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Local food movement in NV victory over University's attempt to re-zone & sell/develop urban farm land

Excerpt from Nevada Farm Bureau newsletter:

Hectic Week Of Engagement With Issues:  The week, just concluding, turned out to be a full week of activity with a number of opportunities to communicate Farm Bureau policy to those who need to be aware of what Nevada farmers and ranchers think.  During the Feb. 21st public forum at the University of Nevada, Reno, (UNR) Nevada Farm Bureau and a number of Farm Bureau members joined a full-fledged turnout by the community in expressing the need to maintain the agricultural research facility as an agricultural research facility. 

"We intend to do all we can to maintain this property as an agricultural facility, providing essential research for the benefit of Nevada farmers and ranchers," Nevada Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Doug Busselman said.  "We do not understand or believe that rezoning this property will be anything but a negative impact for agricultural research and education."

Thursday Announcement Of End To Rezoning Proposal:  On Thursday, Feb. 23, UNR President Marc Johnson announced that he had decided to move forward with postponement of the rezoning project.  "With this initiative on hold, we will work with the community to review and reconfigure our programs to be more consistent with the emerging opportunities across the spectrum of agricultural trends and interests," President Johnson said.  "The quality of the student experience will be at the core of this work, and research and outreach will remain priorities as well.  We will also seek to build more industry collaboration that strengthens research and benefits our students, community and economy."

Huge Thank You To Farm Bureau Members For Involvement:  We greatly appreciate the outpouring of responses we got from the call to action and making contacts with Nevada Board of Regent members.  Your contacts and keeping us in the loop with feedback on what they said in response to your contact was extremely helpful.  Through Farm Bureau member contacts and the participation at the UNR community forum, we made a great showing and represented the needs of production agriculture for meaningful research and relevant agricultural education.  Your support was invaluable.

This Provides Great Opportunity For Nevada Agriculture:  With the plans to not move forward with the rezoning request, we have the chance to put in motion the implementation of ideas that are taking shape.  Maintaining status quo will not be an acceptable outcome, especially with the potential for reconsideration by UNR officials in the future.  At least one news outlet, reporting the decision to postpone the rezoning, highlighted the details on how the Flood Authority was backing off on their time-frame for the flood project, which UNR was supposedly using as their rationale to quickly obtain the 104 acre zoning change.  Using that 104 acre tract of land for a very visible and community-linked research purpose will go a long way in helping to protect it from future development plans.  One idea, surfaced by a working group that included Nevada Farm Bureau, isportrayed in this draft map of potential research activities.

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