Nevada Climate-Smart Agriculture Educational Program

Progress report for WRGR23-005

Project Type: Local Ed & Demo (formerly RGR)
Funds awarded in 2023: $99,860.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2025
Host Institution Award ID: G301-23-W9988
Grant Recipient: University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Region: Western
State: Nevada
Principal Investigator:
Staci Emm
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Carol Bishop
University of Nevada, Reno Extension
Lindsay Chichester
University of Nevada, Reno Extension
Gary McCuin
University of Nevada, Reno Extension
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Project Information


The Nevada Climate-Smart Agriculture Educational Program will work with local farmers and ranchers to create 4- educational workshops a year under the terminology of Climate-Smart Agriculture, which will include but not be limited to soil health, water conservation, cover cropping, rotation grazing or rangeland grazing, and cropping practices.  WSARE has significant previously completed WSARE projects in this area.  Specific WSARE past programs are Cover Crops in Organic Systems to access EQIP projects; Feasibility of Cover Cropping systems in Dryland Cropping Systems; Identifying Stacked Conservation Practices that optimize water use; and Climate Mitigation through Carbon Sequestration and increasing soil resilience and plant productivity on rangeland.  While there are several other WSARE projects that the team can pull from, the planning committee will decipher what a specific workshop needs based on producer identified needs and wants.  A workshop was held in Fallon Nevada in September of 2022 and over 70 producers came out for the even to discuss Regenerative Agriculture/Climate Smart Ag that lead to the creation of this proposal.  Evaluation data showed that the producer audience would like to continue education in climate-smart ag practices.  The overall project will be led by UNR Extension Educators Staci Emm (West Central); Carol Bishop (South); Lindsay Chichester (Western), and Gary McCuin (North Central).  A program organizer is in the budget to organize a planning team of producers involved in Climate Smart Ag, USDA professionals, and NGOs that will set the agendas for workshops working with producers in different parts of the state.  It is anticipated that this will be a two-year project with 4 workshops a year in different parts of the state.

Project Objectives:

The long-term goal of this project is to provide Nevada producers with the education to implement climate-smart agriculture practices while maintaining overall farm and ranch profitability.

  1. Increase knowledge about Climate-Smart Agriculture and what it could look like in Nevada.
  2. Create a planning group to work with local producers in different areas of Nevada to design workshop agendas and logistical implementation.
  3. Producers take action to implement Climate-Smart agricultural practices.

By request of a local producer, a planning team was put together in the summer of 2022 to plan a Regenerative Agriculture Workshop in Fallon Nevada.  The workshop, held at Rambling River Ranches, was an overall success with over 70 participants from Western Nevada.  Attendees wanted additional education in Regenerative Agriculture/Climate-Smart Agriculture practices and the equipment used.  The success and request from statewide producers have preempted this request for funds to hold workshops across the State of Nevada reaching producers over a two-year period.  The workshops will be regionally held and the agenda would be based on identified producer needs and wants in a specific region.  A planning committee will be created to assist the program organizer in setting the agenda and facilitating the workshops.  University of Nevada, Reno Extension Educators will assist in over project implementation, project evaluation, and logistics of workshops, and access to producers with the assistance of NGOs.  Educational materials will utilize existing WSARE research project information and results intertwined with statewide producer efforts on the ground.  There is a budget request to hire a program organizer, guest speakers for the workshops, farm/ranch room space stipends, printing of educational information and limited materials and supplies.  Travel is requested for the Extension Educators and Program Organizer.  The planning team will meet for planning purposed utilizing Zoom.  The scope of work includes four workshops a year for two years.  This is 8 total workshops with specific agenda topics developed by area by producers.  The Extension Educators currently implement the Nevada Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program and have over 50 years of combined Extension experience in leading, managing and implementing educational programs.


The timeline will be built upon a workshop per quarter in different parts of the State of Nevada.  This means there will be a total of 8 workshops over the two-year period.  We already have grant-funded program organizers within projects, so this position will not have to be hired, and the project can ramp up very quickly.



Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Doug Busselman
  • Joe Frey - Producer
  • Brenda Hunt
  • Jim Komar (Educator)
  • Chuck Schembre (Educator)

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Climate- Smart Regenerative Agriculture Workshop/s

The long-term goal of this project is to provide Nevada producers with the education to
implement climate-smart agriculture practices while maintaining overall farm and
ranch profitability.

The Objective for the Western Nevada workshop was to Increase knowledge about Climate-Smart Agriculture and what it could look like in Nevada.


We have been trying to integrate climate-smart agriculture into our other programs such as the beginning farmer and rancher development program.  Joe Frey was able to assist in teaching one of the soil health workshops in the spring of 2023 with excellent results.

The first project workshops was held on November 30 with 45 participants.  There was a request to offer continuing education credits for the Nevada Extension Master Gardner class.  This was able to be done and all Extension Master Gardner's were able to receive credit.  Workshop evaluation results are in the "Outcome" section.

Future workshops including one rural and one urban will be held in March of 2024.

Educational & Outreach Activities

25 Consultations
1 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
2 On-farm demonstrations
1 Online trainings
1 Tours
5 Webinars / talks / presentations
1 Workshop field days
1 Other educational activities: This project supported the Nevada Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Online Certification Program by discussing soil health, regenerative agriculture, and climate-smart agriculture.

Participation Summary:

5 Extension
6 Nonprofit
30 Farmers/ranchers
15 Others
Education/outreach description:

The first Climate-Smart agricultural workshop was organized by a planning committee to include Carson River Conservancy, USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other non-profits.  The overall agenda was approved to offer continuing education credit in the Nevada Master Gardner Program.  

Learning Outcomes

45 Service providers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of project outreach
45 Ag professionals intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned

Project Outcomes

1 Grant received that built upon this project
5 New working collaborations
Project outcomes:

There were 45 participants at the Douglas County workshop on November 30, 2023.  The majority of participants were small acreage producers followed by Master Gardener’s and large producers with 641 acres or more.  There were 37 returned evaluations (82%).  A Likert scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) reported an increase in knowledge related to soil basics (4.47); Building Soil Health with Cover Crops (4.31); and what climate smart/regenerative agriculture is (4.36).  Participants reported understanding diversifying revenue related to Permaculture and Vegetable Cultivation (4.36); and Poultry, Bedding, Composting, Pigs and Goats (4.17).  Eighty-four of participants reported that they would take action after the workshop related to climate-smart ag; five percent said they were not sure if they would take action; and three percent said they would not take action.  The top actions reported were to utilize and integrate cover crops and overall soil health concepts.


We are going to have to focus our future workshops based on producer demographics.  Large producers have different educational needs than small producers.  This was pointed out in workshop evaluations.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.