Program Impacts

Agricultural Programs

  • Beginning Beekeeping Class – The Douglas County Extension Office and beekeeping volunteers hosted a 2-day virtual beginning beekeeping class, which was the only local educational event in the region in winter 2021. Twenty- five persons attended the class with topics ranging from tools and equipment to pollinator plants and disease management.
  • Douglas Extension Beekeeping Program – A community needs assessment conducted by Lindsay Chichester, Douglas County Extension Educator, indicated a need for more information and outreach on bees and pollinators. This project began in January 2020, and has grown to management of six hives at two locations, an educational teaching hive, numerous outreach events, and the beginning of the Douglas County Bee and Pollinator Club which has about 25 family memberships.
  • Eagles and Ag – A program to promote the benefits agriculture provides wildlife and the community, conservation and prosperity of ranching in western Nevada, and enhance participant knowledge in wildlife habitat and local agriculture. Partnered with Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce. 2021 marked the 20th year of this program with 180 participants.
  • Cattleman’s Update – Provides current research-based information about important management practices and issues that may affect the efficiency, productivity, profitability and sustainability of cattle production businesses.
  • Agriculture Stress and Mental Health Wellness – no doubt agriculture is a stressful profession. In Nevada, very little research has been conducted, and limited resources are available for persons in need. Brenda Freeman, Ph.D. and Lindsay Chichester have been working collaboratively on the Western Regional Agricultural Stress Assistance Program (WRASAP) with 13 states and 4 territories to collect baseline data, determine outreach and engagement opportunities, and establish a plan going forward for Nevadans.

Natural Resources

  • The Living With Fire Program (LWF) teaches Nevadans how to live more safely in wildfire prone areas. On December 3, 2020, the all-day Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities Summit was held virtually and featured Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. A total of eight Douglas County residents attended the Zoom workshop. From May – October, 2021 along with local, state and federal firefighting agencies, LWF spearheaded the Nevada Wildfire Awareness Campaign which helps residents to be aware of and prepared for wildfire. A total of nine webinars were broadcasted over Zoom and covered wildfire-related topics through these webinars, LWF reached a total of 26 Douglas County residents. Topics that Douglas County residents attended included: Firewise landscaping, Wildfire Evacuation Preparedness, Perspectives from a Wildland Fire Investigator, The Timeline of Climate, Weather and Fire, Protect, Prevent and Prepare with NV Energy, Wildfire Smoke and Health, Reseeding and Flood After Wildfire, and Prescribed Fire in Tahoe and Nevada. A total of 195 publications were distributed to the Douglas County residents. A community meeting was held with the East Fork Fire Protection District’s Fire Marshal, and a Living With Fire volunteer. They presented to thirty North Fork Trails community members.
     
  • Living With Drought – to connect Nevadans with resources to help prepare for, respond to, and recover from drought. The purpose is to promote understanding of drought by connecting citizens and natural resource managers to essential drought information, current research and resources that help to address and assess the impacts of drought in Nevada. The Living with Drought website provides a one-stop-shop for homeowners, gardeners, farmers, ranchers, natural resource managers and others to find all the information they need, including current drought status information; data and tools that can be used track and report drought impacts; and information about the basic types and causes of drought.

Horticulture

The part-time position of Horticulture Outreach Coordinator was filled March 2021 by Jessica Gardner.

  • Heritage Park Community Garden Question & Answer Sessions – June 2021, Horticulture Outreach Coordinator Jessica Gardner, started a Q&A Session style class in partnership with Main Street Gardnerville- Heritage Park Community Gardner volunteers. This class is designed to provide a 30-minute educational talk followed by 30 minutes of discussion.
  • Master Gardeners – Extension Master Gardener volunteers are dedicated to providing consumer horticulture education throughout the community in a variety of ways. UNR Extension Douglas County Master Gardeners continue to make community impacts at Dangberg Ranch and Heritage Park Community Garden. Starting 2022 the UNR Extension Master Gardener program will be a statewide program, making the training more accessible to all Nevadans.
  •  Grow Your Own, Nevada! – a program to help citizens who want to get on a path to more sustainable, local, healthy living by growing more of their own food. Offered Spring of 2021 via Zoom with 110 Douglas County residents signed on during the four weeks of classes.
  • Nevada Pesticide Applicator – a partnership with the Nevada Department of Agriculture, this program is designed for professionals working in the commercial horticulture field who use pesticides as a means of controlling insects, vertebrates, and plant pests for their jobs. Continuing Education classes are provided throughout the year, via zoom or in person.
  • Horticulture Outreach via walk-in, email or phone call – Logged walk-ins: 183, telephone calls: 75, and emails: 8. These numbers do not reflect the actual number they represent what was officially logged. Many Douglas County community members utilized Ask eXtension to ask home horticulture questions and those were not logged.

