LARIMER COUNTY AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY BOARD
DRAFT Meeting Minutes
May 13, 2015
Present: Jennifer Bornhoft (liaison), Jason Brothers, Karen Crumbaker (liaison), Sarah Fox, Lew Gaiter, Brenda Gimeson (liaison), Charles Gindler (liaison), Debra Herston, Nic Koontz, Minerva Lee, Gail Meisner, Greg Schreiner, Jon Slutsky, Richard Seaworth, Ted Swanson, and George Wallace. Guests: Dan Weinheimer, Mike Calhoon, and Terry Gilbert.
Absent: Tim Clouse, Val Manning, and Zach Thode.
I. Gail Meisner called the meeting to order at 12:35 p.m. Introductions were made.
II. Dan Weinheimer, City of Fort Collins West Nile Virus Technical Advisory Board, and Mike Calhoon, Operational Leader for WNV, presented to the Board the research and outreach throughout Larimer County to help residents understand what WNV is and how to protect themselves. They noted they are beginning to see an increase larva in water and the numbers will only increase as the temperature rises.
III. Commissioner Gaiter joined the meeting via telephone. He told the Board that he recently attended a meeting where he learned there will be changes to NISP involving agriculture and he will be asking the AAB to review and provide feedback.
IV. The March 11, 2015, AAB Meeting Minutes were approved.
V. The Water Sharing Group announced it will disband, as they have completed their project. The goal of this group was educational outreach on understanding the importance of irrigated agriculture in Larimer County. On April 27, 2015, George Wallace, Richard Seaworth, Zach Thode, Jason Brothers, and Brenda Gimeson met with the Larimer County Commissioners during their work session to update the Commissioners on the work they have done the past two years with The Poudre Water Sharing Working Group. The link to listen to the presentation is: http://www.larimer.org/bcc/list_worksessions.cfm .
Charlie will look into the City of Thornton’s purchase of a farm just south of ARDEC for its water. He will report back to the AAB with the information he learns.
VI. The education committee met on May 11, 2015 to discuss their purpose and objectives. The following are revised objectives and action plan from this meeting: (1) Promote education to the AAB by arranging for a speaker to present on a relevant topic at each Board meeting; (2) Arrange for someone from the AAB to attend agricultural related meetings (i.e. Colorado Wheat Growers) then report back to the board. AAB members are asked to submit suggestions for relevant agricultural meetings that someone from the AAB should attend; (3) Provide support to the other AAB committees, as needed, in the development of educational materials or an in-person attendance at special events.
The AAB was asked if they approved the three revised objectives of the Education Committee. There was a motion to maintain the Education Committee, which passed.
VII. Jon Slutsky gave an update by the Legislative Committee.
· To relieve the flooding, one well in Gillcrest, Colorado was turned on.
· The tax credit for landowners to rent their fields failed. George stated that it was important to agriculture, especially beginning farmers, to have reasonable land lease fees in order to help with the costs to establish a farm. He felt it was important to encourage the Larimer County Open Lands Department to lease land, long term to beginning farmers.
· The movement to sell federal lands to private and state was defeated in the Senate.
· The collection of rain water failed.
VIII. Members of the Animal Task Force (Jon Slutsky, Deb Herston, Ted Swanson, and Val Manning) provided a copy of the AAB Report on Animal Abuse on Commercial Livestock Operations in Larimer County to the Board for their review and feedback. Any comments on the report need to be submitted to Jon by May 18, 2015. The final report will be placed on the AAB website.
IX. Members of the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Task Force (Greg Schreiner, Nic Koontz, Gail Meisner and Richard Seaworth) created a power point presentation on their findings and conclusions about GMO’s. Brenda will send out the presentation to the Board and any comments need to be made to any one of the task force members by May 20, 2015. The final presentation will be placed on the AAB website.
X. Charlie updated the Board on the Bison Reproduction Program conducted by Colorado State University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, which will take place on the Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space. The goal of the project is to preserve genetically pure bison. There remain only a few genetically pure herds of American bison. 2,000 acres will be fenced at Soapstone and Red Mountain to confine the bison. In addition to CSU, the City of Fort Collins, USDA APHIS, and Larimer County are involved in the project.
XI. Terry Gilbert updated the AAB on amendments to the County’s flood plain regulations. Three informational meetings took place in Berthoud, Drake and Laporte. If a home is in a flood plain and the damage due to a flood is greater than 50%, the home cannot be rebuilt. The proposal is to allow any home to be rebuilt if damaged greater than 50%, except if damaged due to a flood.
XII. Jennifer advised the AAB that ARDEC sprayed for aphids on its property in Northern Colorado. There was, however, a problem with neighbors who had bee hives who were concerned the insecticide may be harmful to bees. Jennifer stressed the difficulty lie in the balancing act on being a good neighbor, yet protecting their research crops. She asked for advice from the AAB on how to manage this conflict. Greg suggested we have someone come in at a future AAB meeting to speak on bees.
VIII. The next AAB meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 , at 12:30 p.m. at the CSU Larimer County Extension Office, 1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, CO.
XIV. The meeting was adjourned at 3:12 p.m.
(May 13, 2015 DRAFT Minutes)