LARIMER COUNTY AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY BOARD
September 9, 2015
Present: Jason Brothers, Tim Clouse, Karen Crumbaker (liaison), Charles Gindler (liaison), Brenda Gimeson (liaison), Debra Herston, Nic Koontz, Minerva Lee, Val Manning, Gail Meisner, Greg Schreiner, Richard Seaworth, Jon Slutsky, Ted Swanson, and George Wallace. Guests: Beth Conrey and James Thompson.
Absent: Sarah Fox and Zach Thode
I. Gail Meisner called the meeting to order at 12:40 p.m. Introductions were made.
II. Greg updated the Board on the GMO task force presentation to the County Commissioners on August 10, 2015. The presentation was well received by the Commissioners and they expressed their appreciation for the task force’s neutral stance on the issue and for providing an informative, factual presentation.
Jon, Val, and Zach made a presentation to the County Commissioners on August 12, 2015 on the issue of animal cruelty. The Commissioners thanked the animal cruelty task force for their research into the topic of animal cruelty. There are no commercial hog operations and very few commercial sheep operation in Larimer County, so the report focused on cattle operations. The report indicated there was no evidence of abuse in Larimer County.
III. Gail reported back to the Board that she had a phone conference with Commissioner Gaiter earlier in the week and there was nothing to report back.
IV. Beth Conrey of Bee Squared gave a very informative, enthusiastic presentation to the Board on the importance of honey bees to pollination. The decline of honeybees may be due to broad spectrum insecticides and fungicides. Best management practices to help protect honey bees is to reduce pesticide use, do not use broad spectrum insecticides or plant seeds treated with insecticides, and plant pollinator seed mixes. To report a swarm, call the Swarm Hotline at 1-844-779-2337.
V. The July 8, 2015, AAB Meeting Minutes were approved, with two minor corrections.
VI. Committee reports:
· Water Committee - George reported that the Basin-Wide Water Sharing Working Group report was turned into the State. The Poudre Runs Thru it agreed to carry out work on Phase II. They were awarded $100,000 from the Gates Foundation to continue the work. There is a meeting at 3:00 p.m. today to begin the process of analyzing different types of land and water conservation entities.
· Legislative Committee - Jon reported on the Northern Irrigated Supply Project (NISP) Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). The Larimer County Commissioners support NISP, however the Environmental and Science Advisory Board and the City of Fort Collins do not. To view the NISP SEIS, go to: http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/RegulatoryProgram/Colorado/EISNISP
The final Clean Water Rule: Definitions of “Waters of the United States” became effective on August 28, 2015. Go to the EPA’s website to read the rule.
· Education Committee - Val asked the group to think about topics and/or speakers for future meetings. We will discuss suggestions at the November meeting.
· Brenda asked who from the AAB would be interested in attending the October 14, 2015 Solid Waste/Resource Recovery Focus Group. Charlie and/or Greg said they would try to make the meeting.
· Pioneer Living Day will be held at the Bee Family Farm on September 26, 2015.
· James mentioned a temporary position with the Colorado Department of Agriculture is available through the Colorado Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery. They are looking for someone with an agricultural background to fill the position.
· The Buckeye School will hold a 90th anniversary potluck dinner on September 12, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.
· A quilt show will take place at the Buckeye School on September 21-22, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. 60 4:00 p.m.
· Nic asked if the AAB could create a task force to look into how 1st generational farmers can access land in Larimer County; how can new farmers farm in the County and have access to land and water? This will be further discussed at the November meeting.
VIII. The next AAB meeting will be held on November 19 , 2015 , at 12:30 p.m. at the CSU Larimer County Extension Office, 1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, CO. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.
IX. The meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.