LARIMER COUNTY AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY BOARD
July 8, 2015
Present: Jennifer Bornhoft (liaison), Jason Brothers, Tim Clouse, Karen Crumbaker (liaison), Sarah Fox, Brenda Gimeson (liaison), Gail Meisner, Greg Schreiner, Richard Seaworth, Jon Slutsky, Ted Swanson, Zach Thode, and George Wallace. Guests: Terry Gilbert, George Reed, James Thompson, Lori Hodges, and Jeni Arndt.
Absent: Charles Gindler (liaison), Debra Herston, Nic Koontz, Minerva Lee, and Val Manning.
I. Gail Meisner called the meeting to order at 12:39 p.m. Introductions were made.
II. Colorado State Representative Jeni Arndt provided information to the Board on the water bills she has been involved in. The following bills passed: Historic Consumptive Use; Ditch Water to Firm up Water Rights; and the Ground Water Monitoring bill. The Flexible Water Rights Market bill did not pass. The bill will be rewritten and George Wallace asked if the AAB could review the redraft. Jeni welcomed feedback from the AAB.
III. Lori Hodges, Director of Larimer County Offices of Emergency Management, explained the role she has in natural disasters in Larimer County. At a recent citizen’s meeting in Wellington, someone asked about using livestock to reduce the grass fuels on lands in Larimer County. The Board advised Lori that it could be difficult to implement due to fencing requirements, the type of grass, who owns the property (i.e. is it HOA owned?), and movement of the cattle from site to site. Richard suggested sheep may be better to reduce some fuels because they have shepherds and don’t have to have fences.
Lori asked the Board if they would like to review the draft of the County’s Hazardous Mitigation Plan. The AAB agreed to review the plan. Lori indicated the draft plan should be complete by September and Lori would send it to Brenda to send out to the Board for their review and comments.
Another concern Lori addressed with the Board is how to best prepare for cattle evacuation in the event of a natural disaster. Ted indicated that he was skeptical that it is feasible for cattle. Lori mentioned that in Park County, where she worked prior to coming to Larimer County, they cut fences so cattle could move out of harm’s way. The Board recommended Lori get in touch with the Larimer County Stockgrower’s Association to see what advice they may have.
IV. The May 13, 2015, AAB Meeting Minutes were approved, with one minor correction.
V. Greg presented the power point presentation on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) created by members of the GMO task force (Greg Schreiner, Nic Koontz, Gail Meisner, and Richard Seaworth). The power point will be placed on the AAB webpage after it is presented to the County Commissioners on August 10, 2015.
VI. Jon provided the AAB with a copy of the Report on Animal Abuse on Commercial Livestock Operations in Larimer County. Members of the Animal Task Force who wrote the report are: Jon Slutsky, Deb Herston, Ted Swanson, and Val Manning. Someone from the task force will present their findings at an upcoming work session with the County Commissioners.
VII. An Immigration Committee was created. Members of the AAB who will be part of this committee are: Greg Schreiner, George Wallace, Jon Slutsky, and Ted Swanson. The target date for completion is set for the March 2016.
VIII. Committee reports:
· Water Committee - Will report at the September AAB meeting
· Legislative Committee - The Northern Irrigated Supply Project (NISP) report was released and the comment period will end on September 3, 2015. There will be an open house/public hearing for the NISP Supplemental Draft EIS at the Fort Collins Hilton on July 22, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. and July 23, 2015 at the Weld County Administrative Building in Greeley at 5:00 p.m. To view the NISP SDEIS, go to: http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/RegulatoryProgram/Colorado/EISNISP
Waters of the United States Under the Clean Water Act is closed for comments.
· Education Committee - Will get the speaker for the September AAB meeting
Larimer County Farmers Union will host a pot luck dinner on August 8, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at ARDEC. There will be a tour of ARDEC followed by dinner. Call Gail if interested in attending.
X. The next AAB meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 9 , 2015 , 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 2:45 p.m.