LARIMER COUNTY AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY BOARD
July 10, 2013
Members present: David Bee, Curtis Bridges, LuAnn Goodyear, Minerva Lee, Val Manning, John Rankin, George Reed, Richard Seaworth, Jon Slutsky, Zach Thode, and George Wallace. Others present: Jennifer Bornhoft (CSU ARDEC), Karen Crumbaker (CSU Extension liaison) , Lew Gaiter (Larimer County Commissioner), Brenda Gimeson (Staff liaison, Larimer County Community Development Division), and Charles Gindler (Larimer County Department of Natural Resources liaison). Guest: Terry Gilbert, Jerry Alldredge, and Mel Hilgenberg.
Member absent: Lew Grant, Debra Herston, Gail Meisner, and Mike Salaz.
I. Curtis Bridges called the meeting to order at 12:33 p.m.
II. The May 8, 2013 AAB Meeting Minutes were approved.
III. Introductions of AAB members and guests.
IV. Discussion of Condemnation Letter with Commissioner Lew Gaiter. Richard Seaworth explained the letter from the AAB to the Larimer County Commissioners regarding the condemnation of agricultural lands in Larimer County. Commissioner Gaiter recommended bringing this issue up as a “citizen” at a Tuesday morning commissioner meeting rather than as the Agricultural Advisory Board. He went on to further state the Boxelder Basin Regional Stormwater Authority has the authority to act independently of the Commissioners.
V. Terry Gilbert, Larimer County Community Development Director, mentioned meetings will be set up in locations around Larimer County to get feedback from citizens on issues that concern them. He would like the community to lead the discussion on the vision for the future of Larimer County. He will gather comments and suggestions and bring them before the Larimer County Planning Department and the Board of County Commissioners. He asked the AAB when the best time would be to meet with producers, and the board responded an evening meeting in October would be best.
VI. Dr. Kenneth Newens, Veterinarian for the Colorado Department of Agriculture, and Rich Grossman, Larimer County Department of Public Health, regarding rabies to horses and livestock.
- Rich shared the concern in Larimer County with the recent outbreak in rabies found in a feral cat. The concern is that rabies can be spread from feral cats and/or skunks to humans and livestock. The LC Department of Public Health works with veterinarians who may have been exposed to a rabid animal. Twelve people in Larimer and Weld Counties have gone through the series of shots for rabies in the past week. Until 2012, rabies was primarily found in skunks and raccoons.
- Dr. Newens stressed the importance of having horses, cattle, dogs and cats vaccinated. A map showing the locations where rabid positive animals have been found can be located at: http://larimer.org/maps/rabies.cfm. Dr. Newens stressed the importance of having a licensed veterinarian give rabies shots to animals. If rabies shots are not given by a licensed veterinarian, the State of Colorado will not recognize the shots. The future outlook, according to Dr. Newens, is that we will always have rabies. The skunk and raccoon population will decline as a result of rabies.
VII. County Fair Booth Update. LuAnn Goodyear thanked the AAB members for their help in preparing a display table at the 2013 Larimer County Fair. The AAB will host a booth in the vendor section of the fair. She encouraged everyone on the AAB to sign up to take a shift at the booth.
VIII. Bumper Sticker Update. Val Manning passed out the new AAB bumper sticker. The bumper stickers will be handed out to the public at the county fair. The funds to pay for the booth at the fair, the bumper stickers and banner came from proceeds from the 2010 Growing Your Future in Larimer County workshop.
IX. Jerry Alldredge, representative for Nutrients for Life Foundation, explained that the Foundation focused on educating all generations about agriculture. The Cochran Foundation, Foundation for Agriculture, and the Colorado Literacy Project K-4 are examples of educational programming the Foundation is involved in.
X. Hill Grimmett, Founder of Northern Colorado Food Incubator, presented the local food trends and local food clusters in Northern Colorado. Locally, direct sales are increasing, there are more producers, thus more production, we offer year-round farmers’ markets, and there are agricultural related businesses being created (i.e. LoCo Food Distribution, Branch Out Cider).
George Wallace suggested money from Larimer County, “Our Lands, Our Future” go into incubator projects to help young farmers. The AAB needs to voice its opinion about the importance of helping young producers succeed in agriculture.
XI. John Rankin provided a committee report.
- Legislation and Public Policy - Colorado Legislation is not in session. Randy Fischer was to provide a summary, but cancelled at the last minute.
- Water Availability - Water Availability members are supportive of the water sharing committee. Two members are part of the water sharing committee that has been funded by the State to further work on stopping the buy and dry.
- Curtis reminded the Board about a Thanksgiving farm tour and that the educational committee would like to put on another Growing Your Future in Larimer County workshop in 2014.
- Suggested topics for the September meeting: (1) PVREA - approach to alternative energy to farms and ranches; (2) CSU - Mike Martin on ag. literacy and ag. education; (3) CDA - agritourism efforts in Colorado; (4) Larimer County Tax Assessor.
XIII. The next AAB meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 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 3:02 p.m.