Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson

Larimer County Extension Advisory Committee

October 31, 2012




Members present:  Suzanne Jarboe-Simpson, Jean Bosch, LaVon Blaesi, Ronda Koski, Valerie Clark, Ruth Wilson, Trena Anastasia, Pam Harrold, Susan Bonsall, Pranaya Sathe, Laurel Kubin, Karen Crumbaker and Fred McClanahan, Jr.  Excused:  Dixie Dick, Irene Romsa & Mel Hilgenberg.


Chairman Suzanne Jarboe-Simpson called the meeting to order at 8:05 a.m.  Minutes of the September 5th meeting were corrected to include Ruth Wilson as excused.  Trena Anastasia moved to approve; Ruth Wilson seconded. Motion carried.


Agent Report


Karen Crumbaker, Extension Agent, Ag and Natural Resources reported on the Colorado Building Farmers / Ranchers Program in Larimer County:


What is the Colorado Building Farmers/Ranchers Program?

•       The program builds community and capacity in agriculture

•       8 week program

•       Opportunity to network with speakers

•       Networking with CSU Extension

•       Networking with other producers



•       Began in 2007 in Boulder County

•       2nd year in Larimer County

•       34 participants

•       Created in response to a need within communities

•       No other similar program in Colorado


Who Should Participate?

•       Beginning, Intermediate and Experienced farmers and ranchers


Colorado Building Farmers / Ranchers Advisory Committee

•       All are involved in production agriculture

•       Guides the program

•       Guide what the need is in Larimer County

•       Review applications and make recommendations


Format and Curriculum

•       Dinner and networking

•       Strategic Business Planning

•       Getting Started

•       Risk Management/Labor Concerns

•       Marketing

•       Recordkeeping

•       Food Safety

•       Present a business plan


Goals of the Program

•       New farmers & ranchers – explore farming as a business

•       Intermediate / Experienced farmers & ranchers – refine and enhance their business

•       Overall goal is to complete a business plan



•       Involved in agriculture

•       Presenters are more producer oriented than academically oriented

•       Based on dynamics of participants


Business Plan Evaluation

  • Have a clear vision, mission and values statement.
  • Describes the product/service and a reasonable pricing strategy.
  • Contains realistic plans for production, including costs, sources, and management of inputs and labor.
  • Describes feasible recordkeeping methods and strategies.



•       “The class exceeded my expectations in all regards.” – 2011 Larimer County Participant

•       “Each week, the class had at least one guest speaker who had both real world practical experience and a thorough understanding of the issues new farmers would face.”

– 2011 Larimer County Participant



Director’s Report


EFNEP & SNAP-Ed Positions: 

•       Natalia will not be returning as an educator.

•       Two SNAP-Ed and one EFNEP educator will be hired.

•       Spanish speaking helpful, Ύ time with benefits through CSU, high school diploma or GED, peer educator – experienced in low income situations


The budget has been submitted and is in process.


Staff retreat was held on October 16 at Primrose Studio.


Many programs going on:  Financial workshops, Food Preservation workshops,  Master Gardeners, Building Farmers / Ranchers, 4-H completion, 4-H Achievement night, Food Safety Works classes.



Marketing Extension


A number of committee members to write “thumbs up” articles about Extension programs for local media.


City of Fort Collins Cable Channel 14 is interested in making video recordings of Extension programs for broadcast on their television cable channel.





Extension Showcase


The timeline for arrival, lunch, and speaker presentations was discussed.  A list of people to invite along with their contact information will be sent to committee members.


The meeting was adjourned at 10am.  Next meeting is Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at 8am in the Larimer County Extension Office.



Submitted by:

Fred McClanahan, Jr.

Background Image: Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson. All rights reserved.