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Minutes of Executive Committee


Annual Reports/Minutes


Managing Drought and Disaster Impacts (with Ag In Uncertain Times)

Regional Perspectives on Economic Forces Shaping Land Asset Values (with C-FARE)

Inflated Expectations, Unfulfilled Mandates, and Cost-Efficient Feedstock Systems for Cellulosic Biofuels – What’s a Farmer to do? (with the Western Extension Committee)

Extension Agricultural Education Tours

2012: Seattle, WA

Full Circle Farm Carnation, WA 8:15 am – 9:30 am

Full Circle Weekly Organic Produce Delivery provides consumers with year-round access to fresh, organic produce. Started in 1996 as a five-acre organic farm serving Seattle-area farmers markets, Full Circle has become a significant player in the direct-to-consumer organic home delivery market. With thousands of customers in Washington, Alaska, and Idaho and over 300 acres of certified organic land in and around the Snoqualmie Valley, Full Circle emphasizes local production in their weekly boxes. They ensure a broad variety of fresh product throughout the year through partnerships with other nearby and West Coast-based farms.

Oxbow Farm   Duvall, WA

Oxbow Organic Farm is a 25 acre mixed vegetable, tree fruit, and berry farm bordering an ‘oxbow’ lake off the Snoqualmie River. They sell direct-to-consumer throughout the greater Seattle area at farmers markets, restaurants, independent grocery stores, and their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Oxbow’s farmers have learned to incorporate farming practices that help native trees and shrubs thrive, and have noticed the benefits of a healthy natural environment on their fields. In 2010, Oxbow formalized its teaching-farm format by becoming an educational nonprofit, offering field trips to school groups and internships to young adults wishing to experience the farming life.

Qualco Energy/Werkhoven Dairy    Monroe, WA 11:30 am – 1:15 pm

Ten years ago, an unusual alliance between dairy farmers, salmon recovery agencies, and the Tulalip Tribe formed to develop an ambitious project: a digester to turn manure into power while keeping it out of local salmon streams. After the State of Washington gifted the alliance their defunct Department of Corrections dairy, years of feasibility studies and grant writing, their efforts paid off and in 2008 Qualco Energy’s digester started operating. It takes in millions of gallons of dairy manure, fish waste, cattle and chicken blood, trap grease, pulp, whey, expired beer, wine and soda, each year turning it into electricity and income while keeping these pollutants out of the environment. Manure that used to threaten nearby salmon streams is no longer an issue for participating farmers. The digester allowed for significant increases in herd size without the expense of additional land for the manure. Currently, the digester is producing 2 to 3 times more gas than can be burned in the original 450KW generator. At maximum gas output, Qualco will generate 1.2 megawatts of power. Qualco hopes to be a model for what works, enabling livestock producers to expand while eliminating manure pollution issues.

2011: Pittsburgh, PA

This year the tour will be offered as a post-conference event on Wednesday, July 27. This bus tour, accompanied by area Extension economists, will visit several food and farm industry attractions in the Pittsburgh area. While some stops are still being finalized, some of what you’ll discover includes:

  • A family fruit orchard that expanded to produce, nursery, furniture, and gift sales; added horse management lessons; and built a natural food store with nutritional counseling for customers with specific health needs—all adding more family to the operation
  • Food processing, Steel City style
  • Giant Eagle’s flagship for their “Market District” grocery concept inspired by the open-air markets of Europe and offering unique culinary, dining and shopping experiences for those with true passion for food, yet approachable for non-foodies.
  • Discussions with grocery leaders on cross marketing food and fuel, and new store formats that put fresh and local back in the neighborhoods
  • Mining natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. Landowners and educators introduce the challenges of contracting and addressing economic, operational, and environmental issues as part of this fast-moving energy alternative

2010: Denver, CO

Click here to view pictures of the tour

ConAgra Flour Mill (Commerce City)
This is a modern and highly automated mill that processes 40,000 bushels each day into a range of flour products.  This tour stop included the processing operation and the extensive grain terminal.

