WNC News & Notes: 2011 Nevada Small Farm Conference coming up

Connecting farmers and consumers to the food we eat is the goal of the 2011 Nevada Small Farm Conference, Thursday-Saturday, March 10-12, at Western Nevada College Fallon campus and the Fallon Convention Center. The program will explore topics from bees to beef with pre-conference workshops, a Friday evening reception and Community Education Day on Saturday.

"Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" is the conference theme as it builds upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture initiative to connect rural farmers and urban consumers. The vision: To improve the economic and physical health of Nevada's communities. Sessions will focus on small fruit production, viticulture and wine making, marketing local beef, soil fertility and composting, hoop houses, beekeeping and more.

Local food and spirits will be served during a reception at Lattin Farms in Fallon. Beef and lamb from local producers Albaugh Ranch and Churchill Vineyards, plus wine and local seasonal produce will all be featured.

Consumer Education Day will feature sessions on urban farming, school and community gardens, farm-to-institution sales and smart water use.

Sponsoring organizations include Western Nevada College, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Utah State University Cooperative Extension, Nevada Department of Agriculture, Whole Foods Market, Nevada Farm Service Agency, Nevada Natural Resources Conservation Service and USDA Rural Development.

For conference details, registration information and fees, visit www.wnc.edu/sci, or contact Ann Louhela, 775-351-2551.

Galleries to host artists reception

Three new art exhibits show at the WNC galleries starting Monday through March 25. They include the whimsical and raw sculptures of Larry Williamson, the contemplative ceramics and photography of Nancy Scarry, and a bilingual collection of literary works and photographs by WNC creative writing students and the Lone Mountain Writers group. The public is invited to meet the artists at a free reception from 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the WNC Carson City galleries located in the Bristlecone Building. Light refreshments will be served.

The gallery is open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, with holiday closures. For more information, call 445-3000.

Instructor helps scouts 'Explore the Universe'

Network Technology instructor Dave Riske spent a recent weekend making connections of the cyber-kind at a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) event, sponsored by the Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada. Last weekend's event, "Explore the Universe," at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, included hands-on activities and demonstrations to show scouts and their families how much fun these subjects can be.

Riske provided the 400 attendees a glimpse into the "networking world," using a computer game to explore how to establish a wireless communication network aboard a starship.

"Showing young people the 'magic' of technology is inspiring," Riske said. "It's always fun to experience that moment when a child grasps the concept of a STEM project from taking part in an experiment or demonstration."

Climate change scholarship available

Any full-time Nevada undergraduate college student studying science, engineering or a field related to climate change research may apply for the National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The scholarship awards $4,500 to support a summer research project for one of six areas of interest: Climate modeling; ecological change; water resources; policy, decision making and outreach; cyberinfrastructure; and education. Scholarship recipients will work under the mentorship of a faculty member from the Nevada System of Higher Education. Deadline to apply is March 1. Application information/instructions: www.nevada.edu/epscor/solicitations/2011%20Summer%20EPSCoR%20UROP%20solicitation_Final.pdf

March fundraiser to support scholarships for women

The International Women's Day Committee of Northern Nevada presents the fifth annual International Day Scholarship fundraising dinner from 5-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, at the Atlantis Casino Resort, Reno. Proceeds fund scholarships for women at Western Nevada College, as well as the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College. Attendees may designate proceeds from their ticket to WNC or the college of their choice. Tickets cost $40 in advance and $50 after Feb. 25. For more information or to register, call 784-1560 or e-mail michellek@unr.edu.


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