Thanks to the huge community response, UNR has withdrawn the proposal to rezone Main Station Farm property. The support for the Farm convinced Mr. Johnson that Nevadans value the last of our urban farmland and our agricultural heritage. That land is still designated large residential so is still a candidate for sale for development, but this process has allowed the community to temporarily divert “the development train” and given us time to engage UNR in a discussion about a different future. Woo hoo!
Our numbers : 100-150 people attended the December Reno City Council meeting. Jessica Sferrazza received about 3,800 emails. As of today 11, 907 people have signed the petition to save the farm. Approximately 100 people attended UNR’s Community Forum re: the 104 acres.
What’s next? How about a 21st century high-desert eco-agriculture program at UNR? There is significant interest in supporting young people who want to stay on the farm or go back to it. A few months ago the Local Food Network conducted a workshop to help the community determine the next steps towards a healthy local food system. Many people participated and the suggestions were numerous, but the one that dominated the top of the list is the need for new farmers and ranchers, and an educational system that teaches 21st century practices.
Just a few weeks ago someone I’ve known for years talked to me about his plan to partner with a couple of other people to grow a new farm in Nevada. He is now on the hunt for a cutting edge farming education and assistance developing a business model. Accessing the business component is fairly easy. Finding a higher education farming program that teaches high-desert production techniques will be much more difficult. This is where UNR’s comes in.
There is much to do and I hope that the UNR administration and the Board of Regents will call on the people who live and work here to help create a new future, one that includes Wolf Pack Meats and helps us further develop our growing local food system.