Briefs for Aug. 10

In response to the drought in Colorado, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency announced Wednesday that it has opened up emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program acreage in Moffat County to Sept. 30, or until disaster conditions no longer exist.

Many eastern Colorado counties, as well as parts of Utah, Arizona, Nevada and Wyoming, are available for grazing.

"Several Colorado (ranchers) continue to experience severe drought conditions and a severe shortage of forage for grazing," said Phyllis E. Lake, acting county executive director for the Moffat County agency. "Pasture recovery and new grass seedlings are delayed or nonexistent due to a lack of moisture. Approval for emergency grazing ... will provide forage for livestock and help producers in areas most severely impacted by these drought conditions."

CRP participants who do not own or lease livestock may rent or lease the grazing privilege to an eligible livestock producer within an approved county.

CRP annual rental payments will be reduced by 10 percent for the acres grazed. Producers must visit the local USDA office to request grazing privileges and modify existing CRP conservation plans to incorporate grazing provisions before relocating livestock.

For more information, visit the USDA office, 356 Ranney St., call 824-3476 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.

Grand Futures names new executive director

The staff and board of Grand Futures Prevention Coalition has announced Sandra Visnack as the new tri-county executive director for the organization.

Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, a community-based substance abuse prevention group, serves Moffat, Routt and Grand counties.

Visnack has worked for Grand Futures since 2004 as the Routt County director. She was promoted to tri-county director on Aug. 1.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Vermont and a master of nonprofit management degree from Regis University. Her resume includes freelance grant writing/management, working as the coordinator of special events and volunteer programs for the city of Northglenn and the volunteer coordinator at Advocates Against Battering and Abuse. She also ran the residence life program at Colorado Mountain College before being hired by Grand Futures in 2004.

The organization will be looking to hire a new Rout County director in coming weeks.

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