Featured Sessions

KEY NOTE SPEAKER

Dr. Temple Grandin : Bestselling Author & Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University

Presenting 3 informative sessions on Wednesday, February 7th!

Key Note Presentation, February 7th at 11am : Visual Thinking: The hidden gifts of people who think in pictures, patterns and abstractions.

Second Session at 1:30pm : Livestock Handling Techniques

Panel Discussion, Time TBD : Virtual Livestock Fencing

Dr. Grandin is a designer of livestock handling facilities and a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. Facilities she has designed are located in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. In North America, almost half of the cattle are handled in a center track restrainer system that she designed for meat plants. Curved chute and race systems she has designed for cattle are used worldwide and her writings on the flight zone and other principles of grazing animal behavior have helped many people to reduce stress on their animals during handling.

She has also developed an objective scoring system for assessing handling of cattle and pigs at meat plants. This scoring system is being used by many large corporations to improve animal welfare. Other areas of research are: cattle temperament, environmental enrichment for pigs, reducing dark cutters and bruises, bull fertility, training procedures, horse perception of novel objects, and effective stunning methods for cattle and pigs at meat plants.

She obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College and her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University. Dr. Grandin received her Ph.D in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989. Today she teaches courses on livestock behaviour and facility design at Colorado State University and consults with the livestock industry on facility design, livestock handling, and animal welfare. She has appeared on television shows such as 20/20, 48 Hours, CNN Larry King Live, PrimeTime Live, 60 Minutes, the Today Show, and many shows in other countries. She has been featured in People Magazine, the New York Times, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Time Magazine, the New York Times book review, and Discover magazine. In 2010, Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people. Interviews with Dr. Grandin have been broadcast on National Public Radio and she has a 2010 TED Lecture titled “The World Needs ALL Kinds of Minds.” She has also authored over 400 articles in both scientific journals and livestock periodicals on animal handling, welfare, and facility design. She is the author of “Thinking in Pictures”, “Livestock Handling and Transport,” “Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals,” “Guide to Working with Farm Animals,” and “Humane Livestock Handling.” Her books “Animals in Translation” and “Animals Make Us Human” were both on the New York Times best seller list. “Animals Make Us Human” was also on the Canadian best seller list. Her latest book, Calling All Minds, was a New York Times best seller for middle school students. Her life story has also been made into an HBO movie titled “Temple Grandin, staring Claire Danes,” which won seven Emmy awards and a Golden Globe. The movie shows her life as a teenager and how she started her career. In 2017, she was inducted into The Women’s Hall of Fame and in 2018 made a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was named as one of the top 10 Best College Professors in 2020 by CEO Magazine. In 2022 she was awarded with the University Distinguished Professor degree at Colorado State University. Her latest book, “Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions,” was also on the New York Times best seller list.

CHEF

Chef Jason K. Morse, CEC : Founder of Chef J’s BBQ Provisions, National Spokesperson / BBQ Expert – Ace Hardware Corporation

Chef Jason has spent a lifetime behind the grills and smokers and is now able to interact with consumers daily to help them cook better with some of the best grilling and smoking tools on the market. As the Ace Hardware National Spokesperson and BBQ Expert, Chef Jason is proud to call Ace his culinary home.  Chef Jason helps make grilling fun, tasty and makes it easy to create bbq magic in your own backyard.

Jason is a Certified Executive Chef and member of the American Culinary Federation. Jason has been featured on the Food Network, National and Local Media segments, was a morning show chef for a Denver Radio station and currently produces the Colorado Department of Agriculture monthly recipes for local Colorado media.

Jason has been published in the Colorado Classique Junior League of Denver Cookbook, and various local publications. Chef works with many Colorado Agricultural groups like, Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Beef Council, Colorado Pork Producers, Colorado Potatoes, Colorado Wool Growers Association and the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Jason works with and supports groups like the Ace Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and The Colorado FFA Foundation.

Chef Jason attended Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, SC and graduated Summa cum laude and was honored with the Apprenti Cuisinier award for Classic French pastry, among other prestigious culinary honors.

Chef Jason Morse is presenting a potato cooking demonstration on Tuesday, February 6th!

