Extension provides Mineral County residents access to health and nutrition programs. Youth Nutrition education is implemented through direct in-school education with youth and parents. Senior programs are unique to Mineral County Seniors and include a senior strength training class and Veggies for Seniors.
Veggies for Seniors is a fruit and vegetable distribution program for Mineral County seniors 65 years-old and older. The program provides recipes and educational information about increasing fruit and vegetable intake. The program is built upon providing access to fruits and vegetables and is funded by Mineral County and the State of Nevada. A Mineral Countystrength training program is also available to seniors twice a week to gain strength and improve balance. The program was canceled a few months during the year, but has maintained over 10 seniors that attend regularly. The program continues to expand.
A grant from the State of Nevada Fund for Healthy Nevada expanded the Veggies for Seniors and Veggies for Kids Take Home program to provide weekly to monthly fresh fruit and vegetable access. There are 70 Seniors in Mineral County, 47 on the Walker River Reservation and 36 on the Pyramid Lake Reservation that participated in the program. This program is coordinated out of Mineral County Extension.
Veggies for Kids (VFK) is an in-school nutrition education program provided by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. The program was created in 2008, and a curriculum for kindergarteners was adapted in 2015 to incorporate USDA MyPlate, Nevada state standards, and expand on lessons from the original VFK curriculum. The Veggies for Kids: Grow Strong program provides a series of 12 lessons with the fundamental goals of reinforcing an adequate intake of fruits and vegetables, increased consumption of water and low-fat milk rather than sweetened beverages, and promoting increased physical activity. Each lesson ranges between 45 to 60 minutes in length and typically incorporates a food tasting, journal activity, and take-home assignment to reinforce topics learned in class and promote family engagement. The curriculum was published by Nevada Extension in 2020 and created by Mineral County Extension faculty and staff.
Three different programs directly focus on youth health and nutrition education. These programs were implemented through direct in-school education and community-based education that included parents of school-aged children. The three specific programs in 2020 - 2021 were the following: Veggies for Kids; Mineral County Prevention (HCC Grant $9,700); and Think First Stay Safe (Nevada DHHS, $35,004). Veggies for Kids is a Kindergarten based program to increase fruit and vegetable intake, water intake, and increase physical activity. Think First, Stay Safe is a child self-protection program for 1st and 2nd graders and is implemented just within Mineral County. Mineral County Prevention is a curriculum called Michigan Model for Health and is targeted to fifth graders. The 12-week program was impacted by school closures due to COVID-19 and only minimal lessons were taught in 2020. The picture is Hawthorne Elementary School students that participate in the Earth Day dash as part of the prevention program.
The Mineral County 4-H program continues to reorganize and find creative and innovative ways to increase programming. Focus is placed on creating more clubs, getting more youth involved in 4-H Camp at Lake Tahoe, offering specific 4-H programs for youth, and building 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities.
The Mineral County 4-H program took over the youth basketball league in 2017. There were 117 unduplicated youth registered in Mineral County 4-H clubs for 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions 4-H Basketball and Ski Club activities were canceled. There was a 4- H Summer ball program that kicked off in May of 2021 with 117 kids enrolled.
There were 28 youth that attended the 4-H Mineral & Native Programs Camp in Lake Tahoe in July 2021. Also, participating were 1 adult leader, 2 Native American tribal elders, 5 teen counselors and Mineral County Extension Staff. The theme of camp was Celebrating Nevada Native American Foods and Nevada Agriculture.
There is statewide agriculture education that is coordinated out of the Mineral County Extension ofce. This program includes the Nevada Beginning Farmer and Rancher program and the Cattlemen’s Update. The Beginning Farmer and Rancher program was kicked off in 2020 and was limited to online learning. The 2021 Nevada Cattlemen’s Update was held online. There were 80 to 100 participants people throughout the two-day event via Zoom. Presentations of the education event can be found on YouTube
Programs evolved in 2020-2021 for American Indian business development, COVID-19 Assistance Programs, Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP), and University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) tribal students’ program. All programs went virtual in 2020-2021. Education updates for COVID assistance occurred every Friday for the year, and Zoom crawls (one-hour sessions) were created to discuss business development and management topics throughout the year. For example, one Zoom Crawl was on how to buy a tractor.
This program continues to evolve and grow. UNR Native Programs was in charge of implementing the national FRTEP professional development program, which was implemented online via Zoom with Hank Rubin on Collaborative Leadership. The team continues to assist Tribes with access to USDA programs and individual producers with business management and development issues.
S. Emm, 2021, Mineral County Annual Report | Fiscal Year 2020-2021, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, County Report
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