LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A $3.2 million purchase up for approval next week by the Clark County Commission could provide a real education for kids who never get to see how their food is produced.

It’s just one of the possible uses for a 70-acre ranch that is at the center of a plan to bring two counties and 4-H educators into a partnership. The ranch is over the Lincoln County line in the town of Alamo, 100 miles north of Las Vegas just off U.S. Highway 93.

The 17,000-square-foot building at 1536 Alamo West Road was used as an executive retreat by a company that went under when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, according to Lincoln County Commissioner Varlin Higbee. He sees opportunities for the ranch to bring in underprivileged youth to see firsthand things they might not otherwise see in their lifetimes. Most kids have no idea where milk, butter and cheese come from, he said.

Now, county governments are cooperating to turn the ranch into an asset that can be used by groups of many kinds.

That’s almost certain to include retreats for Clark and Lincoln county leaders. Owning a facility to host those retreats could be a big money-saver for both counties

Under terms of the proposal, Clark County will pay $3.2 million for the ranch and provide an additional $500,000 in a reserve account, according to documents posted by the county ahead of next week’s meeting. Lincoln County will own the ranch and lease it to the UNR Cooperative Extension service. The Extension Service will manage the ranch and maintain it, with plans to run a minimum of four camp programs a year for underserved youth and/or seniors (over 55 years old). The lease will run for 10 years with options to extend.

Revenue generated by any events at the ranch will go to Lincoln County in lieu of taxes that would have been earned if the ranch remained in private hands. A Facilities Advisory Committee will oversee the property.

Higbee sees it as a great opportunity for Southern Nevada. A similar operation at Lake Tahoe is managed by UNR, with programming managed by the Cooperative Extension service and 4-H. That operation is hundreds of miles away from Las Vegas and Lincoln County, and this new facility could possibly serve Nye County and White Pine County as well. Rights to use the property are laid out in the agreement that goes before the county commission next week. Clark County has right of first use for the ranch, and Lincoln County has second priority use.

“We are excited at the prospect of being able to provide year-round educational activities for Nevada’s youth at this facility, which will serve, in part, as a new ‘4-H Learning Center,’ ” according to Eric Killian, southern area director for UNR Extension.

“4-H is America’s largest youth development organization with a rich history in providing positive, hands-on learning experiences that help youth improve their lives and their communities,” Killian said. “The 4-H Learning Center represents a continuation of the strong partnership among Extension, Clark and Lincoln Counties, and we look forward to sharing more details as plans are finalized and the collaborative project moves forward.”

Ten events previously booked at the ranch will be allowed to hold dates, according to documents.

The plan also includes a $200,000 payment from the UNR to start and annual rent to Lincoln County that begins at $25,000 and increases 3% each year.