Range livestock production is predominant in Nevada with well over half
of the farms producing cattle or sheep. The highest concentration of
cattle is in the northern part of the state. Cow-calf operations are the
most common and leading operations, with Elko County ranking second
among all counties in the nation in number of beef cows. Northern Nevada
is also home to the vast majority of sheep ranches.
Nevada's ranches are few in number, but they rank third in the nation in
size, averaging 3,500 acres.
Dairying is a growing industry in the state, as is the manufacture of
dairy products. The greatest number of dairy operations are in Northern
Nevada, but the largest dairies are in the South. The majority of
manufacturers are concentrated relatively near the large market centers
of Reno and Las Vegas.
Nevada's high desert climate is very well suited to the production of
high quality alfalfa hay and alfalfa accounts for over half of the total
value of crops produced in the state. Much of the alfalfa is marketed to
dairies in California and a significant quantity is exported overseas.
A variety of other high value crops are
produced in Nevada,
include potatoes, barley, winter and spring wheat, corn, oats, onions,
garlic and honey.
Food processing has maintained positive job growth trends in Nevada.
Nevada’s current food processing employment is primarily in segments
related to bakeries, dairy-related manufacturing (ice cream and frozen
desserts, fluid milk manufacturing), perishable prepared foods and
frozen specialty foods, coffee and tea manufacturing, and confectionary
manufacturing from chocolate.
mission of the GWIB Agriculture Sector Council will be to
identify workforce needs and develop needed initiatives to educate its
workforce in support of the economic development goals of the state.