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Legislators, Cows, and Whiskey: Nevada Food Systems Tour Highlights Regenerative Agriculture

Great things are happening in Nevada agriculture. That was the big takeaway from the 2024 Nevada Food Systems Tour held in March. 

SiX hosted Nevada State Legislators in touring a sampling of Northern Nevada’s farms and food system organizations meeting with partners, farmers, and growers to learn more and see first-hand the innovative and sustainable ways Nevada producers and advocates are making the state’s food system more resilient.  



The second bi-annual tour brought together a dozen legislators and community partners on a bright and sunny morning in Reno, Nevada for a day filled with impactful discussion, grazing cows, and award-winning whiskey.  The first stop was at Reno Food Systems, an urban farming project that is helping to meet the food needs of locals while also preserving land, creating habitat, and providing a learning and community space, right in the heart of Reno. Reno Food Systems hosts a mobile farmers market, community classes, and  internships for beginning farmers and ranchers. This historic farm and ranch is a thriving example of how agriculture and food can connect and build up a community for a more resilient food system. To learn more, visit here



Heading out to rural Churchill County, Nevada, at Western States Hemp, Joe Frey and his farming partner Adrienne Snow are using regenerative agriculture practices to heal the land they farm on and build a stronger and more productive operation. As one of Nevada’s leading hemp growers, Joe shared many of his experiences and why he is working hard to help others understand the benefits of regenerative agriculture. They entered the market early with a research permit from the state and have survived the highs and lows of this developing market that has seen huge fluctuations over the first several years of legalization.  They continue to be leaders in hemp and CBD product development, including hemp products for animals. To learn more about their farm and products, visit here. 



For the final stop of the day legislators visited fan-favorite Frey Ranch where they learned how the multigenerational farm uses regenerative agriculture practices to grow the grains to distill into award-winning whiskey on-site. Frey Ranch uses  whiskey-distillation, as a value added product to build longevity into their business. This delicious whiskey is truly grain to bottle all at one ranch.  Check out Frey Ranch, their farm and distillery here. 



This tour continues to build on the relationships developed between Nevada legislator’s, rural producers and communities at the first ever Nevada Food Systems tour in 2022 where it was the first time in over 40 years that state legislators had visited Nevada’s northern rural communities. At the end of the tour, legislators came away with a deeper understanding of the experiences, challenges, and successes Nevada’s small and independent farmers and ranchers that better prepares them to continue collaborating to build a more sustainable, just, and resilient food and farm system in Nevada.

Sign up for the CROP!

The Cohort for Rural Opportunity and Prosperity (CROP) serves as a virtually convening space for legislators who are working on policies that promote healthy and thriving rural communities through ecologically and socially-responsible agriculture and local, direct-market food systems.