Field Trials & Research. Extension Field Crop Specialist and Assistant Professor, Dr. Maninder K. Walia, is collaborating with a local producer and the Fallon Food Hub, to evaluate the yields, quality and taste-test of four different varieties of butternut squash. Walia also coordinates research projects that include four varieties of hemp grown in Churchill County and multiple varieties of soybeans and chickpeas grown at the Experiment Station in Fallon.
- A Field Day event was held in Fallon on August 12, 2020, where Walia and other researchers from the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources showcased multiple alternative crops growing at the Experiment Station. Walia also provides information on the site of a producer’s squash field.
- An online virtual workshop on sorghum was hosted on March 12, 2021, where information on the basics of sorghum production, updates on new sorghum varieties being bred for Nevada, irrigation management practices, and new technologies for above and belowground measurements of new sorghum varieties were shared with producers statewide.
- In August of 2021, four additional on-site tours will be held.
- Drought and its effects on growers continue to be a focus of multiple projects by Extension as described in an article written in September 2021, for FarmProgress.com, Western Famer-Stockman.
Pesticide Applicator Training. In an effort to protect the environment and to promote healthy and safe application, a license is required by the Nevada State Department of Agriculture to use many pesticides. Extension provides pesticide workshops where attending applicators can receive Continuing Education Units used for recertification of their licenses. A two-day workshop was presented in November 2020. The pandemic health concerns reduced our in-person attendance to 6 persons per day.
Children, Youth & Family
Churchill County 4-H
- Our 40+ volunteers continue to be the foundation of the Churchill County 4-H program. With all the restrictions that 4-H had in place, meeting in person was not allowed. These leader/volunteers have worked hard through this pandemic to find creative ways to reach, engage and teach the 4-H youth. This took time and learning on their part as they had never taught online before. 4-H truly has the best people working with our youth.
- This year 4-H saw a need to help feed children during their spring break. We were able to team up with Oasis Academy FFA and Churchill County FFA in a Community Service Peanut Butter and Jelly drive. Collection boxes were placed at the Extension Office, Oasis Academy Office and Pinon Building at WNC as well as the Churchill County High School front office for the public to donate. We collected nut spreads along with honey, jams and jellies. Once again, our community stepped up and we were able to help feed over 275 families during their spring break.
- New this year was the 4-H working with the C.A.R.E.S. after school program at Northside School. We were able to deliver programming to various youth ages 5 to 14 twice a week for four months. This was well received across the board as we served a much-needed component to that program.
- With a grant that the State 4-H Office received, Churchill County was able to team up with various other counties in Nevada to deliver a program titled Health Rocks! Inspired To Be Substance Free. Through the power of youth/adult partnerships, Health Rocks! instills in youth participants invaluable confidence and communication skills necessary to make responsible decisions and develop the internal strength to resist risky behavior.
- Unfortunately, 4-H Camp at Lake Tahoe was not held this year. This was due to the various restrictions that were in place.
- Other events that the 4-H traditionally participate in such as the 4th of July Parade and Pic Nic in the Park, Cantaloupe Festival and County Fair, the Labor Day Parade and the 4-H State Expo were cancelled for 2020.
- On April 22nd through the 24th, 2021 the Churchill County Junior Livestock Show and Sale was able to return to an in-person event. We still had several restrictions that we had to meet and incorporate but we were able to hold the show and sale live and in person. It was good to see the 90 youth exhibitors working with their projects and able to show them in person. The sale was supported very well with most of the 60 animals bringing a premium price.
ALL Year Help. Over 200 questions about plants, trees, weeds, bugs, water and soil were asked during the past year. Whether over the phone, behind a mask, or through email, our staff helped to identify:
- weeds and common control methods,
- common plant distresses and diseases,
- pests or the damage they had caused.
Often the help provided is on-the-spot from research done in the past, other times further investigation is required. When possible, we share an Extension fact sheet or special publication on the topic. If our local staff can’t find the answer, a referral can be made to specialists or our online service of Ask2.Extension.Org.
