Douglas Extension Bee and Pollinator Program – A community needs assessment conducted by Lindsay Chichester, Ph.D., 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, educational teaching hives, an observational hive, numerous outreach events and 35 family memberships. Our office created the National Pollinator Week Program for Douglas County, including numerous educational outreach events. Additionally, a 4-H Bee and Pollinator Club reached 15 youth in 2023.
Beginning Beekeeping Class – The Douglas County Extension Office and beekeeping volunteers hosted a 2-day in- person beginning beekeeping class. Thirty persons attended the class with topics ranging from tools and equipment to pollinator plants and disease management.
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. We partnered with Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce. 2023 marked the 22nd year of this program with 363 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. The 2023 update reached 301 livestock producers. The event is hybrid, with one day being virtual and four days are in-person. The topics vary annually, but we try to provide speakers and research that is timely and important for decision making.
Rural Heritage and Quality of Life – The needs assessment indicated a strong need to preserve agriculture and the rich rural heritage in Douglas County. Lindsay serves as an agricultural liaison for the Carson Valley Visitor’s Authority, works on local programming with the Carson Valley Historical Society and the Dangberg Home Ranch.
Mobile Slaughter Trailer - In 2021, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher (BFR) team worked with entrepreneurs trying to build slaughter/processing plants. The team has worked to get the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) paperwork through USDA approval, held a training for small meat producers to develop their own HACCP plans, and continues to work closely with the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) on the state meat inspection program.
Agriculture Stress, Mental Health, and Resiliency – 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. In 2022, the results of a producer survey were published (FS-22-01). In 2023, several presentations have been given and several interviews made on the topic, with abstracts submitted for future presentation opportunities.
The Living With Fire Program (LWF) bridges the gap between science and action, convene communities and stakeholders to address the challenges of wildfire. Through trusted partnerships, we create science-based education and outreach programs that equitably address emerging social and ecological needs.
During this fiscal year, LWF presented to four different community groups in Douglas County, reaching 67 individuals. LWF attended three community booth events that reached 291 individuals. 106 publications were given to Douglas County residents.
LWF partnered with the Washoe Tribe to lead stakeholder engagement and planning efforts for a culturally-guided prescribed fire training exchange (TREX) scheduled for 2024. The goals of this TREX include reviving Washoe Tribe's traditional burning practices, promoting sustainable land management through culturally guided controlled burns, and building a skilled fire management workforce for the Washoe Tribe. Christina Restaino and Megan Kay led and facilitated seven planning meetings in collaboration with key stakeholders, including the Washoe Tribe, the Nature Conservancy, and the U.S. Forest Service. Additionally, Kay attended a cultural burn on Washoe land in Dresslerville, Douglas County, on February 14, 2023.
Heritage Park Garden Question & Answer sessions- Program runs from May – October of each year. UNR Extension Horticulture Outreach Coordinator – Douglas County, Jessica Gardner, has partnered with Main Street Gardnerville Heritage Park Garden volunteers to bring a 1-hour long educational program each week during the growing season about horticulture. This class is designed to provide a 30-minute educational talk followed by a 30-minute question & answer session. During the 2022-2023 fiscal year 161 participants attended and 145 fact sheets were provided, and 14 classes were offered.
Dangberg Historic Home Ranch Talk – June 2023 provided community members information regarding herb gardening. All 19 participant received a few herb plants, grown by Horticulture Outreach Coordinator Jessica Gardner and a research-based fact sheet on growing herb gardens.
Fall Harvest Festival- September 27, 2023, at Dangberg Historic Home Ranch Park was a huge success with 75 participants attending. Participants mingled with local producers with a chance to purchase products from each of them. There were three in-person demonstrations:
UNR Extension Master Gardener Program – Extension Master Gardener Volunteers provide fact-based consumer horticulture education throughout the community in a variety of outlets.
4-H – A youth-based organization serving ages 5-19 that utilizes the research-based curriculum and resources provided by Extension. The programming is experiential and youth-driven, facilitated by community volunteers, and supervised by the 4-H Youth Development Coordinator, Tara Ansotegui, and Extension staff. It is steeped in providing education and support in areas of agriculture, animals, and sustainability, but is also responsive to change by providing opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education, public speaking, leadership, career development, heathy living 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. In 2022, the program reached 75,939 youth nationally and 54 in Nevada.
“To Make the Best Better” is the goal in 4-H Youth Development and Douglas County 4-H’ers set out with this goal in mind for all of their projects. In return, we hope to help provide them with the best opportunities for learning and growth. By coupling positive adult relationships with real-world learning experiences and leadership opportunities, 4-H Youth Development allows youth to explore new worlds and gain knowledge while growing their confidence, civic engagement, leadership skills, and sense of responsibility.
