The Foster Creek CD, South Douglas CD, and Crop Improvement Association’s Annual Meeting brought the Douglas County range into Mansfield’s Pioneer Hall with speakers and displays on a wide variety of topics. The meeting started off with annual district updates from Foster Creek and South Douglas, then Shirley McLean from the Douglas County Crop Improvement Association provided a comprehensive update on available seeds.
Jon Gallie a wildlife biologist from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife presented on the interesting developments for our Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit population, citing the importance of CRP and landowner help in the recovery efforts. Next, Bob Nansel and Sarah Troutman from NRCS presented on current programs available to producers, and how NRCS hopes to assist producers navigate the new Farm Bill changes to SAFE acres and CRP.
The next presentation was by Clay Antieau, a botanist and environmental educator who got to the root of what makes some grasses so invasive. He discussed how farmers could prevent and treat these pests in their pastures and fields. After a delicious lunch catered by Jack’s Resort, Nolan Brewer the new DNR Landowner Assistance Coordinator, addressed the best tactics for fire management in shrub-step, and the future for coordination between DNR and local fire-fighting efforts. The day ended with a presentation by Precision Farming Specialist Jason Emerson on how the chemical fallow Weed-It equipment works, and the technology upgrades now available for target
ed herbicide spraying.
Displays set up for the day included the Voluntary Stewardship Program, direct seeding and soil health, noxious weeds, and pollinators and insect water quality indicators.
Foster Creek presented an unsuspecting Tim Behne with a surprise Conservation All-Star award in the form of coffee and a mug as thanks for his unflagging support of conservation efforts and years of volunteering. Thank you Tim and keep up the good work!