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Providing information, programs and training grounded in research to help Nevada's people, agencies and businesses improve food safety and quality.

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Amilton de Mello in Winnemucca

Cattlemen's Update

Cattlemen’s Update is Extension’s annual educational program offered for beef cattle producers to learn about issues affecting profitability and product quality in the Great Basin region.

cooked food

Food Safety Project

Cooperative Extension has been instrumental in bringing about the "Nevada Food Safety Task Force," which strives to provide a working forum for food safety experts and to improve communication between all entities that are held accountable for food safety and security within our state.Improving Food Safety Education for Child and Adult Care Providers in Nevada. Also food handling and eating preferences questionnaires were mailed to elderly/adult care and child care facilities in Nevada to determ

hands holding freshly picked carrots

Grow Your Own, Nevada!

Learn the secrets of high desert gardening

A healthy meal: chicken sandwich and grapes on a plate and a glass of water.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

The Healthy Eating on a Budget program has been integrated into the TANF Work Readiness workshop as a SNAP-Ed program. The purpose of the 8-lesson series is to provide SNAP recipients with education on healthy nutrition and physical activity practices, food resource management, food safety and food security. 

heifers grazing in field

Herds & Harvest Program - Nevada Beginning Farmer and Rancher Project

Developing educational courses, workshops, technical assistance, business advice and mentoring support network for Nevada agricultural producers who are beginning or diversify a farm or ranch operation.

Master Gardeners at tabling event

Master Gardeners of Nevada

Program trains local gardeners to provide research-based horticulture information to Nevadans

Food Safety & Quality News Articles, Fact Sheets, Reports...

