Home Agriculture Extension offers online guidance for farmers and ranchers during COVID-19

Extension offers online guidance for farmers and ranchers during COVID-19

by Nevada State News

RENO – The nation’s farmers and ranchers, who are accustomed to weathering storms in their industry – drought, floods, wildfires – are facing unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help them through this daunting time, University of Nevada, Reno Extension offers free online updates and question-and-answer sessions with various experts each Tuesday, 10–11:30 a.m. PST. 

The series, “Agriculture: Living Beyond a Pandemic,” begins this Tuesday, April 28.

It is the creation of Lindsay Chichester, Extension educator in Douglas County and known as “Dr. Lindsay” to many in the country’s agriculture industry and on social media. Lindsay said this is truly a baffling time for many of the nation’s agricultural producers.

“Talking to colleagues and friends from around the country, I realized we are all asking the same questions and wanting more guidance. So, we’re providing this online series to bring in boots-on-the-ground, grass-roots speakers who are involved in their respective industries to offer some insight and support.”

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.

The first session is “Ag Risk and Ag Law,” 10-11:30 a.m. PST, on April 28. It’s free, but participants need to register at  https://unrextension.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcscuGhqDsqG9fxvOWenHv-40iIrvC9mihM.

Speakers/panelists include:

  • Joylyn Harmer, a partner at Smith and Harmer, LTD, Attorneys at Law. Born in Winnemucca, Nevada, and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Harmer practices primarily in estate planning; corporate counseling; contracts; and land, water and mineral rights.
  • Dave Goeller, a consultant with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska Farm Hotline, providing assistance to farmers and ranchers. Goeller recently retired from farming, and from the University of Nebraska, where he was deputy director of the North Central Risk Management Education Center and an Extension farm transition specialist for many years. His emphasis is on beginning farmer programs, business transition, estate planning and farm financial management.  
  • Brenda Freeman, professor of counseling and educational psychology in the College of Education and Extension specialist at the University of Nevada, Reno, will be on hand to offer guidance and resources for participants who may be experiencing stress or mental health issues. Freeman has over 30 years of experience in the field of counseling.

Future session topics include:

  • May 5 – Meat packers, pricing and availability
  • May 12 – Backyard poultry production
  • May 19 – Pork industry update
  • 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 more information, email Chichester at lchichester@unr.edu or call 775-782-9960 (leave a message and she will call you back).

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