Darrell Hanavan, Executive Director of Colorado Wheat, joined us at the hotel for the bus ride to the flour mill and Kalcevic farms. He provided information about Colorado wheat production and processing trends – plus answered lots of questions of Colorado agriculture.

Kalcevic Farms (Bennett)
This very large multi-generational family operation produces dryland crops focusing on wheat in the High Plains region East of Denver.  The operation makes extensive use of several marketing tools including on farm storage.

Cure Organic Farm (Boulder)
This is an innovative small diversified and intensively managed operation. They grow 90 different varieties of certified organic vegetables, herbs and flowers on 8 acres. All of the crops are distributed through a CSA program, to local restaurants, farmers markets and our self-serve farm stand on site. The farm is also home to several honey bee hives, over 150 laying hens and ducks, heritage pigs and Rambouillet sheep that are raised for meat.

Dawn Thilmany McFaddem, Colorado State; Adrian Card, Colorado State, Boulder; and Wendy Lee White, Colorado Dept of Agriculture; joined us at Cure farm. During lunch they talked more about the Boulder County Open Space and Agriculture Initiatives,  Colorado Proud, and Extension’s efforts to support organic growers.

MillerCoors Brewery (Golden)
In the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, this is the original location of the legendary Coors Brewery.  Currently, this plant is the biggest single-site brewer in the world.  The stop will include a special group tour and discussion with Steve Rockhold, on the procurement staff.  Free time was provided to visit the tasting room and gift shop.

2009: Milwaukee, WI

7:15 am Depart
7:30 am Fondy Food Center, Milwaukee
8:15 am Port of Milwaukee
10:15 am Rosy Lane Holstein, Watertown
12:30 pm Lunch, Lakeside Park, Fond du Lac
2:35 pm Blue Sky Green Field Energy Farm, Malone
3:30 pm Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area, Horicon
6:30 pm Return

2008: Orlando, FL

9:00 am: Tour of the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center at Buck Island Ranch
Buck Island Ranch is located just 7 miles from Lake Placid, Florida and is situated on the fringe of the Everglades. The MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center is dedicated to a mission of long-term research, education and outreach related to the ecological and social value of subtropical grazing lands. The Center is at a 10,300-acre cattle ranch on a long-term lease to Archbold Biological Station from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The ranch is representative of over 5 million acres of Florida ranchlands mostly located in central Florida. The ranch is operated at full commercial scale allowing researchers to investigate ecological interactions under the economic realities of a working agricultural landscape. It also provides researchers the opportunity to evaluate the relationship between economic and ecological factors and how these change over time. Buck Island Ranch is located just 7 miles from Lake Placid, Florida and is situated on the fringe of the Everglades National Park. Buck Island Ranch received the 2007 Commissioner’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award.

1:00 pm: Bates Caladium Growers
Lake Placid, Florida is the Caladium Capital of the world, supplying 95% of all the Caladiums sold commercially (an ornamental plant). This is a three generation family operation. Here we will meet with the owners and get a first hand view of commercial Caladium growing practices.

3:30 pm: Florida’s Natural Growers Grove House
Florida is home to more than 700,000 acres of citrus. Florida’s Natural is one of the largest citrus processing companies for orange juice in the world. It is a cooperative of more than 1,000 Florida growers. The Grove House is located just across the street from the processing plant for Florida’s Natural. The Grove House is a gift shop and museum for the industry. Here we will see a video about the company and then meet with Bob Behr, a Ph.D. Agricultural Economist now serving as Vice President for Florida’s Natural, and as a Commissioner for the Florida Department of Citrus.

Click here to view pictures of the tour.

2007: Portland, OR

Tour Stops (in order):

Bill Chambers
Stahlbush Island Farms
3122 Stahlbush Island Rd.
Corvallis, OR 97333
(fruits and vegetables)

Steve Anderson
Eola Hills Wine Cellars and Vineyards
501 South Pacific Highway 99W
Rickreall, OR 97371

Bruce Chapin
9965 Wheatland Rd. N,
Salem, OR 97303

Tom Fessler
Woodburn Nursery
13009 McKee School Rd N.E.
Woodburn, OR 97071

Click here to view the tour photos

2006: Long Beach, CA

Click here to view tour photos