Western Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (Professional Development Program)

SARE's Professional Development Program provides training, grants and resources for agriculture professionals to build their awareness, knowledge and skills related to sustainable agriculture concepts. The program includes two key components: competitive grants awarded at the regional level for the development of training curricula, outreach efforts, communications projects and similar work; and a network of state coordinators, working part-time for SARE in each state and island protectorate, who hold workshops and field days to share sustainable practices and research results, provide travel scholarships for agriculture professionals to attend training events, and generally serve as sustainable agriculture resources in their state. Steve Foster is the WSARE Nevada State Coordinator.

Alternative crop production

This program tests and demonstrates crops that use less water and/or offer increased income potential to Nevada agricultural producers. Currently six crops are under evaluation. In 2006, producers planted and/or harvested commercial acreages of teff, wine grapes and turf grass for the first time in Churchill County. 

Cool season forage grass/IR-4/Integrated Pest Management Program

Research in Eureka County rates agriculture as the second leading exporter of products and revenue generator. Although a smaller sector than mineral mining, agriculture has larger economic multipliers for the county. Thus, small changes in this sector can have large economic impacts on the county. Work with the Nevada Hay and Forage Growers Association has focused on evaluating Integrated Pest Management opportunities to offset the labeling loss of common pesticides. Field trials were started to evaluate 12 pesticides that help ensure sustainability for this vital county industry. This trial was repeated. The trial targeted Banks Grass Mites. This pest species was not prevalent; however, a different species, Western Brown Wheat Mite was. Thus the 12 replicated pesticide products were tested on this species.

This project has two primary purposes. The first is to increase the number of pest control materials labeled in Nevada. The second is to increase the knowledge and implementation rate of IPM practices in Nevada. 

Sustainable Biodiversity/Multiple Use of Rangelands

Extension’s sustainable biodiversity/multiple use of rangelands program emphasizes a balance between wildlife habitat/diversity and livestock forage production.

News Articles, Fact Sheets, Reports...
wooden raised bed
Raised Beds Can Make Gardening Easier
How to use raised beds to make gardening easier!
O'Callaghan, A. 2010, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-10-33
boer goat
Raising Meat Goats in Southern Nevada
An important outline of everything needed to raise meat goats in Southern Nevada, such as land, water, vehicles, equipment, breeding, etc.
Bishop, C. 2016, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, FS-16-11
non-potable water sign
Reclaimed Water: Uses and Definitions
Reclaimed water is commonly defined as treated municipal wastewater that is able to be used again, a practice known as water reuse. Municipal water reuse in the United States occurs mostly in California, Florida, Arizona and Texas; but it is growing in other states, including Nevada.
Ormerod, K.J., Redman, S., and Singletary, L. 2020, Extension I University of Nevada, Reno FS-20-34
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, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, PS-16-04
Native bee on desert marigold
Using native plants to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects - workshop and plant giveaway
These workshops in Reno and Elko will cover the fascinating ecology of our native pollinators and how to use native plants to provide critical habitat for them and pest control services for you. In addition, there will be a plant giveaway at the end of the workshop!
Burls, K.J. and H. Kratsch 2021, University of Nevada, Reno Event Calendar
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

Learn more about the program's team

Gary McCuin
Program Contact
Brad Schultz
Program Contact