A partnership of Nevada Counties; University of Nevada, Reno; and U.S. Department of Agriculture

Children, Youth and Families

  • 4-H – Participants are youth, ages 5 to 19, taking part in programs provided by Extension personnel in cooperation with volunteers. 4-H is characterized as being community centered, volunteer led, extension staff supervised, research based, home and family oriented, publicly and privately funded, and responsive to change. It offers youth opportunities in communications, leadership, career development, citizenship, healthy living, science, technology, engineering and math, and more.
  • Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) – a national multi-species quality assurance program for youth ages 8-21 with a focus on three pillars: food safety, animal well-being, and character development. YQCA certification can be done online and in-person. In Nevada, Lindsay Chichester is the state contact, and serves as Vice President of the National YQCA Board.

4-H

Douglas County 4-H: 64 youth members and 13 adult volunteers in 2020-2021.

  • Shooting Sports Projects had 5 volunteer leaders and 26 youth members
  • Livestock Projects had 4 volunteer leaders and 17 youth: 8 youth showing sheep; 5 youth showing steers; 2 youth showing goats
  • Cloverbud Project had 1 volunteer leader and 5 youth.
  • Sewing Project had 1 volunteer leader and 3 youth
  • Photography Project had 1 volunteer leader and 10 youth
  • Our Teen Ambassador Program had 1 staff and 4 members

Douglas County 4-H continues to partner with the community on a number of different levels:

  • We partnered with Kiwanis of the Carson Valley for our annual portfolio judging contest.
  • We had 10 members of the community served as judges for the event. The local Kiwanis of the Carson Valley donated $600 for the winners. A total of 35 Portfolio Record Books were turned in for judging. Completing a Portfolio is crucial to learning life skills and record keeping. It incorporates record keeping, resume writing, essay writing, creativity and time management skills.
  • We partnered with Tractor Supply Company for our annual “Paper Clover Days” to fundraise for 4-H and provide education to the community on what 4-H has to offer.
  • We hosted the Nevada State Skill-a-thon and Livestock Judging Contests in Douglas County with 40 youth from around the state participating.
  • We partnered with Carson Valley Shepherds to host Battle Born Livestock to host a local youth livestock show with more than 400 in attendance.
  • We collaborated with the Silver and Sage Show to provide a youth livestock and dog show at the Douglas County Fairgrounds for approximately 50 youth from around the state and in counties of other states that border Nevada.

Community Development

  • Leadership Douglas County – A community leadership program designed to develop informed, involved, and knowledgeable community members for Douglas County. Lindsay is on the steering committee.
  • Economic Vitality – Supporting the needs of small businesses through trainings and resources to succeed in Douglas County.
  • Facilitation – Provide unbiased facilitation for local entities who need help with strategic planning, Board retreats, or Town Hall meetings.

Radon

Radon Education – A program to educate citizens about radon health risk which offers literature, educational programs and radon test kits. In Douglas County, 5,037 homes have been tested, which is 24% of all homes in Douglas County (n=23,810). At this time, 40% of homes in Douglas County have the potential to test over the 4 pCi/l, the recommended “safe” value as identified by the EPA. The average radon level in homes tested is 5.01 pCi/l, and the highest value recorded in 117.9 pCi/l.

Of the homes needing mitigation (after confirmation testing), 537 have undergone mitigation, resulting in a 27.8% mitigation percentage. Also, there are a total of 997 reported real estate tests that have been conducted as part of a transaction and 128 Radon- Resistant New Construction (RRNC) homes in Douglas County since the program’s inception.

Douglas County has provided the Nevada Radon Poster Contest with six first place winners since its inception in 2010. And, the Nevada contest has also garnered two national first place winners, in 2016 and 2018, and a national second place winner in 2019.

Chichester, L. 2021, Douglas County Annual Report | Fiscal Year 2020 - 2021, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno

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Also of Interest:

 
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Morris, C. 2021, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Bulletin
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Buffington, A., Webber, K., and Lindsay, A. 2021, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno