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Kansas Technical Committee Minutes | June 9, 2011

Kansas Technical Committee Minutes - June 2011

Kansas Technical Committee (KTC) Teleconference
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Conservation Innovation Grants
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Jeffrey L. Gross, Assistant State Conservationist for Water Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Salina, Kansas, welcomed all, made introductions and gave background information regarding the meeting. He also gave an overview of the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) projects submitted. He then turned it over to Susan (Susie) M. McBride, CIG Coordinator, NRCS, Salina, Kansas.

Susie requested to begin the discussion of the abstract project copies. She explained that the comments, questions, recommendations, and any other issue with the projects would be presented to the Kansas state conservationist (STC) to aid in the approval or disapproval.

Proposal No.1–Integration of Cover Crops and Mob Grazing into a No–Till System

The discussion was a look at the strengths and weakness. This project will demonstrate that the integration of livestock and cover crop production can offer multiple benefits to the farmer and the environment. In addition, NRCS will hopefully see the benefits generated by grazing cover crops so new guidelines can be written into the technical guides. There are questions regarding cost and how it best fits the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). What are the benefits of multiple resources, especially the impact on wildlife and is this an innovative program? Individual is known to a couple of the attendees, it was mentioned that they would possibly speak with them to get more information and ask questions.

KTC Recommendation: The group agreed the project was acceptable.
STC Decision: On June 15, 2011, the STC emailed his decision to Susie McBride, CIG Coordinator. The STC concurred with the recommendation and approved the project.

Proposal No. 2–Demonstrating Cactus and Ethnic Vegetable Production in Seasonal High Tunnel System to Reach Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers

The discussion was opened with negative comments; however, the weaknesses mentioned were agreed with even though the project suggested a good tie with organic, it was not mentioned nor was soil testing. It was also stated that the project does not fit under CIG as we understand it. The project seeks to work in collaboration with a Hispanic beginning rancher and farmer and an experienced rancher and farmer to grow and market Nopal cactus and summer vegetables in a seasonal high tunnel system for a period of two years. The seasonal high tunnel system will be used to overwinter and grow summer vegetables such as squash, cilantro, and tomatoes. Cactus not suitable for human consumption will be used for livestock forage. The project goal is to have each producer host a field day to help disseminate information to the public regarding the project and CIG. The training will include information on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, rural sustainability, conservation planning, and Nopal cactus and summer vegetation in a seasonal high tunnel system. A bilingual guidebook will also be produced that will be used to assist individuals and groups in the completion of Kansas CIG applications.

KTC Recommendations: It was the consensus of the group the project was unacceptable.
STC Decision: On June 15, 2011, the STC emailed his decision to Susie McBride, CIG Coordinator. The STC decided to accept and approve the project.

Noted suggestions–encourage applicants to describe or make a tie to the ultimate goal and how this will happen. This could make the grant better, inform others of the Kansas grants, and give other options.

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Call-In Attendees (Kansas Technical Committee Members)

  • Calvin Adams, Post Rock Grazier Association
  • Tim Christian, Kansas Grasslands Coalition
  • Joe Kramer, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP)
  • Matt Smith, KDWP
  • Scott Satterthwaite, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)
  • David Freise, KDHE
  • Anne D’Alfonso, KDHE
  • Steve Sorensen, Kansas Wildlife Federation

Attendees (NRCS State Office Employees)

  • Jeffrey L. Gross, Assistant State Conservationist for Water Resources
  • Susan (Susie) M. McBride, Soil Conservationist
  • Cynthia S. Lucas, Office Assistant Attachments