FALL 2020-Home Horticulture Certification Program. Individuals wanting a deeper understanding of the science behind backyard gardening in northern Nevada were invited to attend nine on-line classes offered by Extension faculty and staff and experienced horticulturalists. Attendance from the Churchill County area was not available.
SPRING 2021-Grow Your Own, Nevada Program. In spring 2021, the Grow Your Own, Nevada Program offered online courses to teach gardening basics. Eight classes were presented via internet from April 6—29. The transition from in-person classes to on-line classes opened the door for more people statewide to participate. Registration for attendance from Churchill County was a total of 34.
Health & Nutrition
Healthy Aging Program. Extension is supporting the delivery of evidence-based physical activity programs to the older adults at the William N. Pennington Life Center by training the Life Center staff on program implementation and sharing resources for program marketing and health promotion. The Life Center also has a garden club and walking club with associated activities funded by SNAP-Ed that promote physical activity participation and healthful nutrition through garden-to-table concepts.
In September 2021, the Life Center is implementing the environmental scan created by the Nevada Healthy Aging Alliance (chaired by Extension) to determine the physical activity and nutrition needs of the community, which will influence FY22 programming. Extension staff has provided technical assistance training for the implementation of this scan and will assist with assessing the needs and generating a report of the findings.
Through the Extension and Life Center partnership in FY21, direct and indirect efforts funded by SNAP-Ed have reached approximately 500 older adults in Churchill County.
Engage Your Brain. To raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, a four-part educational series was made available to the public in our office and via Zoom. This series began June 3, 2021 and ran through September 2nd. It was offered in cooperation with the Northern Nevada Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Five people participated through our office in Churchill County.
Water Test Kits. To promote safe drinking water, Extension partners with the Nevada State Public Health Lab to offer water test kits to the general public. The Churchill County office has test kits and instructions available for four types of tests; routine domestic, presences of Coliform/E.Coli, arsenic level and nitrate levels. From July 2020 to June 2021, 136 test kits were handed out. Our staff help interpret water test results and provide factsheets about arsenic, manganese, iron and reverse osmosis systems when residents have questions.
Radon Tests Kits. Each January and February, University of Nevada, Reno Extension offers free test kits to evaluate the naturally occurring radon that has accumulated in a home. Radon is a radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Rising from the ground, it can accumulate to a level that raises the risk of lung cancer. 17 kits were handed out by the Churchill County office.
Over the years, test results show that 17.3% (89 homes) of the 514 Churchill County homes tested with short-term radon kits, have radon in excess of the EPA Action Level of 4 pCi/l. When homes test higher than 4pCi/l using a short-term test, it is always recommended that a long-term test be used for further evaluation. A list of vendors that can provide radon remediation is available to those interested in learning how to change the radon levels in their home.
Natural Resources & Community Development
Soil Sample Analysis. Soil testing is a reliable tool to learn about key characteristics of your soil and its fertility levels. To help growers determine how to amend their soil, Extension staff in Churchill County provide instructions on how to take a soil sample for analysis. In addition we have available a list of some private testing labs that can provide soil analysis services.
Wood Cutting Permits and Christmas Tree Permits. We assist the Bureau of Land Management, by providing wood cutting permits and Christmas tree tags for the public. This collaboration saves residents from having to drive to Carson City to obtain these permits. During the pandemic, our office was one of the few in the State of Nevada where permits were still being sold to the public. In 2020, the Extension office in Churchill County sold permits for 228 Christmas trees and 105 cords of firewood. Maps of cutting areas and the cutting restrictions are provided with each permit.
Fiscal Year 2020 - 2021
Table 1: Expenditures by source
|Expenditures Benefiting Churchill County
Table 2: County Fund activity for fiscal year 2021
|County Funds Summary
|Opening Balance 7-01-20:
|Closing Balance 6-30-21: