Larimer County Extension Advisory Committee
September 7, 2011
The meeting was held in the Extension Office meeting room in Fort Collins. Those present were Suzanne Jarboe-Simpson, Ruth Wilson, Ronda Koski, Valerie Clark, Susan Bonsall, David Lee, Tony Knight, Mel Hilgenberg, Pam Harrold, Martha Sullins, Public Works Director Marc Engemoen, Commissioner Lew Gaiter III, Extension Director Laurel Kubin, and Administrative Assistant Fred McClanahan, Jr.
Excused: Dixie Dick, & Jessie Mae Hendrickson
The meeting was called to order at 8:00 a.m. Introductions were made.
Report by Marc Engemoen, Director of Larimer County Public Works:
Marc Engemoen gave a report on the status of events at The Ranch.
- The Ranch is hosting many more events each year.
- Heaven Fest was the largest single day event in the history of The Ranch.
- The Alan Jackson concert was very profitable.
- The cost to the county for the County Fair was less than previous years.
- The McKee Foundation donated $800k when the McKee Trust was ending and being dissolved. These funds were used to offset a large portion of the McKee Building cost.
- Financial plans are in the works to reduce the annual deficit at The Ranch.
- Extension and The Ranch have a great partnership which contributes to their continued success.
David Lee is retiring from the Larimer County Extension Advisory Committee and was thanked for his many years of dedicated service.
Minutes of the May 5, 2011 meeting were approved.
Martha Sullins, Extension Regional Specialist - Agriculture & Business Management, now has her office in the Larimer County Extension Office. Programs she is involved with include:
Building Farmers and Ranchers Program: There is a large demand by consumers for local food products. Martha is working with small scale businesses to better equip them to produce more and higher quality products. Ag business, record keeping, product branding, and business plans are all subjects that will be taught to local producers at the Building Farmers and Ranchers program workshops. This knowledge will be passed down from experienced producers to those just starting their business. The program will help producers achieve their production and marketing goals.
Market Price Reporting: For the 2011farmers' market season we are collecting information on process and units of sale in farmers' markets along the Front Range. This information is presented in terms of average prices for each vegetable, fruit and meat product, by market.
Colorado Market Maker (CMM) is a resource for business at all levels of the food supply chain. CMM can help a grocery store or restaurant find farm-fresh food or help a producer find the best places to sell to local buyers.
County Sales Tax
Ronda Koski gave a report on the sales tax initiative that is on the November ballot. This initiative would repeal the existing 0.40% sales and use taxes approved in two ballot questions in 1997 and replace them with a new 0.375% sales and use tax to benefit the jail and alternative sentencing programs.
Three county budgets for 2012 have been prepared and submitted for Extension – Ag & Natural Resources, Family / Consumer / 4-H, and Food Safety.
Staff continues to provide high quality programs. Larimer County Extension has only one 4-H agent but has the largest 4-H program in Colorado. Additional funding came from CSU for a 4-H program coordinator, Diane Kern. No word yet if CSU will provide additional funding in 2012. The committee discussed the need to send a letter of support to CSU decision makers for future funding of the second 4-H position.
Larimer County Extension has been present at many community events including the Larimer County Farmers' Market, Sustainable Living Fair, Larimer County Fair, and the CSU Lagoon Concert Series. 4-H members, leaders, parents and volunteers have been utilized to fill the staffing void.
The 2011 Larimer County Fair was very successful. Attendance, revenue receipts and final numbers are being tallied.
Extension Showcase will be held on December 7 at 12 Noon at The Ranch in the restaurant at the Budweiser Events Center. Committee members volunteered to contact local and state decisions makers to save the date.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:10 a.m.
The next meeting will be on November 2, 2011 at the Larimer County Extension Office.
Fred McClanahan, Jr.