AG LABOR LAW (Previously SB087)

Dan Waldvogle : Director of External Affairs for Rocky Mountain Farmers Union

Learn the new regulations affecting Ag Labor some including; hand weeding, overtime provisions, shade and water restrictions, access to service providers and arbitration process.

For more information about Ag Labor laws, please visit these websites:

Dan Waldvogle is the Director of External Affairs at the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union where we represent family farming and ranching operations and rural communities across New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. Dan has a ranching background and has also worked in land access and succession programming to ensure the stewardship of our working lands.

Kam Quarles Photo

NPC POLITICAL UPDATE
February 6 – 10:00-10:25 am

Kam Quarles: Chief Executive Officer of the National Potato Council

Kam’s Bio:

Kam Quarles is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Potato Council.  He assumed this role in May of 2019 after serving as Vice President of Public Policy and Communications.

Since taking on the job of running the U.S. potato industry’s national trade association, Kam has overseen a comprehensive overhaul of the organization and its activities.  These include building a strong team of professional staff and consultants, rebranding the organization and its signature Potato Expo, coordinating the largest disaster relief response in the industry’s history, securing significant victories in the long-standing Mexican trade dispute, and supporting a new multimillion-dollar foundation dedicated to industry leadership.

As a national leader in the fruit and vegetable industry, Kam serves as co-chairman of the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, and as a member of the USDA/USTR Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining the Council staff, Kam worked for the international law firm of McDermott Will & Emery with clients including NPC, the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Sunkist Growers, Chiquita Brands International, the California Avocado Commission and other specialty crop interests.

He served as a vice president for both the United Fresh Produce Association and the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and the managing director of the D.C. office for Sunkist Growers, the world’s largest citrus marketing organization.  Kam was also a staff member in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Kim Breshears Photo

COLORADO LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
February 6 – 10:30-10:55 am

James Henderson : 5th Generation Farmer & Rancher and Vice President of Colorado Farm Bureau

James’ Bio:

James Henderson is a 5th generation farmer and rancher from the San Luis Valley, Colorado. The ranch, founded in 1882, is primarily in the cow/ calf, or beginning part of the beef supply chain; they also grow high quality grains and hay crops for use in the dairy industry. James is passionate about agriculture advocacy, promoting pro-farmer public policy through his position as Vice President of Colorado Farm Bureau. He is married and has 6 children.

.

Kim Breshears Photo

NAVIGATING THE POTATO SHOPPER’S JOURNEY TO PURCHASE AND THE MEXICO OPPORTUNITY
February 6 – 11:30-11:55 am

Kim Breshears : Chief Marketing Officer at Potatoes USA

Kim’s Bio:

Kim Breshears is the Chief Marketing Officer at Potatoes USA. She is passionate about delivering results, effective communications, and financial stewardship. Her vast marketing experience includes various consumer products, food, technology, tourism, and home-building products. Kim has directed brand, marketing, and communications programs for organizations ranging from large corporations to small businesses, helping position them as recognized leaders in their respective industries. She’s a proud graduate of the University of Colorado.

.

Tanner Ehmke Lead Economist

MACRO ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
February 6 – 1:30-2:10 pm

Tanner Ehmke : Lead Economist – Grain & Oilseeds – Knowledge Exchange Division Co Bank, ACB

Description of Presentation:

Brief overview of Macro Economic Outlook 2024

Tanner’s Bio:

Tanner Ehmke is the Lead Economist for Grains & Oilseeds at CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange research team that provides market and industry outlooks on sectors affecting the rural economy. Prior to joining CoBank in 2015, Tanner farmed and marketed seed for his family’s seed company in western Kansas where his family homesteaded in 1885. He previously was a commodities analyst at AgResource Company in Chicago, a markets reporter for Dow Jones at the Chicago Board of Trade, and an agricultural journalist covering crop production and farm business management. Tanner holds a bachelor’s in Agricultural Economics and a master’s in Agricultural Business, both from Kansas State University.

About Co Bank:

CoBank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. We’re also a proud member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy. On Jan. 1, 2012, CoBank merged with U.S. AgBank.

Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.

Travis Taylor CSU Livestock Extension Specialist

FORAGE TESTING FOR LIVESTOCK NUTRITION
February 6 – 1:30-3:00 pm

Travis Taylor : CSU Extension – Golden Plains Area Livestock Specialist – Yuma County

Travis’s Bio:

Travis was raised on a family ranch and dryland farm in Karval, Colorado, he and his wife Lacey still raise Angus and commercial cattle in conjunction with the family operation. The operation currently calves out 300 head each spring, as well as has a small flock of commercial blackface sheep. He and his daughter Mikaela enjoyed developing a small herd of Shorthorn and Shorthorn cross cattle as her 4-H/FFA project.  He has previously raised and sold 4-H/FFA project pigs, lambs and goats to members across Colorado and Wyoming.

Travis has 18 years as an Extension Livestock and Youth professional in Colorado and Wyoming.  He spent 6 years in Wyoming with the UW Animal Science Department as an Extension 4-H Youth Livestock Specialist and the Collegiate Livestock Judging Team Coach. He returned to Colorado as the Ag Education/FFA Instructor at Karval School. He returned to ranching in 2005, but due to the drought in 2011 and 2012, returned to a position in extension as the cow herd was reduced significantly. Currently, his extension area accounts for approximately one quarter of all beef sales in the state and includes the top two swine producing Colorado counties.  He currently serves with the NWSS and CSF as a sheep and wool superintendent.

Education:

  • 1990 AA Degree in Ag Business from Northeastern Jr. College
  • 1992 BS in Agriculture Business from Colorado State University
  • 1999 MS in Animal Science Management from the University of Wyoming

Judging Experience:

  • 1989-90 NJC National Champion Jr. College Livestock Judging Team Member
  • 1991 CSU Reserve National Champion Sr. College Livestock Judging Team Member
  • 1992 CSU Wool Judging Team Member
  • 1993-1999 Coach UW Livestock Judging Team and Assistant Coach UW Meat Animal Evaluation Team
  • Judged numerous County, Regional and State livestock shows across 12 different states, including State Fairs in CO, ND, MT, and WY as wells as at the National Western Stock Show.
Leroy Salazar Presentation Speaker Southern Rocky Mountain AG Conference
SOIL MOISTURE SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

Leroy Salazar : 1:30-1:55 pm February 6

Description of Presentation:

Soil Moisture Sensor Technology

Leroy’s Bio: TBA

Stephen R Koontz

AG MARKET OUTLOOK
February 6 – 2:15-3:00 pm

Stephen R. Koontz :Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at CSU Fort Collins, CO

Description of Presentation:

Ag Market Outlook for 2024

Andrew’s Bio:

Stephen Koontz is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and has been a faculty member at Colorado State University since January 1998.  His responsibilities research, teaching, and outreach.  His teaching program includes graduate courses in research methods and undergraduate courses in agricultural and commodity marketing, commodity market analysis, and commercial agriculture production systems.  His outreach programs are in the areas of commodity market outlook and price analysis, futures markets and risk management, and market organization and performance.  His research focuses on livestock and meat product markets and pricing systems.

Jason Lorenz

NOZZLE CONSIDERATIONS
February 6 – 2:30-3:00 pm

Jason Lorenz : Engineer at Agro Engineering

Description of Presentation:

Brief overview Nozzle Considerations

Jason’s Bio:

Jason Lorenz is an engineer at Agro Engineering.  His focus is on irrigation water management and irrigation system design along with engineering analysis for water rights cases.  Jason holds a Bachelors and Masters of Science from Colorado State University along with a professional engineering license in the State of Colorado.  He is a native of the San Luis Valley and lives here with his wife Kathy.

Chad Reznicek
Rebecca Hill Photo
JC

DO YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR NEIGHBORS AS CLOSE AS YOUR CROP OR HERD?
February 6 – 3:30-5:00 pm

Chad Reznicek : State Behavioral Health Specialist with the Office of Engagement and Extension and the Colorado AgrAbility Project
Rebecca Hill : Extension Professor in the Office of Engagement and Extension and the Co-Director of the Colorado AgrAbility Project
JC Carrica : Vice-President & Chief of Healthcare Innovation & Strategy for Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc.

Chad’s Bio:

Chad Reznicek is the State Behavioral Health Specialist with the Office of Engagement and Extension and the Colorado AgrAbility Project , committed to helping expand and improve behavioral health support and resources in rural communities.  Prior to joining the AgrAbility Team, Chad spent 20 years as a licensed therapist, providing behavioral health services in diverse settings with special focus areas in suicide prevention, trauma, mood disorders, adolescent issues, and substance abuse.  Chad grew up in a small town in central Nebraska with a deep respect for agriculture as the heart of our rural communities.

Rebecca’s Bio:

Rebecca Hill is an Extension Professor in the Office of Engagement and Extension and the Co-Director of the Colorado AgrAbility Project. Rebecca has a passion for community and economic development, particularly in rural areas, and believes that a focus on health is essential in these efforts.

JC Carrica’s Bio: 

JC is a 1996 graduate from the University of Southern Colorado, 2009 Graduate of Adams State College, and 2014 Graduate of Creighton University.  He has a Doctorate in Interdisciplinary Leadership,  a MA in Counseling and is a Certified Addictions Specialist.  As a fourth generation Otero County, Colorado resident, he has a special interest in representing those in our agricultural industry.  His goal is to break through barriers affecting healthcare access and improve peoples behavioral health. He currently serves as the Vice-President & Chief of Healthcare Innovation & Strategy for Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc.

Jim Ehrlich Photo

CHANGES TO COLORADO SEED POTATO LAW
February 6 – 3:30-3:55 pm

Jim Ehrlich : Executive Director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee San Luis Valley

Jim’s Bio:

Jim Ehrlich is the Executive Director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Jim has a B.S. in Agronomy from Colorado State University and has spent his entire adult life working in agriculture. First as a farmer, then as an agronomist for Coors Brewing Company, and now represents Colorado’s potato growers with a true passion for potatoes and potato growers. His mantra is potatoes are good for you, and farmers are the life blood of our country.

.

Jason Lorenz

IRRIGATION EFFICIENCY PANEL
February 6 – 3:30-4:25 pm

Jason Lorenz : Engineer at Agro Engineering

Description of Presentation:

Brief overview Nozzle Considerations

Jason’s Bio:

Jason Lorenz is an engineer at Agro Engineering.  His focus is on irrigation water management and irrigation system design along with engineering analysis for water rights cases.  Jason holds a Bachelors and Masters of Science from Colorado State University along with a professional engineering license in the State of Colorado.  He is a native of the San Luis Valley and lives here with his wife Kathy.

Andrew Houser

THE EFFECT PVY HAS ON YIELD AND CURRENT PVY SITUATION IN THE SLV
February 6 – 4:00-4:25 pm

Andrew Houser : Manager, Colorado Potato Certification Service

Description of Presentation:

Brief overview of The Effect PVY Has on Yield and Current PVY Situation in the San Luis Valley

Andrew’s Bio:

Andrew has been working on potato disease issues at the SLV Research Center for the last 23 years.  He received his BS in Botany from Adams State College in 1999,  an MS in Horticulture with a plant pathology emphasis in 2008 and his PhD from Colorado State University in 2018.    Since 2016, Andrew has served as the Manager for the Colorado Potato Certification Service, which certifies all of the seed potatoes for the State of Colorado. He and his staff work with local potato seed growers to produce high quality seed potatoes.

Andrew still dabbles in some research, focusing on Potato Virus Y management and Powdery Scab resistance.   He enjoys elk hunting, woodworking and playing guitar for church.  Andrew currently lives outside of Del Norte, CO with his wife (Lori) and his two sons (Tanner and Josiah) and their two dogs (Rocky & Cole).

Vamsi Nalam

DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF MIXED INFECTION OF POTATO VIRUS Y (PVY) IN THE SAN LUIS VALLEY
February 6 – 4:30-5:00 pm

Vamsi Nalam : CSU Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Biology within the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Vamsi’s Bio:

Vamsi Nalam earned his M.S. in crop sciences from Oregon State University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of North Texas. Following his Ph.D., he served as an assistant professor at Purdue University Fort Wayne for three years. In 2018, he joined CSU as an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Biology within the College of Agricultural Sciences.

