Larimer County Extension Advisory Committee

May 6, 2009


The meeting was held in the Extension Office meeting room in Fort Collins.  Those present were Suzanne Jarboe-Simpson, Ralph Bender, Alberto Squassabia, Valerie Clark, Rob Knebl, Kyle Uhlmann, Pam Harrold, Marsha Dooley, Trena Anastasia, Dixie Dick, Commissioner Kathay Rennels, Extension Director Laurel Kubin, Horticulture Agent Alison Stoven, and Fred McClanahan, Jr.


The meeting was called to order at 8:05 a.m.  Introductions were made.  Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.


Update / Revise Advisory Committee Operation Guidelines

            It was noted that a few minor changes were needed in the Operation Guidelines:

·  Change from “Cooperative Extension” to “Extension”

·  Elections to be held 1st quarter of calendar year.

These changes must be approved by the Board of County Commissioners.  Dixie Dick moved to accept the recommendations, Trena Anastasia seconded. Motion carried.


Extension Regionalization

Laurel presented information about Colorado Extension’s plan to regionalize educational programming.

·  At this time there is no formal plan for regionalization between neighboring counties.

·  Extension will remain county-based, but include more formalization for sharing resources across county lines.

·  Counties support 20-60% of funds that support Extension.

Concerns expressed by committee members were:

·  Travel to neighboring county would be time consuming

·  Doesn't extension have a standard set by CSU for what they need to fulfill?

·  Support from the county has to be in place.  County commissioners across the state have to have knowledge of what Extension does to gain their support.

Commissioner Rennels comment:

·  Larimer County will not take away from our county resources to pick up program losses in other counties.  Those choices are theirs.  The counties who make those decisions cannot rely on counties who still have programs.

Committee member comments continued:

·  It is great to hear our county commissioners support Larimer County Extension programs.

·  Support also needs to come from CSU.

·  Extension needs to become more political and promote Extension.

·  Keep Larimer County Extension as is and don’t dilute our resource for Larimer County residents.

·  Make sure partnerships are done correctly and are fair for all counties.


Extension Showcase


Extension Showcase is scheduled for 12 Noon on Friday, December 4.  It was suggested to send out a "save the date" card sooner this year so attendees can get it on their calendar.


Agent Report:  Alison Stoven, Horticulture


Whether residents have ailing trees or parched lawns, or simply want to grow award-winning tomatoes to display at the County Fair—Larimer County’s Colorado Master Gardeners can help!


The Colorado Master Gardener program is a statewide volunteer program sponsored by Colorado State University and Extension.  Volunteers receive 60 hours of initial training covering soils, turf, irrigation, insects and diseases affecting trees, shrubs, lawns, flowers and vegetables. Each year thereafter, 12 hours of continuing education are required for Master Gardeners to stay abreast of current horticulture research and gardening practices.  Master Gardeners help Extension staff deliver educational programs and research-based solutions to residents’ questions and economic and environmental concerns.


In 2008, Larimer County’s 94 Colorado Master Gardeners & apprentices volunteered 5,863 hours, valued at over $114,000 in services.  The 20,346 county residents who took advantage of their advice & educational programs found help at a variety of venues:


·  916 residents called or visited the Master Gardener Hotline for plant ID & problem solving.

·  840 residents brought their questions to the Colorado Master Gardener booth at the Larimer County Farmers’ Market.

·  260 children participated in Little Sprouts at the Farmers’ Market, learning about the backyard benefits of herbs, pumpkins and sunflowers through hands-on art projects.

·  Master Gardeners & apprentices volunteered 299 hours at the Larimer County Fair, serving a constant stream of visitors to the Q&A booth & organizing the vegetable & flower judging events.

·  92 residents benefited from Tree Team visits to their property, with help in diagnosing ailing trees & advice on treatment; 15 of these visits included homeowners affected by the Windsor tornado.

·  The City of Fort Collins received backup for 155 hours of free irrigation audits given to city residents.

·  Wrote seasonal weekly gardening articles for Larimer County newspapers.

·  Spent 633 hours doing public presentations throughout Larimer County, including at the Loveland Library, Newcomers Groups and schools.

·  Donated over 454 hours at Colorado State’s Plant Environmental Research Center (PERC), potting and planting annuals at the celebrated PERC Trial Gardens; Master Gardeners helped organize & staff the Twilight Garden Series, which had 108 attendees at three sessions on special area design, water smart irrigation & environmental gardening.

·  Volunteered 477 hours with Loveland Youth Gardeners, serving area youth with emotional & behavioral challenges.

·  Served as guides at two City of Fort Collins xeriscape events.

·  Served as facilitators at the High Plains Landscape Workshop.

·  Staffed a booth at the Gardens on Spring Creek Harvest Festival, where 150 kids made a leaf crown from plant parts.

·  Invested 57 hours doing water testing at local lakes, sampling for pollutants and other contaminates.


Director's Report


·  Ernie Marx, Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources resigned on April 30.

·  May 27 – A conversation group will meet with an Extension Agent interested in transferring into the Larimer County Ag position.

·  Gave a report on Colorado Saves Piggy Bank Contest and America Saves National Newsletter

·  Reported that Fair Premium book will be on-line the first week of June.


The meeting adjourned at 10:10 a.m.


Next meeting will be Wednesday, September 2, 2009 in the meeting room of the Larimer County Extension Office.


                                                                                    Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                    Fred McClanahan, Jr.