove, CA. EcoFarm is the oldest and largest eco-agriculture gathering in the west, drawing 1,500 attendees to its extensive line up of topics and speakers for 60 workshops. The conference provided 8-11 breakout options at a time on every topic related to small-scale direct marketing farming. Holly is using the information learned from this conference to continue to strengthen her programs, targeting Lincoln County growers who produce for the Las Vegas hotel and restaurant industry.
Sherm Swanson, Extension Riparian Specialist, attended the 2013 Annual Society for Range Management meetings in Oklahoma City, OK, primarily to learn about the current science needed for assessing lentic riparian areas. Sherm will use the knowledge gained to advance ongoing “Active Vegetation Initiative” and the “Synergistic Monitoring” projections in Nevada; information is mainly used in several two-day classes he teaches throughout the state. Knowledge Sherm learned is also shared through his participation in Nevada Partners for Conservation and Development, Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Pinyon Juniper Partnership, and other collaborative projects in Nevada that address the multimillion dollar problem of legacy rangeland and fire regime issues related to fuels management and rangeland health.
Jay Davison, Extension Crops Specialist, represented the Nevada SARE-PDP Coordinator, John Burton, at the 2012 Annual SARE-PDP Coordinators Meeting and the tour provided in New Mexico. Information was shared with UNCE agricultural professionals for their information and use and to help orientate the new Nevada SARE-PDP Coordinator, Loretta Singletary.
Steve Foster, Extension Educator, attended the 2012 California Forage and Small Grain Conference in Sacramento, CA (December 2012) to gain knowledge on the following topics: Forage Trends, World Issues and Market Trends, Pest Management and GMO Alfalfa Updates. In addition, the tour of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region of Northern California provided information on agriculture, wildlife, natural resource and water issues, especially as it is related to forage and grain crops. By attending this conference, Steve increased his knowledge of western/intermountain production of alfalfa and forages. Steve also developed collaborative partnerships with other extension/industry professionals in the western region. Steve will use the information from the conference to help local forage producers in Nevada improve and increase their efficiency and profitability through Extension-sponsored educational programs.
PDP-funded Publications/Educational Materials and Products
Materials were purchased to support the Western SARE-UNCE Food Safety Professional Development Training team from UC-Davis to provide to approximately 27 participants. The materials include the training content so that participants may utilize this information in conducting future trainings with various producer groups in Nevada.
Changes in Ag Professionals’ Knowledge, Skills and Actions
See above narrative.
Seth Urbanowitz is continuing to use what he learned at the Fresh-Cut Products: Maintaining Quality and Safety training in Davis, California to develop a statewide program in food safety tailored to Nevada. He will continue to apply the knowledge gained in the ongoing development of food safety and quality material, as well as technical assistance to producers in Nevada. Seth will use what he learned from attending Strengthening Agriculture’s Infrastructure: Adding Value, Breaking Down Barriers, Increasing Profits conference in Portland, Oregon to help producers in Nevada to build market access through branding and cooperative ventures. He applied what he learned in the Nevada Small Farm Conference in the form of building trust with local consumers and buyers and adhering to GAPs to gain market access. He will continue to apply what he learned in developing a food safety curriculum for Nevada. Mainly he will focus on practical solutions to food safety that can expand markets and reduce costs.
Holly Gatske is using what she learned at EcoFarm to continue to strengthen her programs targeting Lincoln County growers who produce for the Las Vegas hotel and restaurant industry. Holly, along with Carol Bishop, Seth Urbanowitz and program support staff (Patty Click, Jennifer Kintz) are using knowledge gained from the Food Safety training to strengthen the capacity of agricultural professionals in Nevada to begin formal efforts to develop partnerships and programs to address food safety concerns primarily involving small producers and school/community gardens.
Sherm Swanson will use the knowledge gained to advance ongoing “Active Vegetation Initiative” and the “Synergistic Monitoring” projections in Nevada; information is mainly used in several two-day classes he teaches throughout the state.
Steve Foster will use the information from the 2012 California Forage and Small Grain Conference to help local forage producers in Nevada improve and increase their efficiency and profitability through Extension-sponsored educational programs.
Involvement of Others in State PDP Planning and Implementation
Nevada does not have an identified SARE-PDP advisory committee. Given the urban nature of Nevada (86%), the vast open spaces, 87% of land being Federally-owned and with increasing pockets of diverse agriculture, soliciting stakeholder input is an ongoing process rather than a specified “advisory group.” Cooperative Extension and state/federal agency personnel are all small in number. As a result, there is already a close working relationship between all professionals at both the county and state levels, and joint or cooperative programming is the rule in Nevada not the exception. Additionally, these same agency professionals include producers and agriculture organizations (Cattleman’s Association, Farm Bureau) on their agency advisory or planning committees. There is ongoing discussion with these entities throughout the year on programming needs and the expertise required. The State SARE-PDP Coordinator also confers directly with Extension faculty and other agency professionals at the state level.