RENO – The nation’s farmers
and ranchers are accustomed to weathering storms in their industry – droughts,
floods, wildfires and price fluctuations, to name a few. But, the COVID-19
pandemic is posing unprecedented challenges for many of today’s producers.
To help them through this
daunting time, University of Nevada, Reno Extension is offering free online
updates and question-and-answer sessions with various experts each Tuesday,
Extension educator in Douglas County, Nevada, put together the series,
“Agriculture: Living Beyond a Pandemic.” Known as “Dr. Lindsay” to many in the
country’s agriculture industry and on social media, Chichester understands the
ups and downs of farming and ranch life, growing up on a cattle and sheep ranch
in northern California, and going on to earn a master’s degree in animal
science and a doctorate in agricultural sciences. Lindsay said this is truly a
baffling time for many of the nation’s agricultural producers.
The sessions will be
offered online via Zoom. Chichester will open each session with a brief
introduction about the current issues surrounding that session’s topic,
followed by brief presentations by the speakers. Then, the majority of each
session will be driven by questions from participants.
Future session topics
May 5 – Meat packers,
pricing and availability
May 12 – Backyard poultry
May 19 – Pork industry
May 26 – Dairy: milk
dumping and National Dairy Month
Details on future sessions
will be posted at https://extension.unr.edu/program.aspx?ID=186, where those
interested in participating can also register. For information, email
Chichester at email@example.com or call 775-782-9960 (leave a message and she
will call you back).
Extension offers weekly online town halls and webinars to help small businesses
RENO – Besides needing
funds available for small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, small-business
owners need additional support and guidance, as well as opportunities to talk
with other small-business owners.
The University of Nevada, Reno
Extension is offering virtual question-and-answer “Coping With COVID-19 Town Halls” for small businesses every Wednesday, and webinars on specific topics for small businesses every Friday. The town halls and the webinars will be offered in Spanish and English and are aimed at helping small businesses “pivot and adapt” during this challenging time.
“What we are finding is
that Nevada’s small businesses are so focused on the funding aspects of their
business, and they should be, that they may be overlooking other aspects and
opportunities to improve their overall business, during and after COVID-19,”
said Buddy Borden, economic development specialist with Extension’s Business
Development Program. “Our goal is to provide resources and educational platforms
to help our small businesses, statewide, cope and retool during this
unprecedented pandemic. Ultimately, our goal is that when things begin to
return to normal, our state’s small businesses will be even stronger.”
Borden said that during the Wednesday town halls, which begin at 9 a.m. for English speakers and 2 p.m. for Spanish speakers, there is usually a short presentation on a given topic or a preview of the Friday class during the first 10 minutes. Then, the participants network with one another and drive the discussion, with a panel of professionals and educators helping them troubleshoot challenges they are encountering.
The Friday webinars provide
information on specific topics to help businesses plan strategically, adapt and
succeed. The first town hall and webinar were held last week, and Borden said
there was a lot of participation from urban areas in the state, but not much
from the rural communities.
“While we were really happy
to connect with so many businesses in our urban areas, we really want to let
our small businesses in the rural areas know that we are here to assist them as
well,” Borden said. “In fact, they may need our help even more, so we want them
to get online and connect with us. We’re here to help. It’s a great time to go
in and reassess and readjust.”
Both the town halls and the webinars usually run about an hour. To register or for more information, go to the Extension Business Development Program website at extension.unr.edu/busdev. There are also other resources at the website to assist businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, email Borden at firstname.lastname@example.org.