LARIMER COUNTY AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY BOARD
July 12, 2017
Present: Jason Brothers, Beth Conrey, Karen Crumbaker (liaison), Lew Gaiter, Brenda Gimeson (liaison), Nic Koontz, Gail Meisner, Paula Petroff (Extension), Travis Rollins (liaison), Greg Schreiner, Jon Slutsky, Bill Spencer (liaison), Ted Swanson, Zach Thode, and George Wallace. Guest: Sams Adams, NRCS.
Absent: Jennifer Bornhoft (liaison), Tim Clouse, Minerva Lee, Val Manning, and Richard Seaworth.
I. Greg Schreiner called the meeting to order at 12:35 p.m.
II. The May 10, 2017, AAB Meeting Minutes were approved and accepted.
III. Interactions with Commissioner Gaiter on Ag and Community related issues. Commissioner Gaiter did not have anything to report to the Board. Greg shared the AAB Task Force list of topic areas, team members and purposes/topics. Commissioner Gaiter and members discussed various topics including: water easements sales in the area, protecting agriculture, beginning farmer programs and the challenges for young people interested in farming and agriculture due to the current cost of water rights and land.
IV. Current Ag. Commodity Prices. Greg reported that commodity prices on corn are down from last year and added that in the Midwest prices were being affected by late planting and frost issues. There was member discussion on the current prices of alfalfa. Jon shared that milk prices continue to be low. Nic shared that organic vegetables are doing well and sales have been good. The members also discussed various cattle prices.
V. Greg asked for members€™ thoughts on Larimer County Agricultural Advisory Board By-laws, Section V. Attendance (B) Removal from Board. Specifically, whether, €śUpon recommendation of the Agricultural Advisory Board, the Board of County Commissioners may replace Board members having three or more unexcused absences in a calendar year.€ť
The Board discussed if it was acceptable if a member misses two of the six meetings per year or should a replacement member be found? It was recommended to amend Section V. Attendance (B) to remove the word €śunexcused€ť and change the number of absences to €śtwo or more€ť.
Zach made a motion to amend the By-laws to read: €śUpon recommendation of the Agricultural Advisory Board, the Board of County Commissioners may replace Board members having two or more absences in a calendar year.€ť A vote was taken and all were in favor of revising the By-laws. The next step is for the AAB to make this recommendation to the BOCC.
Greg announced Debra Herston resigned from the Ag. Advisory Board.
An attendance list was provided to all members. It was noted that Val Manning has not attended a meeting in 2017 and has attended only one meeting in two years. Zach made a motion to recommend to the Board of County Commissioners that Val Manning be removed from the Board, Gail seconded. A vote was taken and all were in favor, none opposed of the motion.
Next, the Board discussed Section III. MEMBERS AND QUORUM (E) Ex-officio members, changing €śEx-officio members€ť to €śhonorary members€ť. The Board wanted to recognize past members of the Board who may want to participate, however, not be able to attend each meeting.
VI. Presentation from Representative Jeni Arndt. Jeni Arndt was not able to attend the meeting, but she will be invited to a future meeting to present to the Board.
VII. Feedback on Teacher Ranch and Farm Field Day. Richard, Gail, George and Greg shared their experience with the third and fourth grade teachers from around Colorado that came to work on their farms through the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture Teacher Ranch and Farm Field Day.
VIII. 2017 Task Force Working Sessions. Members broke out into their task forces to prepare outlines for presentations. Greg asked members to consider possibly adding a fourth task force to research beginning farmer programs around the country. Beth and Greg offered to look into it and get back to the Board with their findings.
IX. Announcements. Greg introduced newest AAB member, Beth Conrey, of Bee Squared Apiaries. Beth shared background on her experience in the bee industry as well as recent challenges for bee keepers. The Denver Post recently interviewed Beth and prepared a short video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAU6Hluti0Y. In 2015, the newspaper interviewed Beth and wrote an article about the bee die-offs: http://www.denverpost.com/2015/06/28/colorado-beekeepers-hope-to-turn-trend-of-die-offs-locally-nationally/. Conversation with Beth continued with George bringing up the topic of contract and wild bee pollination. Welcome to the AAB, Beth.
George and Jon are attending a Community Trust Immigration panel discussion on July 17th at 6:30 pm at the Old Town library.
Brenda announced that she would be moving into a different position within the County, but offered to remain as a liaison with the AAB, if possible. The Board members discussed the proper procedure for accomplishing this. The Board agreed that Greg should send a letter to the Board of County Commissioners requesting that Brenda remain a liaison to the AAB.
X. The next AAB meeting will be held on September 13, 2017, 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 2:50 p.m.