Diane Prather: Ag projects on tap for 2011

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Diane Prather

A new year has just begun, but the Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University Extension Office are already announcing plans for upcoming events and projects.

First off, Northwest Colorado farmers and ranchers might be interested in attending the seventh annual Arkansas Valley Farm/Ranch/Water Symposium and Trade Show on Feb. 3 at the William L. Gobin Community Building in Rocky Ford.

The one-day workshop will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Colorado State University-Otero County Extension, City of Rocky Ford, United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service are sponsoring the event.

According to a news release, the day will be divided into a morning joint session, afternoon breakout sessions and an afternoon joint session.

The lunch speaker will be Brian Bledsoe, chief meteorologist for KKTV.

The joint morning session will feature the following presentations: “Be Colorado Proud and Benefit from the Buy Local Trend” by Wendy Lee White; “Pros and Cons of Organic Production” by Dr. Mike Bartolo; “Mobile Slaughter: Is it a Viable Option?” by Bruce Fickenscher; and “Leaving a Legacy in Agriculture: More than Money and Real Estate” by Jeffrey Tranel.

The first of the afternoon breakout sessions will include updates such as “Solar for the Home” by Cody Ridennoure; “Canola Research at AVRC” by Dr. Perry Cabot; “The Big Squeeze” by Hal Holder and Joel Lundquist; “Lysimeter at AVRC” by Lane Simmons; and “Yearly Marketing Outlook” by Dr. Stephen Koontz.

“Managing Tough Times,” presented by Jean Justice and Bruce Fickenscher, will be in the second session.

The afternoon will come to a close following the joint session, “2011 Workman’s Comp Safety Seminar.”

The Colorado Corn Growers will present their 2011 FarmInsure Safety training. Participation in this training will be recognized by Pinnacol Assurance.

Registration by Jan. 28 costs $20 per person, $30 per couple, and $5 per student. After Jan. 28, an additional $5 will be assessed.

To register, call the CSU Extension Office in Otero County at 719-254-7608. The web site is www.farmranchwater.org.

According to a news release, the deadline is approaching for inclusion in the 27th annual “Farm Fresh Directory,” published by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

The fee to be included in the directory is $25, and the deadline is Feb. 1. To obtain a listing form, call the Colorado Department of Agriculture at 303-239-4115 or by visiting www.coloradoagriculture.com.

“Farm Fresh” promotes Colorado farmers’ markets, roadside stands, u-picks, Community Supported Agriculture producers, agri-tourism activities, and farms and ranches that sell directly to the public.

According to a news release, more than 100,000 copies of the publication will be distributed through libraries, extension offices, bookstores, chambers of commerce and other places. The directory will be available in June and is free to consumers.

The contact person is Loretta Lopez, who can be reached at 303-239-4115.

Finally, Colorado State University Extension on the Western Slope is looking for volunteers who “will attend regional in-depth training sessions on food safety and food preservation, and afterwards will share their knowledge by volunteering in the community.”

This Master Food Safety Advisor Volunteer Program offers intensive regional training on food safety and the prevention of food-borne illness, methods of canning, pickling, freezing and dehydrating.

Master Food Safety Advisors must apply for selection to be in the program, must attend all trainings, work cooperatively with other volunteers, and give a minimum of 20 hours of service to the community by sharing their knowledge and teaching others.

Trained volunteers might find themselves answering consumer phone calls, providing information at local markets, county fairs or supermarkets, conducting presentations and workshops for community groups and schools, preparing educational displays, and writing articles for newspapers and newsletters.

Trainings will take place March 2, 9, 16 and 20. There is also a Local Planning Day on March 23. It all happens at the Garfield County Extension Office Event Hall, 1001 Railroad Ave., in Rifle.

Openings for the Master Food Safety Advisor program are limited. The cost of the training is $125 with a commitment of 20 hours of volunteer service.

Applications are available at the Eagle County Extension Office at 441 Broadway in Eagle, or www.eaglecounty.us/csu/. Applications are due by Feb. 18.

For more information, contact Glenda Wentworth at glenda.wentworth@eaglecounty.us or 328-8630.

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