At CSU, his research centers on molecular plant-biotic stress interactions. He passionately believes that unraveling the molecular mechanisms governing plant interactions with insect pests and pathogens is crucial for fostering sustainable agriculture. The lab’s current projects delve into the biology of potato necrotic viruses, sugar beet resistance to curly top disease, and the influence of diurnal rhythms on plant-aphid interactions. His research is funded by various commodity groups, the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the USDA.

Carley Smith

GUT INFORMED: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN GUT HEALTH AND SOIL HEALTH
February 7th 9:30 am

Carley Smith :Nutritional Therapist, Certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Practitioner, and Registered Yoga Teacher

Description of Presentation:

Brief overview: The connection between gut health and soil health.

Carley’s Bio:

Carley Smith, AKA Fairy Gutmother®, is a Nutritional Therapist, Certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Practitioner, and Registered Yoga Teacher. Carley became interested in health and nutrition after being diagnosed with Lyme disease and using food as medicine emphasizing gut health to help heal. She became so empowered in the progress of her healing based on diet and lifestyle changes emphasizing gut health that she started her business, Fairy Gutmother® to help others.

Carley is adamant about promoting the gut health lifestyle and has been a featured guest on The Dr. Oz Show and is a frequent guest for Colorado’s Own Channel 2 News and Great Day Colorado. She has also been featured on Arizona Family TV, Better Connecticut, NBC Miami, and River City Live in Jacksonville, FL. Her articles have been published in major worldwide publications including Newsmax, MindBodyGreen, Yoga + Life Magazine, and Paleo Magazine to name a few. She also leads numerous workshops, public speaking events, and cooking demonstrations centered around the gut health lifestyle. You can view more on her website www.fairygutmother.com or social media @fairygutmother.

Kristi Bartolo Agronomy Agent CSU Extension Pueblo County

BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TO CONTROL PUNCTURE VINE (GOAT HEADS)
February 7 – 1:30-1:55 pm

Kristi Bartolo : Agronomy Agent CSU Extension Office Pueblo County

Description of Presentation:

Brief overview of Best Management Practices to Control Puncture Vine (Goat Heads) –  February 7 – 1:30-1:55pm

Kristi’s Bio:

Kristi Bartolo is the Agronomy Specialist with CSU Extension in Pueblo County, helping farmers with crop related issues from pests and disease to labor and markets and has conducted in-field trials. Kristi earned an MS/BS in biology from Colorado State University Pueblo in 2017. She was born and raised in Pueblo, CO and continues farming on the family property there. Aside from farming she enjoys many outdoor activities and spending time with family and her faith community.

John Lundeen

HELPING POTATO SCIENTISTS AND BREEDER HELP GROWERS
February 7 – 1:30 pm

John Lundeen : Research Director -Potatoes USA Research Group

John’s Bio: TBA

Andrew Houser

2023 CERTIFIED SEED POST HARVEST TEST UPDATE
February 7 – 2:00-2:25 pm

Andrew Houser : Manager, Colorado Potato Certification Service

Description of Presentation:

Brief overview of 2023  Certified Seed Post Harvest Test Update

Andrew’s Bio:

Andrew has been working on potato disease issues at the SLV Research Center for the last 23 years.  He received his BS in Botany from Adams State College in 1999,  an MS in Horticulture with a plant pathology emphasis in 2008 and his PhD from Colorado State University in 2018.    Since 2016, Andrew has served as the Manager for the Colorado Potato Certification Service, which certifies all of the seed potatoes for the State of Colorado. He and his staff work with local potato seed growers to produce high quality seed potatoes.

Andrew still dabbles in some research, focusing on Potato Virus Y management and Powdery Scab resistance.   He enjoys elk hunting, woodworking and playing guitar for church.  Andrew currently lives outside of Del Norte, CO with his wife (Lori) and his two sons (Tanner and Josiah) and their two dogs (Rocky & Cole).

