The face of agriculture in Douglas County is changing, as land is divided and ranches are parceled off. Public understanding of the values agriculture provides our communities is critical to agricultural sustainability.
Although many Douglas County residents enjoy the rural character of the area, many complain about some aspects of it, such as dust, flies, odors and slow-moving farm vehicles. Farmers and ranchers often find themselves defending their industry, and many ranchers are tempted to sell to land developers or prospective homebuyers lured to an attractive valley of green pastures, livestock and wildlife, with the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada. Although the face of agriculture in Douglas County is changing as land is subdivided, public understanding of the value agriculture provides our communities is critical to its sustainability.
Eagles & Agriculture is a multiday celebration of agriculture to teach about agriculture and the benefits it provides to wildlife and the community. The program, a collaborative effort that began in 2003, encourages the conservation and prosperity of ranching in western Nevada, teaches participants about wildlife and the history of agriculture in Carson Valley, and creates an agritourism model that enhances the profitability of local farming and ranching businesses. The four-day 2017 event included an opening reception with live birds; four large Ranch & Eagles tours visiting five ranches; tours of seven other ranches; four smaller 20-passenger bus tours for birders; the 50-passenger bus Owl Prowl tour with a falcon flight demonstration; the Falconer’s Dinner with guest speakers and live birds; a photography workshop; a nature hike and a photo contest. Speakers included University of Nevada, Reno Geography Professor Paul Starrs and several falconers with their birds of prey.