Featured Programs

Nevada Radon Education Program personnel, Susan Howe and Nadia Noel

Nevada Radon Education Program

The Nevada Radon Education Program is a partnership with the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health to educate Nevadans about the health risk posed by elevated levels of radon in the home. The Extension program offers literature, educational presentations and low cost radon test kits in many county Extension and partner offices.

teff field in fallon nevada

Teff Crop Production

The purpose of this program is to introduce Nevada farmers to and help train them in the cultivation of teff, a small-seeded grain and forage crop that requires less water than alfalfa and can be more profitable.

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.


Excerpts from our latest newsletter

Fernley STEM Festival highlights local career opportunities

College joins representatives from other colleges, community colleges, trade schools and local businesses to show kids that STEM jobs are fun

Hiedi Andersen, Fernley Leader-Courier

girl with shocked expression holding a sublimated CO2 bubbleAllison Noury, 8, from Cottonwood Elementary, reacts to holding a sublimated CO2 bubble at Fernley High School's STEM Festival. Photo by Ed Andersen, Fernley Leader-Courier.

Hundreds of students participated in the Fernley STEM Festival at Fernley High School March 5. Started in 2013, the event highlights ways science, technology, engineering and math influence daily life. This year’s event also focused on STEM careers — particularly those in demand in northern Nevada, said event coordinator Marjorie Mauk.

“We want kids to know that jobs in STEM fields are fun,” said Mauk, a seventh-grade science teacher at Silverland Middle School. “We want (attendees) to know that STEM is not (just a) lab coat with a pocket protector. The jobs are fun; they’re really cool.”

Also on hand were representatives from the University, community colleges and trade schools.

“There are a lot of FFA students here that could consider an ag science major,” said Michaela Cano, an academic advisor for the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources. "[The College] offers majors in agriculture science, biochemistry and molecular biology, biotechnology, forest management and ecohydrology, among others. Those types of programs prepare students for jobs in demand in northern Nevada, including water management, pollution prevention and wildlife preservation," she said.

"We want (attendees) to know that STEM is not (just a) lab coat with a pocket protector."

- Marjorie Mauk, event coordinator and seventh-grade science teacher at Silverland Middle School


Nevada 4-H response to COVID-19

Response and resources to use at club to prevent the spread of germs

Carrie Stark

hands getting washed in a sinkHand washing with soap is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs. 

Dealing with the constant change seems to be the new normal (or at least in the past two weeks). Tough decisions are being made on an hourly basis.  For the Nevada 4-H Youth Development Program, the decision was made to suspend all 4-H activities, including all 4-H club meetings, until further notice. The Extension administrative team continues to monitor the situation and will keep everyone updated as to the status of Nevada 4-H programming.

We understand this is a major disruption to the normal way traditional 4-H programs are delivered. However, we believe 4-H can still be an excellent way for Nevada youth to grow and learn during these unique and challenging times. The way we connect with each other may change but the mission of 4-H will not. We are strong and will continue to provide high quality positive youth development opportunities for the youth of Nevada.

The 4-H Club Guidance for COVID-19 Publication was put together by University of California 4-H and adapted for Nevada 4-H. While it was designed to help clubs with social distancing within their club meetings, there are practices that should be adopted even after this pandemic is over to help stop the spread of germs.

Thank you to 4-H professionals, 4-H volunteer leaders and 4-H families for staying flexible, asking good questions, making recommendations, stating facts, being patient, and helping to keep our families and our communities safe and healthy.

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills

Members learn life skills, make new friends, enhance self-esteem, achieve personal goals, develop positive relationships with peers and volunteers, and have fun learning and sharing as a family and a club


The time for this water-saving grain in Nevada is now

College Professor John Cushman discusses teff

Joe Schoenmann, KNPR

TeffTeff, which uses less water than conventional grains, can be grown as hay for livestock and as a gluten-free grain.

Nevada’s agricultural producers often contend with drought, and there is an increasing demand for water for uses other than crops.
Researchers with the University of Nevada, Reno, have been working to evaluate and commercialize crops that use less water.
Professor John Cushman and his team think they’ve found an alternative. It's called teff.
The grain can be grown as hay for livestock and as a gluten-free grain. Cushman says Nevada's scarce water supplies mean now would be a good time for northern Nevada farmers to start using the grain for livestock and to grow sprouts for salad bars.

Drought and nonagricultural water demands leave agriculture producers in a tight spot

Teff requires less water than alfalfa and can be more profitable

Pershing County Related News Articles, Fact Sheets, Reports...

