New small-acreage certification program supports beginning farmers and ranchers

Extension program offers course for new or up-and-coming Nevada agriculture producers

Extension’s Herds & Harvest Program is offering a new series of classes for beginning farmers and ranchers that will allow them to earn a small-acreage certification.

Extension’s Herds & Harvest Program is offering a new series of classes for beginning farmers and ranchers that will allow them to earn a small-acreage certification.

The University of Nevada, Reno Extension’s Herds & Harvest Program is hosting a new Small-Acreage Certification Program from 6–8 p.m., Tuesdays, Jan. 26-Feb. 23.
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. There will also be an in-person field trip, touring small-acreage farms and ranches. Participants who complete the course will receive their Small-Acreage Level 1 Certification.
The cost for the program is $60 per person, and registration can be completed online at
Course topics include the following:
Jan. 26: Overview of small-acreage production: including identifying resources, understanding jurisdictions and setting goals.
Feb. 2: Understanding livestock production: focusing on livestock needs and requirements, including the Quality Assurance Program, animal health considerations, and meat versus other animal products (eggs; wool; dairy; and bees, honey and wax).
Feb. 9: Understanding crops and soil: focusing on plant needs and how to determine the best plants for a given land space. This course will include an overview of how plants grow, nutrients and day length requirements, different crop requirements, and soil basics.
Feb. 16: Small-acreage markets, from specialty crops to hay and livestock, and how to market your products: focusing on marketing options, including farm stands, direct market, sale yards, the NV Grow Program, social media and USDA versus Custom Exempt.
Feb. 23: Farm financial management in the 21st century: focusing on financially building farms, building business skills and assets, estate planning, and balance and cash flow basics. University students will provide financial analysis of different agricultural ventures.
April 9 (Southern Nevada) and April 23 (Northern Nevada): Field trips to tour small-acreage farms and ranches. Participants can choose which one of the two tours they wish to take, according to their location and interests.
For information, contact Staci Emm, Extension educator for Mineral County, at or 775-475-4227; Lindsay Chichester, Extension educator for Douglas County at or 775-782-9960; or Kaley Chapin, outreach specialist, at or 702-467-2668.
Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call or notify Paul Lessick, civil rights and compliance coordinator, at or 702-257-5577 at least three days prior to the scheduled event.
The Nevada 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 National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


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