PLEASE NOTE: This blog post features an event that has already passed.
COURTESY OF NEVADA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE
From the business skill sets needed to be a modern farmer, to Nevada's newest, and perhaps most controversial, cash crop, the Nevada Economic Development Conference is offering a unique behind-the-scene's glimpse at our local agribusiness economy.
Edible Communities is a media sponsor for the Agribusiness track for the fourth annual event presented by the Western Nevada Development District that will take place Aug-20-22 at the Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa in Reno, Nevada. Registration and information is available at www.nvedc.com.
The agribusiness sessions will let you meet some of the creative minds that are necessary to solve our growing need for sustainable and affordable food sources, a topic we addressed in this summer's edible Reno-Tahoe magazine.
Here is a quick rundown on the sessions and some of the speakers:
Smart Agriculture and Climate Change
More drought and more flooding, and spottier water storage, are just some of the climate challenges facing Nevada’s agriculture industry. Farmers must reevaluate what are the cash crops to grow and methods to ensure the greatest yield. Panelists will discuss available research and the practices farmers can consider to modernize and diversify in the new climate reality.
One of this track's speakers, Dr. William “Bill” Payne, is Dean of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources at University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Payne moved to Reno from Ethiopia, where he worked with the International Center for Agricultural Research for the Dry Areas as Director of a $150 million research program aimed at improving food security and livelihoods in the dry areas of the world. This panel will address improving plant drought tolerance and water-use efficiency, biofuels, food security, climate change, and sustainability of agricultural systems.
Agrihoods can be found in rural, suburban, and urban spaces. They are primarily known as a working farm or ranch that is connected to a community neighborhood. The Urban Land Institute defines an Agrihood as a single-family, multi-family, or mixed-use community built with a working farm and/or ranch as a focus. This session will present information on a recently approved Agrihood development to be located in Douglas County at Corley Ranch, The Farmstead, as well as other Agrihood developments that have sprung up around the United States. The processes, challenges, and successes of the Agrihood will be discussed as well as how the Agrihood benefits the entire community.
Will Nevada’s Cannabis Industry Keep Rolling?
Nevada’s fledgling cannabis industry has permeated the economy from high-tech farming and housing values, to higher than expected tax revenues and job generation. The past, present, and future of Nevada’s newest cash crop is explored by a panel of early adopters to the marijuana/cannabis market along with the regulators and policy makers who oversee the budding industry.
One of the topics this group will touch on is industrial hemp which is a source of fiber and high- protein oilseed grown in more than 30 nations. In the United States, production is controlled under drug enforcement laws. Panelists include Russell Wilhelm, Seed Program Manager, Nevada Department of Agriculture. In 2016, he was nominated to manage the state’s industrial hemp program, in conjunction with seed certification. Russ has been coordinating with producers since the emergence of the program and has had a heavy hand in developing the success of the hemp industry within the state of Nevada.
Is Farming Your Next Meal Ticket?
The “simple” life of farming is not so simple. Starting a farm is complicated, from finding land and water, securing financing, assessing your skill sets, writing a business plan, and finding your market niche that will support you and your farm.
Rick Lattin, Managing Partner, Lattin Farms LLC and Consultant, Churchill Economic Development Authority in Fallon, is one of the speakers on this panel. Along with his wife B., they are the proud owners of Lattin Farms, a 105-year old, 400-acre farm in Fallon, Nev. that has been producing organic food in the region since 1977. The farm produces tomatoes, cucumbers, melons (Heart of Gold!), peppers, and has been serving both farmer’s markets and community supported agricultural customers in the region for more than 25 years. Rick is fully engaged in agri-tourism and the local foods movement and efforts to educate kids that there are still farmers in the world!
This panel's local experts will help fledgling farmers plant the seeds of success.
For details about this session and many other sessions on topics revealing the new Nevada economy, register at www.nvedc.com.
Tracks for the Nevada Economic Development Conference Tuesday, Aug. 21 and Wednesday, Aug. 22, include Agribusiness, Economic Development, Manufacturing, Transportation/Infrastructure, and Workforce Development. The $200 cost includes opening sessions, lunch with keynote speakers, and Exhibit Hall Reception. A one-day conference pass is $150.
A Pre-Conference Tour and workshop, Connecting Nevada to the Global Economy, on Aug. 20 will visit the SWITCH facility located at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. A separate registration fee of $100 will be charged for this portion of the conference, which includes lunch and transportation.