The workshop – co-hosted by Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) and Colorado State University (CSU) – will be held in DMEA’s classroom at 11925 6300 Rd., near the airport just north of Montrose. Staff of both DMEA and CSU will outline local and statewide programs that can improve efficiencies with energy and water use, and provide a foundation for a more profitable and sustainable agricultural operation. Included in the program is a visit from State Climatologist Nolan Doesken, whose enthusiasm for all things weather has helped raise the profile of water – particularly in the form of rain, snow, sleet, or hail – on both sides of the Divide.
Recently, Doesken was in Western Colorado advancing his campaign to place a rain gauge in every school around Colorado. Now he’s back to engage with local producers and promote CSU’s imminent upgrades to the Colorado Agricultural Meteorological (CoAgMet) network. CoAgMet is a network of about 65 weather stations around the state that provide accurate crop water use and disease pressure data for farmers and ranchers. Doesken describes CoAgMet’s importance to the irrigation community as “the primary source of local and accurate crop water use information.” Troy Bauder, the State Water Quality Specialist at CSU adds, “This information is one tool we’d like to get in the hands of irrigators that are interested in more precise irrigation scheduling, particularly those who might have a newer system and want to fully utilize its capabilities to deliver water according to crop needs.” Indeed the entire afternoon session of the workshop will provide local irrigators a golden opportunity to become more familiar with CoAgMet, learn how CSU intends to make it work better, and to provide much needed feedback to Doesken, Bauder, and CSU staff on the upcoming improvements.
Jim Heneghan of DMEA and Abbie Brewer with the Governors Energy Office at DMEA (Fore Alliance), along with Cary Weiner, Clean Energy Specialist with CSU Extension, will be hosting the morning session. Weiner will be discussing the benefits of on-farm energy audits, while Heneghan and Brewer will outline DMEA initiatives such as progress with the South Canal micro-hydro feasibility study, and the Business Energy Assessment Team (BEAT) program available to business owners and managers in the Montrose area. Heneghan – who also farms near Montrose – explains his support for the workshop: “DMEA is very interested in smart energy products for its service area. We believe that helping local residents understand where the opportunities lie for energy savings can help them be more successful with their agricultural operations, businesses, and home maintenance.”
If you are interested in attending the workshop (remember the workshop and lunch are free – please register in advance), or learning more about DMEA and CSU’s programs please contact Jim Heneghan at DMEA: 240-1269 / firstname.lastname@example.org; or Denis Reich (CSU Water Resources Specialist) in Grand Junction: 201-8467 / email@example.com.