Chad Reznicek
Rebecca Hill

AGRABILITY – SUPPORTING FARMERS’ AND RANCHERS’ AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
February 7 – 2:00-2.55 pm

Chad Reznicek : State Behavioral Health Specialist with the Office of Engagement and Extension and the Colorado AgrAbility Project

Rebecca Hill:  Extension Professor in the Office of Engagement and Extension and the Co-Director of the Colorado AgrAbility Project

Chad’s Bio:

Chad Reznicek is the State Behavioral Health Specialist with the Office of Engagement and Extension and the Colorado AgrAbility Project , committed to helping expand and improve behavioral health support and resources in rural communities.  Prior to joining the AgrAbility Team, Chad spent 20 years as a li:censed therapist, providing behavioral health services in diverse settings with special focus areas in suicide prevention, trauma, mood disorders, adolescent issues, and substance abuse.  Chad grew up in a small town in central Nebraska with a deep respect for agriculture as the heart of our rural communities.

Rebecca’s Bio:

Rebecca Hill is an Extension Professor in the Office of Engagement and Extension and the Co-Director of the Colorado AgrAbility Project. Rebecca has a passion for community and economic development, particularly in rural areas, and believes that a focus on health is essential in these efforts.

Caroline Grey

CSU POTATO BREEDING AND SELECTION PROGRAM UPDATE
February 7 – 2:30-3:00 pm

Caroline Gray : Applied Potato Breeder CSU -San Luis Valley

Description of Presentation:

Brief overview of Potato breeding and selection program.

Caroline’s Bio:

Caroline Gray is the applied potato breeder for Colorado State University. She has worked for the Potato Breeding and Selection Program for thirteen years, located at the San Luis Valley Research Center. Caroline received her M.S. in Plant Breeding and Genetics in 2001, as well as a B.S. in Soils (1998) from Virginia Polytechnic and State University. She worked in the soybean breeding programs at both Virginia Tech and the University of Arkansas before coming to Colorado.

Kim Breshears Photo

CALVING & LAMBING: FUNDAMENTALS & INNOVATIONS
February 7 – 3:30-5:00 pm

Curtis Crawford : Veterinarian at Alpine Veterinary Hospital, PC

Curtis’ Bio:

Curtis Crawford has been a veterinarian at Alpine Veterinary Hospital, PC since 1997.  Born and raised on a family cattle ranch/farm in Springer NM where his family still holds to their agricultural roots. Graduated from Colorado State University in 1986, and came back to rural, mixed animal practice caring for most all of God’s creatures from mice to ostriches and camels but greatest satisfaction comes from dogs, cats, and livestock.  Currently serves on the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association Board of Directors as the Colorado Delegate to the American Veterinary Medical Association and the San Luis Valley Regional Science Fair Scientific Review Committee.  Glad to call the San Luis Valley home for his wife, two married children, two grandchildren, a handful of meat goats, and a goofy little Corgi named Reba.

.

Jeffery Davidson Photo

ALTERNATIVE CROPS – MILLETS AND LEGUMES LOOKING PROMISING
February 7 – 3:30-3:55 pm

Jeffery Davidson : Assistant Manager at the Arkansas Valley Research Center (AVRC) in Rocky Ford, Colorado

Jeff’s Bio:

Jeffery Davidson is Assistant Manager at the Arkansas Valley Research Center (AVRC) in Rocky Ford, Colorado.  Previously, I served in a similar role at the San Luis Valley Research Center (SLVRC) in Center, Colorado. Both the AVRC and the SLVRC are part of Colorado State University’s Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) system.  A large part of my job involves performing field research trials that target ways to help local producers with current issues that they are facing, such as examining alternative crops with lower water consumption than standard rotational crops.  I have a Bachelor of Science degree in crop science from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California and a Master of Arts (MAT) degree in secondary science teaching from Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska.  I have worked as an agronomist for much of my career, working with crops such as potatoes, corn, winter wheat, alfalfa, dry beans, sugar beets, carrots, onions, canola, camelina, millet, and various cover crops.  I have also taught middle school and high school life science for eleven years.  My last teaching position was at Morgan Community College in Fort Morgan, Colorado where I taught and developed courses centering around precision Ag technologies.

