March 17, 2023

Newsletter for March 17, 2023

This Issue:

  • Endangered Species Act, Pesticides, Foreign Ag Land Ownership Among Topics For Inaugural Western Agricultural & Environmental Law Conference 
  • Next Round Of New Bills
  • Beginning Farmer and Rancher Certification Courses Underway
  • 2023 Ag Day Celebrates 50 Years
  • A Look At The Farm Bill From Those Who Aren’t In The Mainstream Of Programs
  • Nevada Native Seed Partnership Sets Two-Day Conference For April 11 & 12
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Endangered Species Act, Pesticides, Foreign Ag Land Ownership Among Topics For Inaugural Western Agricultural & Environmental Law Conference 

On May 4-5, the National Agricultural Law Center (NALC) is hosting its inaugural Western Agricultural & Environmental Law Conference at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno. The program is designed for attorneys and non-attorney agricultural professionals (i.e., lobbyists/government affairs, policymakers, farm managers and rural appraisers, lenders, students) who work in the agricultural industry western states. The program is approved for 14 hours of CLE (including 2 Ethics) as well as 14 hours of CE by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. The May 4-5 program will be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person. Three hours of free online CLE/CE will be available as part of the “Early Bird special” for those who register by April 18.  

Presenters include Christine Birdsong, Undersecretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture (keynote, moderated by Sara Wyant, Founder and Editor, Agri-Pulse Communications); Therese Ure Stix, Managing Attorney & Shareholder, Schroeder Law Offices, P.C. (Reno); Karen Budd-Falen, Senior Partner, Budd-Falen Law Offices L.L.C.; and Dennis Nuxoll, Vice-President, Federal Government Affairs, Western Growers. Sessions topics include the Endangered Species Act for lenders, landowners, and lawyers; legal and political update on the Colorado River Basin; foreign ownership of agricultural land; advising farmers, landowners, and lenders regarding Waters of the United States; and states’ approaches to dividing groundwaters. 

The NALC is headquartered in Fayetteville, Arkansas and serves as the nation’s leading source of agricultural and food law research and information. The NALC is a key ally and resource to the nation’s agricultural community, including the Nevada Farm Bureau and other states’ farm bureaus, producers of all commodities, agribusinesses, legislators, departments of agriculture, federal and state policymakers, commodity and trade organizations, farm managers and rural appraisers, students, attorneys, and many others. The American Farm Bureau Federation, Nevada Farm Bureau, Colorado Farm Bureau, and California Farm Bureau are among the sponsors of this event. All net proceeds from the conference will be dedicated to supporting partnerships and outreach in the western states, specifically including the Western Resources Legal Center

The inaugural conference is part the NALC’s high priority effort to expand its partnerships and outreach to agricultural industry stakeholders in the Western states.  In addition to the conference, the NALC has established the Western Ag Industry Advisory Board. For questions about the conference, contact NALC Director Harrison Pittman at

Next Round Of New Bills

March 20th is the deadline for introductions of legislation by Legislators.  At this writing we have not come across any new introductions of bills in the Nevada Assembly which we’ve added to the list of bills we are monitoring in that body. 

Since our last report of new legislation, these bills of interest to Nevada Farm Bureau have been added to the list of Senate Bills:

SB 244 Is proposed by Senator Julie Pazina of Las Vegas and if enacted would provide $1.5 million in each year of the next biennium for the cost of creating and maintaining programs for school gardens.  Based on the language of the bill, the program would be a very comprehensive program that would incorporate various elements of subject matter with hands-on applications for the operation of growing and selling food products raised in a school garden.  The measure has been sent to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

SB 258 Is another of the number of water bills which has been introduced this session.  This bill is proposed by Senator James Ohrenschall of Las Vegas and seeks to establish a longer-term temporary permit process as well as creating a domestic well program that would limit the amount of water from such a well at a half an acre foot of water per year.  The “conservation” domestic well would also include a requirement for a meter to be connected to the well.  There is already a program, under state law, where in the event of a curtailment of water rights in a groundwater basin that domestic wells would be allowed to continue to pump with the half-acre limit and a meter requirement.  This bill has been sent to the Senate Natural Resources Committee for attention.

SB 259 Senator Marilyn Dondero Loop of Las Vegas has introduced this bill with a number of other Senators.  It proposes to authorize certain wineries to sell wine at one other location other than its premises.  Basically, the bill removes a limitation set forth in existing law restricting the amount of wine sold by such a winery at a location other than on its premises to not more than 50 percent of the total volume of wine sold by the winery.  It has been submitted to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee for action.

