Saguache News – September 27

Agricultural News: Funding and Photos

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Ranching has been part of the San Luis Valley for generations, producing top-quality beef for the dinner table. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

There is some agricultural news coming out from the state folks that might be of interest to those living in Saguache Today. The first news brief provides information about funding available for agricultural hydropower projects. The second offers details on a photo contest that has an agricultural twist. Here’s some agricultural #NewsYouCanUse.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are seeking applicants for on-farm agricultural hydropower projects. The total amount of available assistance for this round is $1,200,000. The funding is available to Colorado agricultural irrigators with appropriate hydropower resources. 

“This program gives producers a way to cut their costs and use their resources efficiently. It’s about water quantity, water quality, and energy resources,” said Sam Anderson, CDA’s Energy Specialist, “We focus on helping farmers upgrade outdated and labor-intensive flood-irrigation systems to more efficient pressurized-irrigation systems using hydropower, or retrofit existing sprinkler systems with a hydropower component.” 

The funding is part of the NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Within RCPP, the Colorado irrigation hydropower program provides funding to agricultural producers to help them add hydropower to new or existing irrigation systems. 

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Saguache is part of the major hay-producing San Luis Valley region. It is also second behind potatoes as the Valley’s most harvested crop. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

For example, past projects have helped farmers use irrigation water to generate electricity, offsetting some of the cost of power for those farms. Other projects have allowed farmers to run large center-pivot sprinkler systems on hydro-mechanical power without the need for any electricity. 

The overall hydro program is funded and assisted by 14 agencies and groups, collectively contributing $3 million to the effort for project funding and technical assistance for Colorado agricultural producers. 

CDA is currently accepting applications for the next round of RCPP irrigation hydro projects. The application deadline is October 19, 2018.  Applicants must be eligible to receive funding from the NRCS EQIP program. For more information and to submit an application, visit the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s ACRE3hydropower website, or contact Sam Anderson at 303-869-9044 or CDA_hydro@state.co.us.

Photo Contest Focuses on “Spirit” of Agriculture 

Colorado’s agricultural landscapes provide the perfect subject for photographers. It’s once again time to capture the “spirit” of Colorado agriculture through pictures. The 21st annual “Colorado…it’s AgriCultural” photography contest is seeking entries as a way to celebrate the state’s agricultural heritage. 

“It is always exciting to see how people capture the beauty of agriculture in photos,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown. “The diversity of Colorado agriculture truly shines in this contest.” 

Entries must be submitted to the Colorado Department of Agriculture via e-mail with an official entry form by December 31, 2018. All photographs must be taken in the 2018 calendar year and must relate to Colorado agriculture in some way. Prizes will be awarded in six subject areas: crops, livestock, people, open professional, urban agriculture and ag from above. Amateur and professional photographers are encouraged to enter, however, professionals may only enter agriculture-related photographs in the “open professional” category. 

Judging will be based on theme, creativity and technical quality. The photographer whose picture best depicts the “spirit” of Colorado agriculture will receive $150, and category winners will receive a “Colorado…it’s AgriCultural” prize pack. All winning photographs will be displayed in the Beede-Hamil Agriculture Building at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo., and will be posted online at www.coloradoagriculture.com

Visit www.coloradoagriculture.com/aginsights for complete contest rules and an entry form. The contest is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the AgInsights Committee and Northeastern Junior College.

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Enter YOUR photo in the “spirit” of Agriculture photo contest. The deadline is the end of the year, so start getting those photos together!

 

 

 

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