LARIMER COUNTY AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY BOARD
January 8, 2014
Present: David Bee, Karen Crumbaker (liaison), Lew Gaiter, Brenda Gimeson (liaison), Charles Gindler, Debra Herston, Minerva Lee, Val Manning, Gail Meisner, John Rankin, Brad Rhoda, Jon Slutsky, Ted Swanson, Zach Thode, and George Wallace.
Absent: Richard Seaworth.
I. John Rankin called the meeting to order at 12:36 p.m.
II. The November 13, 2013 AAB Meeting Minutes were approved. George Wallace asked the minutes be more detailed, especially surrounding agricultural issues.
III. Introductions of AAB members. There are two new AAB members: Brad Rhoda and Ted Swanson. During introductions, each Board Member was asked to identify a key issue in agriculture. Issues identified were: water availability and its cost/value; flood and irrigation; education of the general public about the importance of farming/the disconnect of urban dwellers and understanding of economic and employment realities; agriculture preservation and protection in Larimer County with water rights; immigration concerns in agriculture; housing for farm workers; attracting young people to agriculture; the expense to young people wanting to get into agriculture ; the need for programs for new ag graduates; the survival of agriculture infrastructure; the average age of agricultural producers; concerns surrounding Western Slope and Eastern Slope water in Colorado; the Right-to-Farm; ag tourism and the need to increase the inlets and outlets; the widening of County Roads that continue to divide farms; continued development/ urban sprawl; t he need for integration of other organizations that are important to agriculture.
IV. Commissioner Gaiter discussed the purpose of the Larimer County Agricultural Advisory Board. The main purpose is to guide the Larimer County Commissioners on agricultural related issues. Commissioner Gaiter recognized the importance of the Board through their expertise in agriculture. He invited Board members to bring agricultural issues and concerns that the Commissioners may not be aware of to the attention of the County Commissioners. The AAB asked Commissioner Gaiter to identify and address any issues that may exist with the AAB or with individual Board members. Commissioner Gaiter agreed to do so.
· Zach asked Commissioner Gaiter if the Chair of the AAB could communicated with Commissioner Gaiter on a regular basis (monthly was agreed upon).
· Jon asked Commissioner Gaiter if Board members could look into agricultural related issues and bring issues up at a meeting Commissioner Gaiter attends. Commissioner Gaiter suggested Board members send either he or Brenda an e-mail identifying the issue so that it could be placed on the agenda.
· John asked that Commissioner Gaiter attend as many AAB meetings as possible. He also suggested that issues the Board feels important to discuss with Commissioner Gaiter be placed early on the Agenda so that Commissioner Gaiter does not need to attend the entire meeting. Commissioner Gaiter said he would do his best to attend as many meetings as possible.
· Deb told Commissioner Gaiter she appreciated the BOCC for listening to agricultural related issues and acting upon them.
V. Election of 2014 Officers. Nominations were taken for Chair. Gail Meisner and Zach Thode were nominated. A vote was taken and Gail Meisner was elected Chair of the AAB.
· Nominations were taken for Vice Chair. Zach Thode and George Wallace were nominated. A vote was taken and George Wallace was elected as Vice Chair of the AAB.
· Nominations were taken for Secretary. Debra Herston and Val Manning were nominated. A vote was taken and Debra Herston was elected as Secretary of the AAB. (Note: Karen will take meeting minutes and Brenda will act as back-up. If Karen and Brenda cannot attend a meeting, Debra will take meeting minutes.)
VI. There was discussion on the 2014 Work Plan teams. It was decided there would be four teams: (1) Public Education and Outreach; (2) Agricultural Land Preservation and Stewardship; (3) Water Resources; and (4) Legislative and Public Policy. Brenda will update the 2014 Work Plan with team members and send out to the Board.
VII. The next AAB meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at 12:30 p.m. at the CSU Larimer County Extension Office, 1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, CO.
VIII. The meeting was adjourned at 3:02 p.m.
(January 8, 2014 DRAFT Minutes)