LARIMER COUNTY AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY BOARD
DRAFT Meeting Minutes
November 8, 2017
Present: Jason Brothers, Tim Clouse, Beth Conrey, Jenn Cram (liaison), Brenda Gimeson (liaison), Nic Koontz, Gail Meisner, Paula Petroff (Extension), Travis Rollins (liaison), Greg Schreiner, Richard Seaworth, Jon Slutsky, Ted Swanson, Zach Thode, and George Wallace. Guests: Sams Adams, NRCS, Amanda McGee and Laura Tyler.
Absent: Jennifer Bornhoft (liaison), Karen Crumbaker (liaison), Lew Gaiter, Minerva Lee, Val Manning, Bill Spencer (liaison).
I. Greg Schreiner called the meeting to order at 12:40 p.m.
II. The September 13, 2017, AAB Meeting Minutes were approved and accepted, with corrections.
III. Interactions with Commissioner Gaiter on Ag and Community related issues. Commissioner Gaiter was not in attendance at this meeting.
IV. Current Ag. Commodity Prices. Greg opened discussion with members of the AAB about their personal observations of current ag prices:
· Richard – Beet prices are down 5% from a year ago, with an average sugar content of 17.5%. Bean prices are lower than they should be due to an abundance from other growing areas. Corn yields have been good.
· Jason – CBT prices are level and dairies are not pursuing municipal demand for water. Dairy Farmers of America are not accepting new members, which will deny new dairy farms to open. Current farms will still be allowed to grow up to 5% a year though.
· Nic – His farm recovered from the hail storm in August and was able to still hit gross sales goals.
· Beth - August rains helped with good production/nectar. Her apiary lost 20% of their hives from last winter. The national average for loss of hives is 40%.
· Greg - Shared that organic corn is $9.25 and pinto beans are $44.98, and organic prices are decreasing.
· Gail – The Meisner Farm noted that their Sugar Beets came in at $37 a ton, with a 19.15% sugar content.
V. Discussion on Ditch Companies’ Delivery Systems and Schedules. Greg asked members if they had any thoughts on the schedules of water releases. He stated that he has had some trouble receiving water from North Poudre Ditch Company. Zach commented that there have been many improvements in delivery systems in the United States.
VI. Discussion on Ranching District Concept as Part of the County MP Update. Discussion continued from the last AAB meeting concerning the Foothills/Mountain Resilience Plan and the creation of an agricultural and ranching district in the revised Master Plan. It was suggested that the term “placeholder” should be defined for future conversations with the County Commissioners. Additionally, Brenda reminded the AAB members that when they are communicating with the Commissioners on this topic that they should do so personally, and not as an AAB member.
VII. Finalize 2017 Task Force Working Sessions. Members broke out into their task force groups to review their goals in preparation for presenting to the Board of Commissioners in February or March, 2018.
VIII. Announcements. Greg thanked Brenda Gimeson for her assistance with the AAB through the years and introduced Jenn Cram. Jenn is replacing Brenda as a liaison to the AAB. All members present introduced themselves to Jenn.
Zach shared an update from his trip to Washington, D.C. and Florida with the Colorado Agriculture Leadership Program. He met with Senators Gardner and Bennett and discussed the upcoming Farm Bill, crop insurance and immigration. In Florida, 80% of the orange crops were lost due to Hurricane Irma.
The Colorado Agriculture Water Alliance (CAWA) summit is December 5, 2017, from 8:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m., at The Ranch. Pre-registration is required.
Gail shared that Rocky Mountain PBS, Channel 6, will be airing on the Colorado Experience series an episode titled “White Gold”, which is the story of the Colorado sugar beet industry. The episode will air on February 8, at 7:30 p.m.
Richard announced that if the Board is still interested in pursuing an Ag bike tour/race he has found a source for developing it. It is a complicated process, but believes it could bring approximately 200 riders. There could be long, short and fun routes to the race in August and the AAB could sponsor it with approval from the BCC.
IX. The next AAB meeting will be held on January 10, 2018, at 12:30 p.m. at the CSU Larimer County Extension Office, 1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, CO.
X. The meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.