On Monday February 12th the Nevada Farm Bureau, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) welcomed United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to Las Vegas, Nevada. This was not the first time Perdue had been to Nevada, but the first time he was able to visit agriculture operations as well as learn more about agriculture issues facing Nevada farmers and ranchers.
An agriculture tour was set up for Perdue that ended with a town hall style Q and A to end the day.
The first stop of the tour was at the Aria Casino on the Las Vegas strip. This was an important component to cover the recycling process involving former Nevada Farm Bureau President Hank Combs and his brother Clint Combs. Combs Brothers Recycling takes food scraps from several casinos not only on the Las Vegas strip, but throughout the Las Vegas area that are then used to feed pigs at their Las Vegas Livestock operation.
Aria Casino is committed to reducing food waste and providing an eco-friendly casino for guest. Combs Brothers Recycling helps Aria Casino by sorting through the recyclables to find food scraps that can then be used to feed the pigs. Purdue was intrigued to see how these massive Las Vegas casinos are taking steps to become eco-friendly, while also working in cooperation with the agricultural industry.
The next stop was to see how the gathered food scraps are then used to feed the pigs at the Las Vegas Livestock Operation. Las Vegas Livestock Operation is also owned by Hank Combs and his Brother Clint Combs.
Sarah Stallard is in charge of the pig operation and gave us a better understanding of how the food scraps are prepared in order to feed the pigs. Requirements for this type of operation are for the food scraps to be cooked at 212* F for 30 minutes. Once the food scraps are cooked they are than available to be feed to the pigs. Approximately 30 tons of food scraps are processed daily to feed the current inventory of 3,000 pigs. The projected capacity of Las Vegas Livestock is 25,000.
The final stop of the tour was lunch and a town hall style Q and A at Gilcrease Orchard. Clark County Farm Bureau was the gracious sponsor of the wonderful lunch provided for Perdue and the over 60 attendees. Several area 4-H clubs were enlisted to help in serving the meal.
After lunch the town hall Q and A began where attendees were able to ask Perdue his thoughts and what he had planned for important agriculture issues facing Nevada. The discussion was great for attendees to learn more about what was happening in Congress as well as giving Perdue a better understanding of what issues where facing Nevada farmers and ranchers.
It was successful day showing Perdue just some of the wonderful agriculture Nevada has to offer.