.

Samuel YC Essah Photo

PLACEMENT OF BLENDED LIQUID PHOSPHORUS FERTILIZERS FOR SUSTAINABLE POTATO PRODUCTION
February 7 – 3:30-3:55 pm

Dr. Samuel YC Essah : Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at CSU Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Samuel’s Bio:

Dr. Samuel YC Essah is Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at Colorado State University, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, San Luis Valley Research Center. Samuel Essah is the program leader for the Potato Field Management and Whole Plant Physiology program at the San Luis Valley Research Center. Samuel conducts research to develop cultural management guidelines for the successful, sustainable, and economic production of potato cultivars, which optimize their genetic yield and quality potential, while minimizing economic input and environmental degradation. Samuel has contributed to the release of several Colorado potato varieties from the Colorado State University potato breeding and development program. Prior to joining Colorado State University, Samuel was a postdoctoral research fellow at the USDA-ARS plant, soil, and water research lab in Orono, Maine.

Samuel Essah is a member of the Potato Association of America, the European Potato Association, the African Potato Association, American Society for Horticultural Science, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and life member of the Indian Potato Association.

Dr. Essah is currently Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Potato Research.

Samuel was director of the Potato Association of America, director of the Association of African Agricultural Professionals in North America, and senior editor of the American Journal of Potato Research.

Samuel’s involvement in international agricultural activities has taken him to countries such as Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, Scotland, Mexico, South Africa, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, and to Ghana several times.

.

Rob Jones Photo

IS ALL THIS SOIL HEALTH STUFF WORTH IT?
February 7 – 4:00 pm

Rob Jones : Biologist and Farmer

Rob’s Bio:

Born/raised in Hooper Colorado on a small farm. Graduated from Bryan College in Dayton TN, major in Biology (1978) and returned to the family farm,  farming focus. Married Beth Boggs (also Biology Major) 3 children. Changed to Organic farming 2005, oldest son Michael & wife Sarah joined the operation in 2018, along with their three girls. Farming focused on: 1, soil regeneration through grazing, crop rotations, Marketing crops through direct sales

.

Mohamad Chikh-Ali, Plant Pathologist, San Luis Valley Research Center, College of Agricultural Sciences, Colorado State University

SLVRC POTATO PATHOLOGY UPDATES – 2023
February 7 – 4:00-4:25 pm

Mohamad Chikh-Ali, PH.D : Research Professor/Extension Specialist – Plant Pathology Program – CSU San Luis Valley Center

Description of Presentation:

Dr. Chikh-Ali is very excited to work with potato growers and stakeholders in the San Luis Valley to address major diseases impacting potato crops, and help developing integrated management programs. His extension role allows him to learn and disseminate knowledge to potato growers and stakeholders on potato diseases and the best management practices.

Dr. Mohamad Chikh-Ali’s Bio: Research Professor and Extension Specialist at the San Luis Valley Research Center at Colorado State University

Dr. Chikh-Ali is the potato pathologist at the San Luis Valley Research Center at Colorado State University. Dr. Chikh-Ali received his master’s and PhD degrees in Plant Pathology studying potato viruses from Tokyo University of Agriculture, Japan, in 2006 and 2009, respectively. Upon completing his PhD, he was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science that allowed him to conduct research on plant viruses, mainly potato viruses. Before joining Colorado State University in 2022, Dr. Chikh-Ali worked as a plant virologist at the University of Idaho for almost ten years.

Bethany Howell Photo
Dani Robben

RECREATION IMPACTS ON WORKING LANDS
February 7 – 4:30 pm

Bethany Howell :Director of Strategic Outreach & Engagement for the Colorado Department of Agriculture

Dani Robben : Community Connections Coordinator for San Luis Valley Great Outdoors (SLV GO!)

