University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is engaged in Nevada communities, presenting research-based knowledge to address critical community needs in the areas of agriculture; children, youth and families; community and economic development; horticulture; health and nutrition; and natural resources. It is a county-state-federal partnership providing practical education to people, businesses and communities. It is a unit of the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, and plays a vital role in fulfilling the University’s land-grant mission.
PREVENTING FAMILY VIOLENCE
Heart & Shield: A Program to End Family Violence (H&S) creates an environment for child and adult survivors of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) to obtain skills and resources necessary to break the cycle of IPV. Participants attend a 9-week session and monthly Family Night Out activities. Each meeting includes a healthy meal, nutrition tips, family violence prevention education for each age group, and a family activity that reinforces skills taught. Participants are divided into age groups: parents, children ages birth to 8, youth ages 9-13, and teens 14-18. Educational topics for parents focus on communication, emotion identification and regulation, problem solving, typical child development and development affected by family violence, parenting styles, guidance and discipline, healthy relationships, and strengthening families. Children, youth, and teen topics teach communication, emotion identification and regulation, problem solving, friendship skills, healthy relationships, social/emotional skills, and strengthening families. Since 2013, 33 adults and 74 youth participated in the Elko County program. Faculty and staff delivered presentations to statewide and national stakeholders for sustainability. More than 40 local presentations were given to community partners to increase awareness of IPV and its effects on children and adults, increasing program referrals and ways to partner to sustain the program.
Preventing domestic violence was identified by 95% of Elko County survey respondents as a high priority issue (Results of a Mailed Survey: Priorities for Elko County, 2012).
A retrospective pretest–posttest was administered in 2017. Seven respondents indicated their knowledge sufficiently increased from the beginning, to the end of the session. When asked, “was there anything that was especially helpful to you,” parents responded that learning to listen before trying to find an immediate solution, finding positive alternatives for behavior, resources offered, and the emotional and developmental effects of family fighting [on children] were the most helpful aspects. Parents overwhelmingly stated that a positive aspect of the classes was “seeing other parents struggle, [all of us] talking about it, and supporting each other!” Faculty and staff observed the following behavioral changes in youth and parents:
- Chaotic interactions improved after implementing routines, thereby increasing family functioning and reducing behavior issues.
- Parents remained calm and employed positive guidance when their children exhibited challenging behaviors, helping their children stay on task.
- Parents increased awareness and attention to self-care, improving their ability to better care for their children.
- Youth’s ability to name emotions or describe their feelings about different experiences and generate solutions to solve problems increased during session.
- Family activities became easier to lead as the program progressed.
Program partners included Committee Against Domestic Violence, Elko County District Attorney, Elko County School District, Division of Child and Family Services, Family Resource Center, Great Basin Children’s Advocacy Center, Nevada Early Intervention Services, and PACE Coalition.
Youth participation in 4-H clubs increased by 16% (333 members, age 9-19 years) from 2014 to 2018 while the number of volunteers increased by 59% (151 fingerprinted volunteers) during the same years. Elko County 4-H added five clubs in the past five years, a 42% increase. The 17 community clubs meet in Elko, Clover Valley, Jiggs, Lamoille, Ruby Valley, Spring Creek, Starr Valley, and Tuscarora. Existing clubs in Spring Creek were at capacity; forming new clubs in that area allowed approximately 50 youth to join 4-H that had previously been on a waiting list. A new 4-H Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) club explored electrical circuits and conductors. The Elko County 4-H Program Coordinator taught elementary students to build playdough circuits and LED ladybugs at an elementary school health and science fair. In addition, the 4-H Coordinator taught the “Incredible Wearables” National 4-H Science Day experiment to middle school science club members and to the youth participating in the Elko County Library’s Maker Monday activities.
