Nevada Farm Bureau had the pleasure of hosting American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall. It was a jam-packed day of touring Nevada agriculture with Nevada Farm Bureau President Hank Combs, and Farm Bureau leaders/members from Douglas, Churchill and Lyon Counties. Nevada’s diverse agriculture was put on display. It was a challenge to fit every important agriculture aspect into one tour, but that didn’t stop the amazing area Farm Bureau leaders from providing a tour Duvall will not soon forget.
Douglas County/Carson-City Farm Bureau hosted the first part of the tour planned by County President Woody Worthington.
The first stop of the day was a tour of the Starbucks Carson Valley facilities where attendees learned how Starbucks roast and packages their wide variety of products.
The next tour stop involved Bently Ranch. This was a great opportunity for Duvall to see a wide range of emerging Nevada agricultural activities. The wide variety of crops gown at Bently Ranch include: alfalfa, wheat, corn, barley, and hops. Another interesting thing that intrigued Duvall about Bently Ranch was the biomass they use to create compost used throughout the ranch.
After Bently Ranch the tour headed from Minden through Smith Valley toward the next location, which included a tour of Yerington, Nevada agriculture. Lyon County Farm Bureau hosted lunch at Dennis and Judy Hellwinkel’s house, which included locally sourced food from the region. Lunch was a great opportunity for Lyon County Farm Bureau members to discuss agricultural concerns they have with Duvall, while also listening to plans Duvall has for representing members as he meets with Congress and other national leaders.
Lunch was followed by a tour of Snyder Livestock Company and Snyder Family Farms. Lucy Rechel hosted the Snyder Livestock Company tour. Rechel has managed the feedlot operations since the late 1990s, but Snyder Livestock Company has been producing beef cattle for more than 50 years. The business originally started as a cow/calf operation, but now offers a wide variety of things including: feed efficiency testing, back grounding, custom breeding and more.
Jim Snyder hosted the tour at Snyder Family farms. The tour of Snyder Family Farms included a look at alfalfa, onions, garlic and raspberries. This part of the tour especially interested Duvall, as he was amazed at how many onions were produced on just one acre of land.
From Lyon County the tour transitioned to Churchill County with stops that included: Lahontan Dam, Fagundes Goat Dairy and a look at various fields of corn, teff and other crops as well as discussion on the area’s dairy enterprises.
Lahontan Damn was an opportunity for the President of the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District Ernie Shank to explain to Duvall how the irrigation system known as the Newlands’ project, or the Truckee-Carson project was created to deliver water from Nevada’s Truckee and Carson River basins to irrigate the Carson Desert and provide hydroelectric power.
The stop Duvall had been anticipating all day was Fagundes Goat Dairy. Duvall was looking forward to this stop in particular, as he was truly interested to see how a goat dairy was run. Fagundes Goat Dairy has over 3,000 commercial crossbred goats.
The Sheckler Reservoir was the final touring location. This was an opportunity for members of Fallon to explain the breech that occurred at Sheckler Reservoir in order to divert water around the city to save countless farms in the region that could have been destroyed by the record-breaking winter Northern Nevada received.
The night ended with Churchill County President Julie Wolf hosting dinner at her ranch. Dinner was another great opportunity for Churchill County Members to come and discuss issues of concern with Duvall.
The tour was a huge success and was made possible by so many great Nevada Farm Bureau board leaders including: Hank Combs Nevada Farm Bureau President, Woody Worthington Douglas County/Carson City Farm Bureau President, Julie and Dan Wolf Churchill County President, Carla Pomeroy Churchill County Area Director District 3, Darrell Pursel Lyon County President, Dennis and Judy Hellwinkel and the Snyder Family.
Nevada Farmers are truly dedicated and passionate about their work and this came through in the tours given to Duvall. Duvall left with a better understanding of Nevada issues and is now more confident in the way he will represent Nevada in Washington D.C.