Bethany’s Bio:

Bethany is the Director of Strategic Outreach & Engagement for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. In this role, she works closely with the Commissioner of Agriculture and other staff to support and engage with the agricultural community across the state.
Before her state service, Bethany led the Rio Grande Watershed Conservation & Education Initiative for five years as executive director. This non-profit offered K-12 education programming on watershed and soil health issues with a focus on agriculture. In this role, she spent a lot of time driving across the San Luis Valley and getting to know the producers and community members in every SLV county. She also previously served as the Rio Grande Basin Roundtable’s Public Education Participation & Outreach liaison and as the education member from 2016-2021.Bethany was born in Hugo, Colorado but raised in central Texas on her family’s heritage ranch as part of the seventh generation living on the same 150 acres as the previous six. She helped raise turkeys, sheep, cattle, chickens, on the ranch and showed lambs and turkeys as an active participant in 4H and FFA.She has lived in the San Luis Valley since 2013 and in Del Norte since 2016 with her husband, children, chickens, cats, and Siberian husky.

Dani’s Bio: 

Dani Robben is the Community Connections Coordinator for San Luis Valley Great Outdoors (SLV GO!). Dani provides leadership, support, facilitation, and project management to several community collaboratives across the San Luis Valley. Dani coordinates the SLV GO! Coalition, a Colorado Outdoor Regional Partnership supported by Colorado Parks and Wildlife that is working to identify and implement local conservation, recreation, and climate priorities that will inform CPW’s statewide conservation, outdoor recreation, and climate resiliency plan.
Prior to joining SLV GO! in 2021, Dani worked with trail crews with the Southwest Conservation Corps and Rocky Mountain Field Institute. Finding her passion for outdoor stewardship, she attended graduate school at Colorado State University and got her Master’s in Conservation Leadership. She found her way back to the valley and became the Outreach and Events Coordinator for the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust. From her schooling and work experience, she gained skills in community outreach and engagement, event planning, partner relations, communications and marketing, and outdoor stewardship. Dani is thrilled to be living full-time in the San Luis Valley and working for an organization that values community partnerships, collaboration, and conservation. In her free time, Dani loves to play outdoors and camp, hike, bike, run, fly fish, and cross-country ski.

.

NOXIOUS WEED LAW
February 7 - 4:30-5:00 pm

Armando Ross: Supervisor, Rio Grande County Weed District

Armando's Bio:

Armando Ross is the Supervisor for the Rio Grande County Weed District.  He has been there for the past five years.  He has been in involved in the agronomy part agriculture for 25 years.  He currently sits on the Monte Vista High School FFA and San Luis Valley Weed Management Association.  He also enjoys being involved in our community as he is a referee in many sports.

.

Becky Bolinger Southern Rocky Mountain Ag Conference

SOUTHERN COLORADO'S LONG TERM CLIMATE OUTLOOK
February 8 - 9:30 am

Becky Bolinger, PhD : Assistant State Climatologist, Colorado Climate Center at CSU

Description of Presentation:

Brief overview of Southern Colorado’s climate outlook.

Becky's Bio:

Becky Bolinger received her B.S. in meteorology from Metro State University of Denver, M.S. in meteorology from Florida State University, and her Ph.D. in atmospheric science from Colorado State University. She is now the Assistant State Climatologist at the Colorado Climate Center (within CSU’s department of Atmospheric Science). Her research interests are focused on Colorado’s climate variability, climate extremes, and drought. She spends her spare time with her husband and daughter, hiking, cycling, running, and enjoying Colorado’s beautiful outdoors.

OVERVIEW OF COLORADO WEATHER MODIFICATION PROGRAMS
February 8 - 10:00 - 10:50 am

Andrew Rickert : Program Manager for Weather Modification, Colorado Water Conservation Board

Description of Presentation:

Brief overview of Colorado’s weather modification program. I will discuss current permitted programs around the state, the current state of funding, and potential future projects.

Andrew's Bio:

Andrew Rickert is the Program Manager for Weather Modification at the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Rickert began his work with CWCB almost 8 years ago, under the tutelage of Joe Busto. Rickert holds a Bachelors in English from Colorado State University and a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Environmental Health and Law from the University of Colorado.  Rickert has operated Colorado’s Weather Modification Program for the last 5 years, with the hope of continuing to expand existing weather modification programs and implement new permitted programs.

2024 Sponsors