Twelve members of the soil health steering committee met Aug. 7.
Jerry Allen gave out several handouts, including a summary of the 34 soil health surveys returned from April-June.
First item was finalizing the speakers for the soil health conference and topics that reflected the survey results. Jerry Allen summarized the strip till manufacturers, CSU researchers and local Fort Collins farmers who have been involved in the strip till efforts in Fort Collins and Longmont areas by the conservation districts and NRCS there since 2006.
It was decided to invite all of these as speakers to the conference for the Friday, Jan. 24, session around the "Strip Tillage Equipment" theme. This would leave Thursday for the kickoff speaker themes of cover crops with a grazing emphasis. It was recommended to try to get Gabe Brown to agree to be the highlight speaker on day one and to conduct a morning session after Brendan Rockey. (Brendon will start the program off with the importance and varieties of cover crops and their purposes.)
Mike Collins from NRCS has agreed to be the moderator once again.
It was decided to have the main theme speakers in the mornings with breakout sessions in the afternoon. It was also decided to commit to having the conference in Delta, since Sarah Carl-quist and Tom Huerkamp informed the group that upgrades in a new sound system, sound dampers and ways to darken the gym for power points will be done by January.
Tom Huerkamp said that Delta has access to four, 42-inch screens with a/v capability for the breakouts. Those same issues at Friendship Hall in Montrose have not been addressed, and the cost for the building rent and the associated food catering at the Montrose Pavilion would raise registration costs higher than anyone was willing to consider. The seating capacity of 150 of Holiday Inn Express would not hold the number expected.
Breakout sessions will be conducted by a combination of the main speakers, the farmers from Fort Collins and local producers who can explain the "how-to" on the theme topics, plus three or four more from the survey results.
Producers who have been active on the steering committee are Jack Graff, Tom Huerkamp, Richard St. Jean and David Harold. Agency/Conservation District people active on the committee have been David Dearstyne, Dev Carey, Jerry Allen and Teresa McGovern. Sarah Carl-quist, from DCED, has kept track of finances and paid CCPI grant costs. Ron Godin has represented CSU Extension.
Next item was the time and place of a cover crop tour in October. Jack Graff was nominated to come up with the six best places, and to make it an all-day tour with a lunch break in between. The steering committee will handle the details after these crops have germinated, as they are just being planted for the most part.
Next meeting for the steering committee will be Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the Delta NRCS conference room at 11 a.m.blog comments powered by Disqus