Fact Sheets
Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Handling Practices (GHPs): A Framework for Minimizing On-Farm Food Safety Hazards
Approximately 48 million people in the United States get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases each year (CDC, 2011). Produce has continued to be implicated in major foodborne illness outbreaks in recent years.
Urbanowitz, S. 2013, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Maintaining Product Quality and Food Safety: A Primer for Small Fruit and Vegetable Producers
Consumers demand high quality produce. Post-harvest losses in fresh fruits and vegetables account for an estimated 5 to 25 percent of total production (Kader, 2002). Therefore, losses of fruits and vegetables due to quality negatively affect the farm business.
Urbanowitz, S. 2013, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Buying Local: Perceptions of High-End Chefs in Nevada
According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), Nevada’s restaurant industry is expected to experience the fastest growth of any state in the U.S., in terms of jobs and sales, between 2009 and 2019. This fact sheet provides an overview of the results of the survey.
Cowee, M., Curtis, K., Gatzke, H., and Morris, R. 2009, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Developing Farmer and Gourmet Chef Partnerships
The gourmet restaurant sector has long been a stalwart niche of the greater market, and yet in Nevada ties between local producers and chefs are just emerging, leaving an open opportunity for continued growth and development due to the varied tourism destinations in Nevada.
Curtis, K., Entsminger, J., Gatzke, H., and Morris, R. 2009, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
From Farm Fresh to Fine Dining: Producing for Gourmet Restaurants
In today’s economy, Nevada’s agricultural producers face new challenges as well as developing opportunities. Markets for vegetable and fruit crops are changing as new international competition enters the market, and consumer tastes and preferences adapt to include new cultures and ideals.
Curtis, K., Entsminger, J., Gatzke, H., and Morris, R. 2009, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Optimizing a ranch’s feed resources often requires strategic supplementation of standing forage with a processed protein, energy or mineral product. However, protein and energy supplements do not necessarily have to come out of a sack.
Foster, S. McCuin, G., Nelson, D., Schultz, B., and Torell, R. 2009, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Consumer Preferences for Meat Attributes
Recent food industry trends have presented consumers with the opportunity to demand more from the products they purchase. In the market for food products, this means that consumers are able to purchase products that do more than serve their basic need for nutrition.
Cowee, M., Curtis, K., Harris, T., and Lewis, S. 2008, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Native Plant Characteristics Appeal to Consumers in Nevada
In 2004, a study was conducted to examine the market in Nevada for locally produced native plants and seeds. As part of the study a survey was mailed to homeowners in the Reno, Henderson, and Las Vegas areas to determine consumer preferences for and usage of native plants and seeds.
Cowee, M. and Curtis, K. 2007, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Working With Gourmet Chefs: Strategies for Small Agricultural Producers
This fact sheet details the study, which sought to determine which product and supply attributes are most important to gourmet chefs, what their local purchasing patterns are, where they would like to purchase local products, and what they view as obstacles to making local purchases.
Cowee, M., Curtis, K., and Havercamp, M. 2006, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Adding Value to Agriculture: Branding and Certification
In order for consumers to be able to identify certified products from those that are uncertified, it is essential that the certified products carry a label that states the qualifications the product has met. The increased demand for labeled products is also a result of increased disposable income.
Cowee, M. and Curtis, K. 2005, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
healthy food
Effects of different antioxidants on quality of beef patties from steers fed low-moisture distillers grains
Corn Distillers Grains plus Solubles (DGS) are commonly used as a source of protein and energy for finishing cattle and its composition may vary based on moisture levels, fat and protein content. However, the inclusion of DGS in finishing diets alters beef quality attributes when compared to corn-based diets.
Fruet, A.P.B., Nörnberg, J.L., Calkins, C.R., de Mello, A.S. 2019, Meat Science, Volume 154, August 2019, Pages 119-125
Effects of fortification of beef steaks with krill oil on physical, chemical, and sensory characteristics Fruet, A. P., Gerrard, D., Nörnberg, J. L. and de Mello, A. S. 2018, Journal of Human Nutrition & Food Science
Growth performance and carcass traits of steers finished on three different systems including legume–grass pasture and grain diets Fruet, A.P.B; Stefanello, F.S.; Trombetta, F.; De Souza, A.N.M.; , Rosado Júnior, A.G.; Tonetto, C.J.; Flores, J.L.C.; Scheibler, R.B.; Bianchi, R.M.; Pacheco, P.S.; De Mello, A. S.; and Nörnberg, J.L. 2018, Animal
Lay or Popular Publications
Bring vegetable growing indoors this winter
Using kitchen vegetable cuttings to regrow indoors.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
Saving seeds from your garden is easy and free
Saving seeds from your garden is easy and free.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
Food Safety in the Edible Garden Andrews, A. 2016, Reno Gazette-Journal
Good Food Can Be Hard to Find Andrews, A. 2016, Reno Gazette-Journal
Preserving the Harvest Andrews, A. 2016, Reno Gazette-Journal
Donating the Harvest Andrews, A. and Morrow, L. 2014, Reno Gazette-Journal
Food Safety in the Garden Andrews, A. and Morrow, L. 2014, Reno Gazette-Journal
Using Edibles for Landscape Accents Andrews, A. 2013, Reno Gazette-Journal
Special Publications
Evaluation of Food Action Planning Committee Meeting and Urban Agriculture and Food Sustainability Forum, August 23-24, 2017 Buffington, A., and Bosket, C. 2017, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Nevada Processed Food Guide: Refrigerated, Cut Produce
Food businesses can find support in the growing consumer interest in local foods. Knowing what is required to sell cut and packaged produce can be confusing. This document is a brief guide that outlines the resources and topics that should be considered to produce and sell refrigerated fruits and vegetables in Nevada.
Gatzke, H., Allen, K., West, T., and Roemer, M. 2016, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Costs and Returns of Pomegranate Production in Southern Nevada
This publication is intended as a guide for potential growers interested in pomegranate production, as pomegranates are becoming highly marketable. The pomegranate serves as both a fruit crop and an ornamental and is well suited to the soils and climate of southern Nevada (Robison, 1981).
Bishop, C. 2015, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Evaluation of Several Tomato Varieties’ Resistance to Beet Curly Top Virus Grown Under High Tunnels and in the Field
The purpose of the project was to test two hypotheses: 1) Incidence of Beet Curly Top Virus (BCTV) is reduced in organic fresh market tomatoes grown under high tunnels, and 2) The use of locally developed BCTV-resistant plants reduces the incidence of BCTV in high-tunnel and field-grown organic fresh market tomatoes.
Davison, J., and Lattin, R. 2015, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Small Farm Egg Production in Southern Nevada
Sample costs and returns to raise laying hens for eggs in southern Nevada are presented here. This publication is meant as a decision guide in the production of eggs, determining potential returns and preparing business and marketing plans.
Carol, B. 2014, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Fall Vegetable Production On Small Acreage in Desert Climates Costs and Returns, 2012
This publication presents sample costs and returns to produce fall vegetables on small acreages in Nevada. It is intended to be a guide, used to make production decisions, determine potential returns and prepare business and marketing plans.
Bishop, C. 2012, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Corn Variety Trial 2012, Pershing County
Alfalfa hay remains by far the most important crop, in terms of both acres harvested and value of production (Foster 2010). Small grains typically are grown for hay and are a rotational crop during the year(s) after an alfalfa field has been removed and when it is replanted.
Foster, S., and Davison, J. 2012, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Selecting Vegetable Crops for Small-Scale Desert Production
Many people consider vegetable production to be difficult in the desert. Production of vegetables is possible by selecting suitable crops and using effective growing techniques. Crop selection should use crops suited to the climate and season.
Gatzke, H. 2012, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Mobile Slaughter Potential for Nevada, 2011
In 2005, a group of livestock producers requested a feasibility study to assess the potential of a producer-owned entity to slaughter, process, and market local grass-fed meats in Nevada. Specifically, the study sought to assess the economic feasibility of a mobile slaughter unit to be operated in northern Nevada.
Cowee, M. and Harris, T. 2011, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, SP-12-01
Alternative Marketing Options for Nevada’s Livestock Producers
Food safety concerns and the separation between producers and consumers are related, as the insecurity consumers feel regarding food safety stems from the numerous channels food products pass through before reaching the final consumer, especially in the case of imported products.
Cowee, M. and Curtis, K. 2008, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension