Program Impacts


Field Trials & Research.  

During the growing seasons of 2021 and 2022, Extension’s State-wide Field Crop Specialist, Maninder K. Walia, coordinated multiple research projects within Churchill County and other areas of the state. 

  • In Churchill County Walia continued for the third year, the collaboration with a local producer and the Fallon Food Hub, to evaluate the yields, quality and taste-test of four different varieties of butternut squash. A field tour showcasing the work was held on August 23, 2021.  
  • Walia also coordinates research projects with a Churchill County hemp grower that includes four varieties of fiber and grain hemp. A field tour explaining the work of this project was held on August 16, 2021. 
  • During the winter of 2021, Dr. Walia, hosted an online workshop devoted to managing soil health in the agricultural lands of Nevada. The six free online classes offered information on soil health fundamentals, cover crop benefits, soil salinity management, and prevention of erosion. During the workshop series 18 participants claimed Churchill County as their home base. 
  • In the spring of 2022, a four-part virtual workshop on sorghum was hosted. 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 grain sorghum were shared with producers statewide. Five participants during the workshop series claimed Churchill County as their home base.

Children, Youth & Family

Churchill County 4-H (July 2021 to June 2022)

Our 35+ volunteers continue to be the foundation of the Churchill County 4-H program. With the many restrictions that had been in place over the past year, meeting in person or in groups for 4-H had not been allowed. These great leader/volunteers worked to bring the youth in our community back together for learning and to growing in true 4-H tradition. This took time and new skills, as they led and encouraged the youth back to group learning and socialization with others of all ages.  

Unfortunately, the 4-H Camp held annually in July at Lake Tahoe, was not able to be held this year, due to continued health concerns and restrictions that were in place.

During the 2021-2022 year, 4-H chose to support our county and directed our efforts in helping to beautify our community. We helped paint new murals on the south side of the Churchill County Museum. We also helped at the Churchill County Fairgrounds by repainting panels around and inside the Fairview Arena. 4-H members provided over 300 hours of service to our community.

For a second year, Churchill County 4-H had access to grant funding to deliver a program titled Health Rocks! Inspired To Be Substance Free. This program helps instill in youth participants the confidence and communication skills necessary to make responsible decisions and develop the internal strength to resist risky behavior. The program was implemented in the summer during SUMFUN, reaching more than 30 youth. 

In August, Churchill County 4-H participated in the Cantaloupe Festival and County Fair. Our 4-H members took part in the Ag in the Class portion. They were able to teach over 250 fifth graders about agriculture. This not only helps the 5th graders learn about animals and their food, but also allows our 4-H members to learn and grow through public speaking and educating others. 

In October 2021, the 4-H State Expo was held once again in Winnemucca, NV. Churchill County 4-H was represented well by receiving all blue ribbons, as well as some reserved and grand champion ribbons, on their various static displays such as cooking, sewing and quilting.

New this year was the Churchill County Livestock Judging Contest. This contest was open to everyone in the state. Although the weather was ridged, we had a good turnout from Churchill, as well as various other counties throughout the state.  We look forward making this an annual event. 

April 21 -23, 2022 the 83rd annual Churchill County Junior Livestock Show and Sale (CCJLS) was held. We were able to hold this incredible event without any COVID restrictions. CCJLS was honored to be the first livestock show to be held in the new state-of-the-art Rafter 3C Arena. By holding this event inside the Rafter 3C, we saw a substantial increase in the general public attendance. Attenders were able to learn more about agriculture in our community while staying out of any climate weather. We also saw a large increase in those attending the sale of over 85 animals. The sale this year, once again, was record breaking. The businesses and community generously supported our youth exhibitors by attending and showing their support for all the time and hard work these young exhibitors had put in to their projects.  

Following CCJLS, several exhibitors attended the Nevada Junior Livestock Show and Sale in Reno, NV. Churchill exhibitors were very successful and brought home the awards of Grand Champion Market Steer, Grand Champion Market Hog and Reserve Champion Market Steer.

A list of 4-H Clubs that were available in Churchill County:  Livestock (12 different ones), Horse, Cooking, Arts & Crafts (2), Shooting Sports (2), Sewing, Quilting, Crocheting, Leather, Photo Scrap Book, Dog. Sign Language, Gardening, Cloverbuds and 4-H Camp. 

Horticulture & Natural Resources

Churchill County Extension Staff

Water Test Kits.  

Safe drinking water is an important topic in our world. In Nevada, water from private wells is not monitored for quality by governmental agencies. This means the homeowner is responsible for the safety of the drinking water used by their family. It is recommended that a routine domestic analysis be run every 5 to 10 years. 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. The cost of testing is billed by the Lab and ranges between $100 to $17, depending on the test. From July 2021 to June 2022, 170 test kits were handed out by our office. 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. 

Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that occurs naturally and rises from the ground. It can accumulate in buildings to a level that raises the risk of lung cancer. Over a 20 year period, test results show that 16.6% of the homes tested in Churchill County, 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. 
The University of Nevada, Reno Extension’s Nevada Radon Education Program offers free radon test kits during the months of January and February each year. These kits measure the radon that has accumulated in a home. The Churchill County office has radon kits on hand year round.  

Counter Help.

Our staff helped to identify:  

  • weeds and common control methods: 20 + times
  • common plant distresses and diseases: 50 + times 
  • pests or the damage they have caused: 40 + times
  • provided information on soil testing: 25 + times

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. 

Online Learning.

University of Nevada, Reno Extension has moved to an online format for two types of popular horticultural classes. This allows people from all areas to participate and learn, from the comfort of their home. More information on the Home Horticulture Certificate Program or the Master Gardeners of Nevada Program, can be found on the Extension website. In August of 2021, one Churchill County resident was unsure how to use Zoom to participate in the online classes. We set her up in our office with a laptop, gave her a little extra help, and by the fourth class she was able to navigate the process from home.    

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 the drive to Carson City to obtain these permits. FY22, the Extension office in Churchill County sold permits for 166 Christmas trees and 64 cords of firewood. Maps of cutting areas and the cutting restrictions are provided with each permit. 

Health & Nutrition & Community Development

Healthy Aging Program. 

During FY22 two SNAP-Ed curricula were implemented in Churchill County through the William Pennington Life Center– Bingocize and Seniors Eating Well. 

Bingocize is a 10-week program that integrates nutrition and physical activity into a game of bingo. Seniors Eating Well is a 8-9 week program that focuses on older adult nutrition. These curricula were delivered to 78 individuals. 

Seniors Eating Well recipes were also incorporated into the center’s daily menus to introduce the older adults to healthy meal options. The Healthy LIVING while aging! newsletter was also distributed to older adults attending the center and to those receiving home delivery meals. In total, 350 individuals were reached with the health promotion newsletter. 

In September a nutrition-focused Grandparent’s Day community event was held and nutrition-related educational reinforcers were distributed to grandparents and their grandchildren, reaching a total of 26 pairs. 

Finally, a SNAP-Ed supported walking club was continued from the previous fiscal year. The club was led by community members, but SNAP-Ed provided additional resources and education related to physical activity and hydration. Overall, SNAP-Ed implemented both at the individual-level and site-level to make the healthy choice the easy choice for older adults. 

One of our SNAP-Ed success stories is related to the delivery of Bingocize: Sally [name changed] has attended all the Bingocize modules from Physical Activity, Falls Prevention and Nutrition. Over the last year, Sally's balance has improved greatly. Before participating in Bingocize she usually used a cane, but since participating in the program, she forgot her cane a few times and felt confident balancing without it. Now she carries her cane just for safety precautions, but she is much more confident in her day-to-day life and standing up without assistance.

Financial Data for Fiscal Year 2022

Expenditures Benefiting Churchill County FY 2022

Federal Funds        $4,830
State Funds          $52,206
County Funds    $116,033
Grant Funds       $101,393
Gifts                           $3,411
Other Funds         $57,439
Total                   $335,312

County Fund Summary    FY2022

Opening Balance 07-01-21    $124,376
Revenue FY22    $136,051
Expense FY22    $141,834
Ending Balance 06-30-22       $118,593

Brown, L 2022, Churchill County Annual Report | Fiscal Year 2021 - 2022, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno

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T. R Harris, R. Chicola 2023, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-23-14
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