Greetings! The start of summer hasn’t been quite so calm for our local farmers and ranchers. With the rapid rainfall and flooding concerns, they have had to overcome many challenges such as keeping animals fed and comfortable, planting soggy fields and managing facilities; not to mention the worries of wastewater management and reporting requirements. Fortunately, AGPROfessionals was able to work with CDPHE on accepting creative management strategies so that our clients could reasonably weather the storms.If you need some help with reporting requirements, regulatory mitigation assistance or other related advice, give us a call. Our emergency hotline is open 24-hours per day, 7 days per week and our knowledgeable staff is ready to help in any way we can.
June is an eventful and versatile month – the start of warm summer days, school vacations, and holidays like Father’s Day and Flag Day. We also celebrate many unusual observances in June such as Heimlich Maneuver Day, National Yo-Yo Day, and National Donut Day. But who can enjoy a donut without a nice cold glass of milk?For more than 75 years, we have celebrated dairy and all of its goodness during June. What started out as National Milk Month in 1937 to promote milk consumption and stabilize the dairy demand has turned into a month-long celebration and tradition that acknowledges the dairy industry’s contributions to the United States and around the world.We salute our dairy farmers and all the hard work and dedication they put into bringing dairy to our table!
Environmental & Regulatory News
Storms, Storms, and More Storms
After the last six weeks of storms, our clients have shown just how strong, resilient and prepared they truly are. CDPHE has also expressed how pleased they are with our clients’ operations throughout these storm events. Below are a few things that happened during the rains:
- Fifteen facilities immediately called our 24-hour emergency hotline to request storm assistance
- AGPROfessionals staff contacted 100% of our clients to see how they were managing and to offer our assistance
- AGPROfessionals staff provided consultation and guidance on CDPHE notifications, wastewater management, and mitigation measures, reporting
- requirements, monitoring, and storm sampling for approximately 20 client facilities
- Ten facilities reported releases from ponds to the state (7 permitted, 3 non-permitted)
- AGPROfessionals staff prepared and submitted formal reports on all permitted facilities, three of which have already been closed out
- Non-Permitted facilities will have on-going compliance requirements
Government Access to Your Site – What Does It Mean?
- The EPA, Colorado statutes, County Special Use Permits and CAFO Permits all have verbiage regarding “Right-of-Entry”
- Right-of-Entry can be granted by your consent or by a warrant issued by a judge
- This access is not “at will.” There is a “reasonable time” clause. Of course, that is interpreted differently by you, the owner and the regulatory authority. A good example would be if you are hip deep in flood water trying to move animals to drier land to get them milked. This would not be considered a “reasonable time”
We have found that regulating agencies tend to be pretty flexible in most cases. Often times, they call ahead to schedule an appointment. If clients are courteous and cooperative, they will generally accept an alternate date for a visit. As the facility owner, you have the right to delay access in order to allow the proper, most knowledgeable professionals, like AGPROfessionals, to be on-site at the same time to conduct the site tour and records review with regulatory agencies. Some of our clients even ask us to conduct tours without their presence.
We suggest that you train your staff to be vigilant in watching for any unknown people entering your site. Not only is it a safety issue, but could be a liability as well.
Record Keeping – Why Is It Important?
- The weekly pond inspection records are the guardrails of your environmental compliance operations. They tell you where your focus should be and document whether you are in compliance with CAFO operating standards
- Our clients that had overflows this past month had very little contact with CDPHE if they could produce April and May precipitation and pond inspection forms indicating they had a capacity to hold the 25 year / 24-hour storm
- If your records indicated you were over “pump downs,” but you noted reasons why you could not land apply, then you too likely had minimal attention from CDPHE
- If you find you are getting close to near full ponds, then chances are that spring runoff may bring you trouble
If you find you are getting close to near full ponds, then chances are that spring runoff may bring you trouble
AGPROfessionals can produce site specific “pump down” schedules for your ponds to assist you with wastewater management. Give us a call if we can help!
Women In Agriculture – Special Series
In a global movement that transcends agriculture, women are more frequently becoming leaders, experts and role models in their fields. In agriculture specifically, that can mean pursuing ag-related higher education, working on or managing farm and dairy operations, or engaging in leadership roles. Over the past 10 years, the presence of women in agriculture has increased with a 14 percent rise in the number of female farm and ranch operators and a 21 percent increase in the number of female principle farm operators, according to the Census of Agriculture. As a proud supporter of women in agriculture, we are pleased to share this three-part special series that shines the spotlight on some of the outstanding women we know.
“If you don’t understand the concept of ‘Pump Down,’ call me!” Caiti – AGPROfessionals 970.535.9318
Valene Lickley is not only a superstar at AGPROfessionals, she shines in her own young personal life. Valene was raised on her family’s 5th generation cattle ranch and farm in Idaho. Homesteaded in 1908, her grandfather began the family business with a Hereford operation, which her parents later expanded to a commercial cow-calf herd. Today, her family’s ranch numbers approximately 450 head. Her 82-year old grandfather is still working the farm, raising corn, potatoes and alfalfa.Growing up on the ranch, Valene spent many hours moving cattle on horseback, repairing fence and all of the other responsibilities that come with being the daugher of ranchers. She also found time to participate in 4-H and was a fierce rodeo competitior in events such as barrrel racing and team and break away roping.At a very early age, Valene’s parents taught her the definition of hard work, responsibility and values. She quickly learned that complaining gets you nowhere, so she chose to embrace her heritage and made a commitment to learn as much as possible about ag life. Her parents’ words of wisdom echo in her ears each day… “get your degree, see the world, get some valuable work experience under your belt, and then, if it’s still something you want, come home to manage the family business.”