In order to help continually make the best better, Douglas County 4-H has put an emphasis on reaching more youth in the community. This has been done by continuing to grow existing 4-H Clubs, while offering new 4-H learning opportunities by delivering Short Term Special Interest (SPIN) Clubs throughout the summer. Douglas County 4-H also helped several youths with scholarships for the Nevada Junior Livestock Show in May for their livestock projects. Partnering with the Douglas County Quilters Guild benefited a couple of youth as well, by assisting with camp scholarships to the Northern Area 4-H Camp at 4-H Camp at Lake Tahoe.
The Carson Valley Shepherds hosted the Battle Born Jackpot livestock show in April, bringing 150+ youth participants to Douglas County to show the following species: cattle, swine, goats and sheep. This was a highly successful event for members of 4-H, FFA, and Grange. We appreciate their efforts to host this open youth livestock show and also appreciate our partners at Douglas County Parks and Recreation for allowing us to hold this event at the fairgrounds.
Along with allowing us to hold our county livestock weigh-ins and show, Parks and Recreation let the 4-H Equestrian Club use the arenas at no cost for club meetings and clinics. Their support for 4-H is greatly appreciated by our office and all of our 4-H members and families. It allows us to keep the cost of 4-H minimal, making it more accessible to all demographics.
We would also like to highlight the partnership with the Douglas County Community Center for letting our baking clubs use their kitchen. We would also like to thank them for their allowance of letting us hold our annual 4-H Information Night and then the largest fundraiser, PINGO, in October. The relationships formed across several departments in Douglas County make a large impact for the youth and their families, as they are multi-beneficial for everyone.
4PAWS Dog Club: 28 membersBaking Club A: 10 membersBaking Club B: 9 membersBee and Pollinator Club: 19 membersCarson Valley Shepherds: 9 membersEquestrian, with/without Horses: 37 members PoultryClub: 26 membersRabbit Club (including Cloverbuds): 41 membersSewing Club: 11 membersShooting Sports: 81 membersSpeaking with Confidence: 10 participants4-H Summer Camp SPIN Clubs- Weekly Topics: Agriculture; Bees and Pollinators; Ecosystems and Watersheds; Healthy Living; Oceans; and Wildlife: 108 participants (including duplicates for youth attending more than one week)Number of Youth at State 4-H Camp: 32 youth, 5 teen leaders, 2 adult volunteersNevada Junior Livestock Show Participants: 14Nevada State EXPO Participants: 36Youth Members 181Adult Volunteers 22
In conclusion to this year’s youth impact report, here are some direct comments from families about Douglas County 4-H Programs.
“I just wanted to say THANK YOU soooooo much for doing such awesome classes!! My kids loved them! And thank you for keeping the prices low!”
“We just wanted to thank you for all the time and effort you put into 4-H Day Camp. Our boys learned a lot and had so much fun! Day camps were the highlight of the summer for them.”
“Our girls loved the camps! They learned a great amount the times they were there. We will definitely be signing up again next summer!”
“You guys are AWESOME!! Thank you for holding these. My children LOVED them! We all can't wait for next year. Price was absolutely awesome and being able to drop off was even better! Thaaank you!!”
“It was a fun- messy- learning experience and it was very valuable to our kiddo. Thank you so much.”
“Thank you so much for offering this opportunity! Our daughter learned so much about nature and science. I was truly blown away with all the cool projects, info and fun you packed into 2 1/2 hours each day! What an amazing experience, thank you so much!”
“My kids enjoyed their experience and were eager to discuss what they learned each day!”
After families were surveyed for their 4-H Day Camp experience, here are some of the numbers:
100% of families felt their child(ren) benefited from 4-H Day Camp; 54.5% said they would be willing to pay more for camps; 91% said they would be “Very Likely” to enroll next year, while 9% said “Likely”; and 36% (37) of participants were not existing or past 4-H members, while 64% (71) were current 4-H members. This was an attempt to offer 4-H programming to youth not enrolled in 4-H. 100% of non-members reported wanting to join 4-H after experiencing camps. This was also an opportunity for our 4-H Teen Leaders to help assist with camps. With the help of our Douglas County 4-H Teen leaders, they contributed over 60 hours to 4-H Day Camp.
The University of Nevada, Reno Douglas County Extension office is committed to youth growth and opportunities. We will continue to expand programming, clubs, and camps and offer more 4-H and youth development options as awareness and involvement increases. We are committed to the 4-H Motto, “To make the best better,” which we will continue to strive for every day in Douglas County.
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 Education - A program to educate citizens about radon health risk which offers literature, educational programs and radon test kits. In Douglas County, a total of 5,796 homes have been tested, which is 23.4% of all homes in Douglas County (n=24,826). At this time, 40% of homes in Douglas County have the potential to test over the 4 pCi/I, the recommended "safe" value as identified by the EPA. The average radon level in homes tested is 5.02 pCi/I, and the highest value recorded in 117.9 pCi/1.
Of the homes needing mitigation (after confirmation testing), 57 have undergone mitigation, resulting in a 29.4% mitigation percentage. Also, there are a total of 1218 reported real estate tests that have been conducted as part of a transaction and 141 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. 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, 2023, Douglas County Annual Report | Fiscal Year 2022 - 2023, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, County Report
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