The Elko County 4-H program focused on teaching youth content knowledge about their projects, encouraging youth to contribute to their communities through community service, and build life skills. Countywide 4-H contests have an educational component and a volunteer planning committee. 4-H volunteers and community presenters offer workshops in beef, dog training, fashion revue, gardening, horse, dairy and meat goats, photography, and sheep. 4-H members care for needy families and senior citizens by providing meals, purchasing and wrapping holiday gifts, raking leaves and yard clean-up, decorating and donating Christmas trees for the annual Elko Festival of Trees which supports five local nonprofit organizations, honoring veterans by planting flags at the cemetery for Memorial Day, cleaning up roads, parks, and cemeteries, and much more.
The number of volunteers in a community is a strong measure of community engagement. Community volunteerism and engagement are important indicators of individual and community health and economic outcomes. Cooperative Extension collaborated with Nevada Volunteers to bring a 5-part Volunteer Engagement Training series to Elko. Topics included risk management, preparing staff to work with volunteers effectively, coaching and supervising volunteers, and finding skills-based and pro bono volunteers. Twenty-nine participants attended the training sessions, September 2017- February 2018. Upon learning about the Volunteer Engagement Series, Barrick Gold Corporation sponsored any individual or organization ($60 value per participant for the five sessions). The Corporate Social Responsibility Manager stated, “I think the training can be invaluable to many of our host community organizations.”
NATURAL RESOURCES | RANGELAND HEALTH & SUSTAINABILITY
Natural Resource Specialist Kent McAdoo’s 2017-2018 range management programs focused on three topics: 1) restoring rangeland health; 2) sustainable biodiversity/multiple use of rangelands; and 3) collaborative resource stewardship.
Kent taught rangeland sustainability workshops on healthy, productive rangelands for livestock forage, wildlife, recreation, and other uses to participants at the International Rangeland Seminar, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, Shoesole Resource Management Group, and Stewardship Alliance of Northeast Elko County. Kent taught weed identification, management, and revegetation to compete with weeds to private and public land managers, weed control specialists, ranchers, property owners, mine personnel, resource consultants, conservation district leaders, Native American tribal members, and agency natural resource specialists in Elko and at the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Owyhee. Fifty-one attendees learned to identify noxious weed species, research-proven weed control and revegetation methods. All (100%) of workshop respondents said they would be more likely to read pesticide labels after attending the program.
The Vegetation Management program taught land managers/owners about the impact of wildfire on habitat and plant needs for wildlife diversity and livestock forage. To increase landowner and land manager interaction and cooperation, Kent taught 8 classroom and field modules at two 2-day “Creeks and Communities” workshops. Proper Functioning Riparian Conditions (PFC) classes taught in Nevada encouraged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use and teach PFC assessment tool for improving water quality.
According to Kent’s needs assessment, burned area revegetation, wildlife, and livestock grazing are the controversial rangeland issues of highest priority in northeast Nevada. Grassroots collaborative approaches to resolving issues are gaining momentum in many communities. Kent co-lead a group of ranch managers/families, government agency representatives, and members of the general public to achieve balanced collaborative approaches for rangeland issues and adapt management strategies. Collaboration has resulted in better communication among ranchers and agencies. Knowledge is exchanged as ranchers learn about agency concerns and policies and receive management advice to address challenges between natural resource sustainability and livestock production; agency personnel gain a better understanding about “on-the-ground” conditions and ranch operation limitations and capabilities. Through the collaborative process, more creative thinking occurs and both ranchers and agencies benefit. In 2017 the Shoesole Resource Management Group received the “Great Basin Award” from the Nevada Section Society for Range Management.
FISCAL YEAR 2017 - 2018
$245,595 - Total Revenue
$132,431.04 - Total Expenses
$154.407.58* - Total Balance
*Note: Unusual staffing challenges adversely affected our typical spending for this fiscal year.
$202,147 - County
$176,503 - Grants
$108,541 - State
$103,140 - Federal
Elko County Cooperative Extension
701 Walnut St. | Elko, NV 89801
Jill Baker-Tingey, Extension Educator
firstname.lastname@example.org | 775-726-3109