Larimer County Extension Advisory Committee

September 1, 2010



The meeting was held in the Extension Office meeting room in Fort Collins.  Those present were Suzanne Jarboe-Simpson, Dixie Dick, Ralph Bender, Pam Harrold, Jesse Mae Hendrickson, Seth Anthony , Kristina Meyers,  Mel Hilgenberg, Sarah Erickson, Ronda Koski, Extension Director Laurel Kubin, Extension Agents Alison O'Connor, Karen Crumbaker, and Administrative Assistant Fred McClanahan, Jr.


Excused:  Trena Anastasia, Brenna Tindall


The meeting was called to order at 8:05 a.m.  Introductions were made.  Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.


Agent Reports:


Karen Crumbaker, Ag & Natural Resources Extension Agent


            Native Plant Masters Program

This is the third year for the NPM program in Larimer County with great responses.  Three hands-on training were held at Soap Stone, Young's Gulch and Lory State Park.  One-third of students take the training to become program volunteers and teach classes to the public.  Twenty-two students took all 3 courses.


Radon Education

A radon education program was held for realtors that will count as continuing education for them.  They are taught how to deal with radon in real estate transactions.  The focus is on mountain communities where radon is found in higher levels.


Colorado Big & Small Conference

The 7th Colorado Ag Big & Small conference will be held for two days in February 2011.  In 2010, 100 people from Larimer, Adams, Boulder & Weld counties attended the conference with many indicating they would like to return next year.  Thirty speakers were involved with the presentations.


Growing Your Future

Workshop was held in the spring of 2010 with 50 attendees.


Grass Tour

NRCS, Extension and Pawnee Seed conducted a grass tour in August 2010.  Fifty to sixty attended the tour of properties and learned about re-establishing acreages to grass and/or native plants.


Small Acreage Extreme Makeover

Extension from Larimer, Boulder and Adams County along with NRCS had this workshop to educate people on how to care for their property.


Horse Regulations

Karen worked on the guidelines committee for a Resource Stewardship Guide to help equine boarding and training facilities with new regulations.  The county is requiring owners to take a stewardship program for education in the best ways to manage their property.






Alison O'Connor, Horticulture Extension Agent


Master Gardeners in Colorado

—   Statewide, there are 1,752 volunteers recording 67,592 hours of volunteer service since January 2009


Larimer County Master Gardeners

—   Currently 119 volunteers in our program

—   In the Front Range region, in 2009, Larimer County:

◦   Ranked 4th in total Master Gardener volunteers in Colorado

◦   1st in total volunteer hours in Colorado

◦   1st in average hours per volunteer in Colorado


Master Gardener Office Duty

—   Through August 27, 2010:

◦   652 phone calls and walk-in clients (since April 2010)

◦   180 emails for those working home phone duty

–   Most popular questions: Tomatoes, lawns, tree dieback in spring!


Tree Team (site visits to examine trees)

—   Reorganized to assign locations by ZIP Code

◦   Volunteers can sign up “closer to home”

◦   Reduces travel and mileage

◦   Can keep abreast of local problems

—   To date: 73 Tree Team calls

–   Most frequent problems: Winterkill, insects, drought stress


How Master Gardeners become a tree team member:

—   Have at least 2 years of service as a MG volunteer

—   Studies under a member as an Apprentice for one or two seasons

—   Attends the Advanced Diagnostic Training

◦   Held regionally with many counties participating

◦   Once per month during the summer

◦   Morning lecture followed by hands-on diagnostics

◦   Funded through a grant obtained by Dr. Ned Tisserat and Tamla Blunt


New Master Gardener Continuing Education

—   Tomatoes—start to finish

—   Introduction to Diagnostics

—   Saving Seed

—   Importance of Soil Testing

—   Herb Gardening

—   Vegetable Container Gardening


Larimer County Farmers' Market

—   2010 marks the 35th Annual Larimer County Farmers’ Market

—   Was awarded the Rotary Club of Fort Collins “Service to Agriculture” award

—   Starting in early spring, a group of Master Gardeners formed a marketing steering committee

—   Planned Opening Day events

—   Started a blog and Twitter account --

—   Weekly demonstration booths

—   Networked for give-aways

—   Tried new forms of advertising

—   MG Volunteers per day: 8 (first shifts are 5:30am)

—   Total MGs that volunteer: 53

—   Customers:  2,000 in July, 3,500 August

—   Vendors: 73

—   Paid staff: 2 J – Alison & Jean Reeder, MG and FM Assistant

—   Gross sales are up 13% from 2009

—   Total sales $377,000 (2009)

—   August 28, 2010 was the largest grossing day ever:  $35,600 in gross sales

—   Increased vendors (64 in 2009)—73 in 2010

—   Market Bucks are up 20%

—   The best news: food stamp use up 75%!


Other Extension Horticulture Activities

—   CSU Field Day—a way for industry and MGs to learn about the latest research at CSU

◦   215 total participants; 81 MGs

—   Lawnchecks

◦   Have visited 15 lawns; helped 35 others on the phone

◦   Jean Reeder and Harry Love

—   Graff’s Turf Farm Field Day

—   MG Coordinator Conference, Davis, CA, October 5-8, 2010

—   Regional Efforts

—   Food Gardening “Boot Camp”, January 2011

—   Continue teaching with Carol O'Meara

—   MG Training—Larimer, Boulder, Adams and Weld Counties at The Ranch


Upcoming Dates:

September 27:  Boards & Commissions reception

October 6:  Joint Cluster Advisory Committees – 3:30pm, The Ranch

November 10 (change of date) :  Advisory Committee Meeting with County Commissioners and Dr. Frank


Budget Planning Update:

Three service proposals:  Food safety & health, 4-H, and Horticulture, Ag & Natural Resources. 

Budget submitted for 6% reduction and possible 25% reduction.  Revenues are important to make up budget shortages.


Cluster Needs Assessment Survey

A formal research needs based survey will be sent out to 800 citizens in each of the following counties:  Boulder, Adams, Weld and Larimer.


4-H Membership Fee

4-H Fees need to be increased because the fee paid to CSU has increased from $5 / member / year to $15.  Enrollment scholarships and payment plans will still be available, but committee was asked for input on fee increase.


Should service organizations be asked to help with fees?

Do clubs have funds in their accounts to help members with fees?

Too high of an increase would possibly prevent some families from joining 4-H.


Personnel Update

Wendy Woerner, Extension 4-H Agent, resigned in early July to pursue a career in the meat industry.

The position will remain vacant until funds at CSU become available.




County Fair

Attendance was up, revenue was up – overall it was a successful Fair!


The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 a.m.

Next meeting will be November 10, 2010, 8:00 a.m. at the Larimer County Extension Office.




                                                                                    Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                    Fred McClanahan, Jr.