SJR 6 Proposes to amend the Nevada Constitution to provide for annual legislative sessions.  It is sponsored by Senator Pat Spearman of North Las Vegas.  If the Resolution is passed in this session and the session to be held in 2025, it would go to the voters for their consideration.  Based on the language of the proposal, the Legislature would meet for 90 days on odd-numbered years, starting the first Monday of February.  This session would be considered as the budget year.  The even-numbered years would have a 60-day session, also starting on the first Monday of February.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Certification Courses Underway

Nevada’s Cooperative Extension has launched their 2023 certification program for beginning farmers and ranchers.  The five-week course got underway on March 15th with a Zoom session which provided an overview of small acreage production including identifying a producer’s resources, understanding their jurisdictions, and setting goals.  Going forward, this is the schedule for dates and details to be covered:

March 22, 2023 – 6 to 8 p.m. Course 2 via Zoom: Understanding crops and soil will focus on plant needs and considerations in determining the best plants for your 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, 2023 – 6 to 8 p.m. Course 3 via Zoom: Understanding livestock production will focus on livestock needs and requirements to include the Quality Assurance Program, animal health considerations, and meat vs other animal products (eggs, wool, dairy, and bees, honey, and wax).  

April 5, 2023 – 6 to 8 p.m. Course 4 via Zoom: Investigate the different small acreage markets from specialty crops to hay and livestock, and how to market your products. Options that will be discussed include farmstands, direct market, sale yards, the NV Grow Program, social media, and USDA vs. Custom Exempt.  

April 12, 2023 – 6 to 8 p.m. Course 5 via Zoom: Farm Financial Management in the Twenty-First Century will focus on financially building your farm, building business skills and assets, estate planning, and balance and cash flow basics. UNR students will provide financial analysis of different agricultural ventures.

For more information on the program, 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. 

2023 Ag Day Celebrates 50 Years

National Ag Day is set to occur on Tuesday, March 21st.  The purpose for the number of events that are scheduled to happen throughout the country and specifically in Washington, D.C. is to raise public awareness about agriculture’s role in our nation.  A special ceremony is planned in Washington, D.C. and it will include a “Taste of Ag” reception held that evening in the Library of Congress.


American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall recently shared this column on Ag Day.

A Look At The Farm Bill From Those Who Aren’t In The Mainstream Of Programs

While putting together the next Farm Bill is front and center to many sectors of the U.S. agricultural economy, there’s a lot more to the details than those producers who participate in the major commodity programs.  Nevada Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors recently included in their discussions the priority elements that our state’s Washington, D.C. delegation need to be informed about in regard to what matters to Nevada farmers and ranchers.


American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Economist Bernt Nelson offered this Market Intel on the “other” components beyond the major four titles that most attention is given.

Nevada Native Seed Partnership Sets Two-Day Conference For April 11 & 12

Mark your calendar and plan to join the Nevada Native Seed Partnership at the annual Nevada Native Seed Forum April 11-12, 2023. This two-day forum brings together producers, technical experts and land management agencies to discuss statewide and national seed strategies to support land restoration efforts.

“Through the Nevada Native Seed Partnership, we’ve worked hard to increase the availability of native seeds for restoration projects, and the forum will bring stakeholders together to further address issues like seed production management and seed availability to help support rehabilitation efforts,” said Meghan Brown, Division of Plant Health and Compliance deputy administrator for the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA), member organization of the Nevada Native Seed Partnership. 

Native seeds refer to plant seeds native to Nevada landscapes and cultivated in this climate. These seeds are acclimated to Nevada’s unique environment, increasing the plant’s chances of survival. The NDA supports the industry by providing wildland seed certification services and ensuring Nevada native seeds maintain purity while identifying the proper seed for use in land restoration efforts. These rehabilitation projects are completed by land management agencies or landowners in response to devastating land impacts from wildfires, invasive species, land development, or other activities that result in surface disturbance. Restoration efforts are critical to protecting wildlife habitat, supporting diverse land use, and in mitigating future wildfire impacts.

The Nevada Native Seed Partnership includes representatives from public land management agencies, like the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service; natural resource agencies, like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, the NDA, and the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; and nonprofit restoration organizations like the Nature Conservancy and the Walker Basin Conservancy. The forum, which will include roundtable discussions and presentations, is open to anyone interested in native seed production and restoration, including federal land management agencies, state partners, current seed producers, potential seed producers, seed collectors, conservation groups and seed buyers. 

The Nevada Native Seed Forum will be held in-person with the option to view virtually on April 11. An optional field trip to visit fire rehabilitation sites will also be available to in-person attendees on April 12 (weather permitting). The forum will take place at Great Basin College Greenhaw Technical Arts Center Room 130 at 1500 College Parkway in Elko, Nev. Seating will be limited. Register for the Nevada Native Seed Forum by April 4, 2023 by emailing Stephen Kielius at

Have a great weekend!