LARIMER COUNTY AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY BOARD

Meeting Minutes

May 14, 2014

 

 

Present: †David Bee, Karen Crumbaker (liaison), Brenda Gimeson (liaison), Charles Gindler (liaison), Debra Herston, Minerva Lee, Nic Koontz, Gail Meisner, John Rankin, Brad Rhoda, Greg Schreiner, Richard Seaworth, Jon Slutsky, Zach Thode, and George Wallace.† Guests:† Laura Tyler, Fort Collins Conservation District, George Reed, Ciera Blehm and James Thompson, Senator Bennetís office.

 

Absent: †Val Manning and Ted Swanson.

 

I.††††††††† Gail Meisner called the meeting to order at 12:35 p.m.

 

II.†††††††† Introductions were made.

 

III.†††††† Michael Whitley, Larimer County Community Development.† Michael discussed the application process required by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to register as an industrial hemp producer.† He asked the Board for their feedback on whether or not the Larimer County Land Use Code should be modified to specifically include hemp production under the agriculture definition in the Land Use Code.† Michael stated that the State of Colorado recognizes hemp production as an agricultural product.† After discussion about concerns that hemp may jeopardize water use, banking concerns, whether or not the County can prohibit hemp production, and whether there were any fencing regulations associated with hemp production, the Board agreed that the definition of agriculture in the Larimer County Land Use Code should remain as it currently stands.†

 

IV.†††††† Dan Brown, an attorney with Fischer, Brown, Bartlett and Gunn, presented information on the proposed amendment to Section 9 of the Public Trust Doctrine.† The Board received the Resolution in Support of Colorado Water Stewardship Project and in Opposition to Public Trust Doctrine Initiatives.† The amendment states the State of Colorado can manage water to consider the environment.† Dan pointed out that this initiative is not new; there have been 8-10 initiatives in the past 20 years, although none have made it on the ballot.† In August, 2014, we should know whether or not the Public Trust Doctrine Initiatives will be on the ballot.†

 

V.††††††† Discussion on known agricultural and community interests or concerns.†

∑  Charlie mentioned the Department of Natural Resources held an open house on April 30, 2014 to discuss revisions to the Master Plan.† There were approximately 40 in attendance, with very few from the agricultural community.† He asked the Board to think of ways to engage the agricultural community to support the Open Lands Master Planning effort.† The AAB is invited to attend the facilitated dialogue on the master planning effort on May 27, 2014, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Larimer County Courthouse, Carter Lake Conference Room.†

∑  Zach brought up for discussion a concern on weed control methods on conventional farms versus weed control methods on organic farms.† The concern is that there must be weed control on organic farms to keep the weeds from spreading to neighboring properties.† It was suggested that Tim DíAmato from the Larimer County Weed District attend a future AAB meeting to inform the Board how weed problems are managed by the County.

∑  James Thompson, Ag. Policy Advisor from Senator Bennetís office, briefly discussed Senator Bennetís work involving hemp, food safety modernization act, concerns surrounding the Farm Bill, crop insurance and endangered species.† He offered to speak at a future AAB meeting in further detail on issues Senator Bennet is involved with.

∑  Richard announced that Poudre High School will have a FFA Chapter (Future Farmers of America) in the fall, 2014.†

∑  Debra stated her concern with the influx of beef into the U.S. from Brazil.† She asked James what Senator Bennetís view was on this matter.† James said he would get back with her.

 

VI.†††††† The March 12, 2014, AAB Meeting Minutes were approved, following a motion by Jon Slutsky to strike the third paragraph in Section VI of the DRAFT Meeting Minutes.

 

VII.††††† Committee Reports by Committee Chairs.†

∑  Water Resources Committee - George Wallace gave a power point presentation on the Poudre Basin Water Sharing working group.† The goals are:† to set a clear description of water sharing mechanisms; the perceptions of irrigators/shareholders/utilities; prototype of agreement for each type of sharing; improve data base to enable future collaboration.

∑  Legislative Committee - Jon Slutsky updated the Board on House Bills:† HB14-1005, HB14-1159, HB14-1280, HB14-1328, HB14-1333; Senate Bills:† SB14-023, SB14-115, and SB14-017 that was signed by the Governor, which limited the use of ag. water for lawn irrigation.† Jon also mentioned that the ballot initiatives by the Humane Society of the United States were pulled.

∑  Land Preservation Committee - John reiterated the comment Charlie made above regarding the Larimer County Open Lands Master Plan.

∑  Education Committee - Val was not in attendance to update the committee.

 

VIII.†††† Discussion of Annual Report.† Brenda asked the Board if there was a value in creating and submitting an annual report to the BOCC.† The Board agreed that they would like to provide the County Commissioners with an annual report on the work they do.† Brenda will send out a draft of the 2013 annual report and asked the Board to respond to her with comments so she can finalize the report.†

 

IX.†††††† Suggestions for future presentations.† (1)† Someone from Boulder County (David Bell, County Resource Manager?) to speak about what is involved in allowing a small agricultural producer to use county open space land for their business; (2) Someone from Land Link speak about the Land Link program; (3) Tim DíAmato from the Larimer County Weed District; and (4) Sara Rathburn, Associate Professor at CSU, presentation on healthy rivers.

 

The Board decided that presentation will be held during the regularly scheduled meeting, as long as the meeting ends at 3:00 p.m.

 

X.††††††† The next AAB meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 , at 12:30 p.m. at the CSU Larimer County Extension Office, 1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, CO.

 

XI.†††††† The meeting was adjourned at 2:58 p.m.