Like many agricultural producers, those raising large animals are facing extreme financial challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it has caused. Tuesday, June 9, 10-11:30 a.m. PST, University of Nevada, Reno Extension will host a free online session to discuss ways producers may be able to trim their budgets, while sustaining their operations and their animals’ health.

The session, titled “Doc Talk” will feature Randy Wallstrum, doctor of veterinary medicine. Wallstrum has specialized in large and mixed animals, including cows, for most of career. He has lived in Nevada’s Carson Valley for over 40 years, and also spent time working in a dairy in Turlock, California, and at a slaughterhouse in New Zealand. Wallstrum earned his degree in veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis.

The session is part of an online series, “Agriculture: Living Beyond a Pandemic,” being organized and presented by Lindsay Chichester, Extension educator in Douglas County, Nevada, for University of Nevada, Reno Extension. The sessions are offered via Facebook Live, with Chichester opening each one with an introduction about the topic, followed by brief presentation by the speaker. Then, the majority of each session is driven by questions from participants.

Known as “Dr. Lindsay” to many in the country’s agriculture industry and on social media, Chichester understands the ups and downs of farming and ranch life, growing up on a cattle and sheep ranch in northern California, and going on to earn a master’s degree in animal science and a doctorate in agricultural sciences.

“As financial constraints become tighter, and producers need to make decisions about animal care, we are trying to help them find where they might trim down the budget without sacrificing the health of the animal,” she says.

At the June 9 session, Brenda Freeman, professor of counseling and educational psychology in the College of Education and Extension specialist at the University of Nevada, Reno, will also be on hand to offer guidance and resources for participants who may be stressed or experiencing other mental health issues amid the COVID-19 crisis. Freeman has over 30 years of experience in the field of counseling.

For the link for the June 9 session, and details on future sessions, go to The next session, “Home Meat Processing,” will be on June 23. It will focus on how to harvest and process animals at home and provide resources for best practices. For more information, email Chichester at

Source: University of Nevada, Reno Extension