Small-acreage certification program supports beginning farmers and ranchers

News & Media / March 13, 2023

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

The University of Nevada, Reno Extension’s Herds & Harvest Programis offering the Small-Acreage Certification Program, 6 – 8 p.m., Wednesdays, March 15 – April 12. 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, a tour and a business plan review will receive their Small-Acreage Level 1 Certification.

The cost for the program is $60 per person, and registration can be completed onlineat Course topics include:

  • March 15: An overview of small-acreage production, including identifying resources, understanding jurisdictions and setting goals.
  • March 22: Understanding crops and soil, focusing on plant needs and how to determine the best plants for a given land space. This will include an overview of water, how plants grow, nutrients and day length requirements, different crop requirements, and soil basics.
  • March 29: 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).
  • April 5: Small-acreage markets, from specialty crops to hay and livestock, and how to market your products, including farm stands, direct market, sale yards, the NV Grow Program, social media, and USDA versus Custom Exempt.
  • April 12: 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.
  • Field Trip (dates and locations to be announced upon registration): Tours of small-acreage farms and ranches with focuses geared toward attendee interest and location.

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; Kaley Chapin, outreach specialist, at or 702-467-2668; or Jamie Lee, program officer, at or 775-426-8299.

Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should contact Paul Lessick, civil rights and compliance coordinator, at or 702-257-5577 at least five days prior to the scheduled event with their needs or for more information.

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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