University of Nevada, Reno Extension’s Herds & Harvest Program is providing a certification program Feb. 21 – April 27 geared toward new or up-and-coming ranchers and farmers that will allow them to obtain a Nevada Beginning Farmer & Rancher Level 1 Small Acreage and Farm to Fork Certification. The classes will take place 6 – 8 p.m., Wednesdays, Feb. 21 – April 24, with additional field trips touring small-acreage farms and ranches in Washoe and Douglas counties being offered April 26-27.
The program’s courses will be conducted via Zoom and will draw upon the knowledge and experience of established Nevada agriculture producers and University experts. Participants who complete the course, attend a tour or one of the spring Nevada agriculture conferences, and complete a business plan review will receive their Level 1 Certification. Course topics include:
- Feb. 21: An overview of small-acreage and farm-to-fork production, including identifying resources, understanding jurisdictions, developing a business plan and setting goals.
- Feb. 28: Crops and soil, focusing on plant needs and how to determine the best plants for a given land space. This will include an overview of how plants grow, nutrients and day length requirements, and soil basics.
- March 6 and 13: Courses will be paused for the Nevada Urban Agriculture Conference, March 6-8 in Las Vegas; and the Nevada Small Agriculture Conference, March 13-15 in Fallon. Participants may choose to attend one of these conferences or one of the tours offered April 26-27 as part of the certification requirements.
- March 20: Value-added programs in Nevada and where and how to market products, including farm stands, direct market sales, sale yards, using Nevada Grown and social media. Participants will also learn how to develop a marketing plan.
- March 27: Livestock production, focusing on needs and requirements, basics of livestock and poultry nutrition, feed management, reproduction and the Quality Assurance Program.
- April 3: Meat quality, processing and training, including the characteristics of meat based on nutritional management and an overview of meat regulations in Nevada and the statewide meat program.
- April 10: Understanding Nevada water, focusing on the basics of water rights and water law in Nevada.
- April 17: Farm financial management in the 21st century, focusing on financially building a farm, building business skills and assets, estate planning, and balance and cash flow basics.
- April 24: Partners and funding, including an overview of opportunities and resources available to Nevada producers.
- April 26-27: Field trips touring local farms and ranches in Washoe and Douglas counties will be available to participants, who can choose to attend either a tour or one of the aforementioned conferences as part of the certification requirements.
The cost for the program is $60 per person, and registration can be completed online. For more information, contact Staci Emm, Extension educator for Mineral County, at 775-475-4227; or contact Kaley Chapin, outreach specialist, at 702-467-2668.
Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should contact Paul Lessick, civil rights and compliance coordinator, at 702-257-5577 at least five days prior to the scheduled event with their needs or for more information.
The Extension Herds & Harvest Program combines a series of workshops on different topics and provides educational business management and mentoring skill building to support Nevada agricultural producers. This project was supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.