This fact sheet is a summary of agricultural data from 2008-2009 for Pershing County, Nevada. The information and statistics in this fact sheet were gathered from the 2008-2009 Nevada Agricultural Statistics Service’s Annual Report and the 2007 USDA Census of Agriculture.
Foster, S. 2010, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
A summative evaluation of the Nevada Youth Range Camp educational program. Foster, S.S., Schultz, B.W., McAdoo, J.K., and Swanson, S. 2014, Journal National Association of County Agricultural Agents. 7:1.
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
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
Enterprise Budget, Conventional Alfalfa Hay Pershing County, Nevada, 2012
The enterprise budget estimates the typical costs of establishing alfalfa hay in Pershing County, Nev., (specifically in the Lovelock Valley area). It should be used as a guide to estimate costs and returns for conventional alfalfa hay (non Roundup-Ready) establishment and production.
Foster, S. 2012, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Enterprise Budget, Corn Production Pershing County, Nevada
An enterprise budget provides the best means to evaluate the potential profitability for a given enterprise or farm income source. Developing an enterprise budget allows an operator to identify typical costs, both variable and fixed, and probable returns associated with the production and marketing of a product.
Foster, S. 2013, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Enterprise Budget, Hoop Barn Swine Wean-to-Finish Production, Nevada, 2012
The goal of our Beginning Farmer and Rancher program is to help beginning agricultural producers succeed by providing them the opportunity to utilize the latest financial management tools, develop entrepreneurial skills, receive on-the-ground training in production agriculture, and get assistance in marketing.
Foster, S. 2012, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, FS-13-45
Enterprise Budget, Roundup®Ready Alfalfa Hay Pershing County, Nevada, 2012
Pershing County has approximately 36,900 acres of alfalfa production, with an approximate value of $37 million. (Foster, 2010) It should be used as a guide to estimate costs and returns for RR alfalfa hay establishment and production.
Foster, S. 2012, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Extension Awards of Excellence Extension 2020, Extension
Livestock Producer Interest in Local Processing
A mail survey of agricultural producers was conducted during autumn 2005 to assess producer interest in a potential livestock slaughter and/or processing facility in Northern Nevada. One hundred fifty-three surveys were returned, representing nearly 70 percent of total livestock producers in Northern Nevada.
Cowee, M., Curtis, K., Lewis, S., Harris, T. 2008, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Needs Assessment for Noxious Weeds in Pershing County: Part 1 of 5 – Problem Weeds and Approaches and Methods of Control
Located in northwestern Nevada, Pershing County has 135 farms and ranches covering more than 244,249 acres, excluding public lands in BLM-administered grazing allotments. The average farm size is 1,809 acres (2008 USDA Agricultural Census).
Foster, S., Schultz, B., and Singletary, L. 2011, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Nevada (USA) range management school - Adapting an American grazing management curriculum to other continents. Schultz, B., McAdoo, K., Perryman, B., Foster, S., and Davison, J. 2015, Journal for Arid Lands Studies. 25-3: 273-276.
Nevada Open Range Law
This fact sheet provides an overview of the Nevada Open Range Law and its evolution in the U.S. and Nevada. Also, this law is the subject of increasing conflict between open range public land grazers and non-agricultural residents in or adjacent to public lands.
McCuin, G. and Foster, S. 2010, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Nevada Youth Range Camp plant identification guide. Foster, S., Schultz, B., and Swanson, S. 2018, UNCE Special Publication. SP-18-04.
Nutritional Properties of Windrowed and Standing Basin Wildrye over Time
Many Nevada farmers and ranchers are in constant search of economical, high- producing winter forages for their beef cattle production system. An often overlooked forage but one that is common in Nevada and the Intermountain West is basin wildrye (Leymus cinereus).
Foster, S. and Perryman, B. 2012, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Reducing cheatgrass fuel loads using fall cattle grazing. Foster, S., Schmelzer, L., Wilker, J., Schultz, B., McAdoo, K., Swanson, S., and Perryman, B. 2015, UNCE Special. SP-15-03. P.11.
Russian Knapweed Control Trial 2013-2015, Pershing County
A document of effective ways to maintain and control Russian Knapweed crops.
Foster, S., and Schultz, B. 2016, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, PS-16-04
Soil Properties, Part 1 of 3: Physical Characteristics
A brief overview of the physical, biological and chemical characteristics of soils. The information is provided for agronomic producers to help them understand soil properties and characteristics.
Foster, S., Schultz, B., McCuin, G., Neibling, H., and Shewmaker, G. 2013, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Soil Properties, Part 2 of 3: Biological Characteristics
Since the introduction of synthetic fertilizers during the industrial revolution, most of the research has been focused on maintaining the nutrient balance in the soil. However, more researchers and agricultural producers are realizing that not only are the nutrients in the soil important, but also, biological health.
Foster, S., McCuin, G., Schultz, B., Neibling, H., and Shewmaker, G. 2012, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Soil Properties, Part 3 of 3: Chemical Characteristics
Soil chemistry is the interaction of various chemical constituents that takes place among soil particles and in the soil solution, or the water retained by soil. The chemical interactions that occur in soil are highly complex, but understanding certain basic concepts will better help you manage your soils.
Foster, S., Urbanowitz, S., Gatzke, H., and Schultz, B. 2016, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet FS-16-02
Viewpoint: An alternative Management Paradigm for Plant Communities Affected by Invasive Annual Grasses in the Intermountain West.
Today’s landscapes are not those described in 1860. With over 400,000 km2 colonized by cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and other annual grasses, we believe it is time to declare: The pristine-management-paradigm has failed. Continued, wholesale application of this concept is misguided.
Perryman, B. L., Schultz, B. W., Mcadoo, J. K., Alverts, B., Cervantes, J. C., Foster, S., McCuin, G., Swanson, S. R. 2018, Rangelands. 40:77-82.

County Reports

Pershing County Annual Report | Fiscal Year 2017 - 2018
Pershing County Annual Report | July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018
Foster, S. 2017, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno

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