On Thursday, the University of Nevada’s Cooperative Extension celebrates its centennial.
In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act established the nationwide Cooperative Extension system to provide educational programs. According to information provided by UNCE, the University of Nevada, Reno, is the state’s land-grant institution, and as such, it accepted the duty of supporting Cooperative Extension’s programs to provide practical information to people, business and communities in all 17 Nevada counties.
Throughout the years, Cooperative Extension has been that agency many residents call or visit to receive answers for any number of concerns ranging from raising grass and plants to learning more information about the dangers of radon gas and how to check one’s home or business for the deadly gas.
Cooperative Extension, like other state and university agencies, has suffered drastic budget cuts during the past six years after the Great Recession took chunks of money from it. Yet, the people who manned the county offices and the UNCE staff in Reno found ways to keep programs afloat and to serve the needs of their constituents.
For example, crop specialist Jay Davison, a 30-year veteran of UNCE, has been recognized as one of the top experts in his field and speaks to groups from one corner of the state to the other about plants that thrive with little water in an arid climate. For Nevadans, this is extremely important considering how the West is in the middle of a drought, and water is not as abundant as is it once was.
Every January the Cattlemen’s Update rolls into Fallon on a week-long tour across Nevada with experts disseminating news on the latest trends in the livestock industry.
Recently, the Churchill County office received an award on its radon program. It is colorless, odorless, yet it is the leading cause of more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths recorded each year in the United States.
According to national statistics, radon kills more people than those who perish in drunk driving accidents, drownings or home fires.
UNCE hands out radon kits to detect the presence of the gas.
Every year the 4-H program relies on the assistance and input from volunteers and from the 4-H coordinator. Judging by the recent Junior Livestock Show, the 4-H programs is doing well by attracting new clubs and members.
So, as residents can see, Cooperative Extension has been a great neighbor for 100 years, and we look forward to another 100 years of its service.
LVN editorials are written by the lVN Editorial Board and appear on Wednesdays.