New small-acreage certification program supports beginning farmers and ranchers

RENO – The University of Nevada, Reno Extension’s Herds & Harvest Program is hosting a new Small-Acreage Certification Program, 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:

• 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 more 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.