Summary of 2014—2015 State/Protectorate PDP Activities and Results:
During the 2014-2015 project period, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension sponsored faculty to attend the following events. These included:
- A regional meeting related on Extension’s role in climate change in Davis, CA
The Davis, CA meeting involved three members of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and agency and 18 members of Extension and agency staff (U.S. Forest Service and the Agricultural Research Service) from the five states that are part of the Southwest Regional Climate Hub. The meeting led to a successful proposal submission to a competitive NIFA grants program.
The National Association of County Agricultural Agents Annual professional meeting (Salt Lake City, UT)
The participant in the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Annual meeting focused on sessions that he felt would enhance his involvement in educational programs focused on economically viable crop, soil and water management and research related to growing alternative crops on saline and sodic soils.
A workshop in Corvallis, OR focused on use of unmanned aerial systems in earth sciences
The participant in the Corvallis, OR gained practical skills in use of unmanned aerial systems for agricultural and natural resources applications.
A meeting of the western extension research activity (WERA) in Salt Lake City, UT
Extension participants in the Water Management Strategies for Addressing Long-Term Drought and Climate Uncertainty conference presented information about Nevada’s efforts to build resilience to drought.
The Nevada Governor’s Agricultural Conference in Las Vegas, NV
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension exhibited program information at the annual Nevada Governor’s Conference on Agriculture. This included participating in sessions focused on developing viable agricultural businesses, entering the growing “farm to table” market, and developing a personal network related to agriculture.
Attendance at Montana State University’s Climate Conference (Bozeman, MT)
Three University of Nevada Cooperative Extension faculty members attended the first Climate Science Conference in Bozeman, MT in December, 2015. One presented a paper about State of Nevada efforts to improve drought resiliency in Nevada, and the others attended workshops and discussion sessions over the course of the two day conference.
A four week course for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension on use of social media
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension sponsored and organized a four session workshop for Extension faculty and staff about use of social media in Extension programming. Twenty-three Extension faculty and staff attended the workshop and produced blogs, twitter feeds and Facebook pages, many of which were sustained following the workshop.
Context and Overview:
Nevada faced a fourth year of exceptional drought in 2015. This affected every aspect of Extension programming, including the six Extension program areas mandated by Nevada statute (community development, agriculture, horticulture, natural resources, youth development and health and nutrition). As 2015 began, predictions for water year 2016 included the likelihood of extremely prolonged drought. Nevada’s Governor, then chair of the Western Governors’ Association, convened two groups focused on drought - a regional drought forum under the auspices of the Western Governors’ Association that discussed issues and proposed actions to cope with drought in the 13 western member states and a state drought forum that focused on issues and recommendations to cope with drought in Nevada.
Extension nationally has embraced social media to promote internal and external communication. Nevada Extension’s use of social media has been mixed, with some 14 separate Facebook pages and many Twitter accounts and blogs. However, until 2015 Extension had not developed a policy nor training opportunities for faculty and staff interested in applying social media. Accordingly, Nevada Extension organized a workshop on designing, using and maintaining social media as a means of enhancing the visibility of Extension’s activities internally and externally.
Climate change is an important USDA program emphasis. However, Extension has been tentative about incorporating this theme across Nevada’s program areas. This is especially the case in states that have little capacity to develop new programs, especially following significant state budget reductions that reduced resources and staff available for existing programs. Given the potential political sensitivity associated with developing programs related to climate change, the regional partners in the Southwestern Regional Climate Hub (Utah, New Mexico, California, Arizona and Hawaii) decided to develop a regional partnership focused on climate change.
Activities and Methods:
Nevada Cooperative Extension used funding to support a workshop in Nevada, and a meeting in Davis, CA (in cooperation with University of California Cooperative Extension). Nevada Cooperative Extension sponsored travel and registration fees for four conferences.
PDP-funded Publications/Educational Materials and Products:
No materials or products to report.
Changes in Ag Professionals’ Knowledge, Intention, and Action:
Nevada Cooperative Extension identified 10 potential participants for a planned regional workshop on developing an interstate network to share approaches to incorporating climate change as a theme in Extension programs.
Nothing to report
Involvement of Others in State PDP Planning and Implementation:
Nevada Cooperative Extension has a new coordinator for SARE PDP planning. Mr. Stephen Foster will focus on this aspect of PDP activities in coming years. Our use of PDP funds during this contract period represents attention to locally relevant issues, though we had no formal influence from an advisory group.