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Schedule of Events

March 3, 2023

8:00 – 9:00         Registration, Coffee, Networking & Exhibits

9:00 – 9:15         Welcome & Overview

                              Sabrina Stoker, Jennifer Shanahan

 9:15 – 10:00     Keynote: Becky Mitchell, Director

                             Colorado Water Conservation Board

10:05 – 10:15    Poudre Runs Through It video

10:20 -11:20     Water & Affordable housing

Moderator- Zac Thode | Panelists- Erik Dial, KC McFerson, Meagan Smith, Patrick McMeekin

11:30 – 12:40    Lunch, Networking & Exhibits

12:45 – 1:00      Poudre Pioneer Award Presentation

                             MaryLou Smith & Reagan Waskom

1:10 – 2:10       Water & Agriculture

                   Moderator- Brian Foss| Panelists-Adam Jokerst, Rob Johnson, Reid Maynard, Robert Graves

2:15 – 3:00        Watershed & River Recovery update

                             Presenters- Hally Strevey, Kyle Battige, Sarah Beck, Jared Heath

3:00 – 4:30        Closing Reception, Networking

Live music from Ansel & the Brain Tattoos| Beer & Wine provided by Odell Brewing

Sarah Beck

Sarah Beck is the post-fire recovery coordinator on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland. Her background is in aquatic and riparian ecology, ecological restoration, and collaboration with large, multi-stakeholder groups and she’s worked for both the Federal government as well as consulting firms across the Rocky Mountain West. She is passionate about fostering ecological function and resilience in landscapes impacted by climate change and shifting land use patterns.

Kyle Battige

Kyle Battige has been an aquatic biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife since 2012 and currently manages the aquatic resources of the Poudre River and North Platte River drainages within Colorado. He spends a portion of his time in the field sampling aquatic resources and is also involved in various other projects as they relate to aquatic resource management such as fish passage, habitat restoration projects, wild fish spawning operations, and conservation of native species. Kyle earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology and Master of Science degree in Aquatic Sciences and Management from the University of Michigan. Kyle enjoys spending time outdoors taking advantage of Colorado’s vast natural resources with his wife and three kids.

Erik Dial

Erik Dial is the Deputy Director of Utility Finance and Customer Service for Greeley Water. In this role, he manages the financial operations, billing and customer service, and development review for Greeley Water. He’s worked for Greeley for 12 years after a 10-year stint with the City of Peoria, Arizona, where he worked in Water Resources and Community Development. He has a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree from the University of Arizona.

Brian Foss

*Born and raised in Weld County.  Went to High School at the   southern end of the County, Weld Central; graduated college from University of Northern Colorado and then currently live in Eaton.

*Work for the City of Thornton at the Agricultural Stewardship Office in Ault and have been with the City for over 30 years.

Manage or have managed just over 20,000 acres of irrigated farmland under the Water Supply and Storage system.

Just over 7,000 acres currently in a Revegetation Program where the irrigation water has been removed and the land planted to native grasses for the purposes of grazing and or haying, depending upon the available moisture.

Robert Graves

Rob Graves is a fourth generation dairy farmer and Co-Founder of noosa yoghurt. He grew up working on the farm and dairy before going to Colorado State University to study finance. After CSU, Rob went to Chicago to work as a commodity technical analyst and trader at Barnes & Co. He has over 25 years of experience with greenfield construction, process engineering and water resource development.

Jared Heath

Jared Heath serves as a Senior Watershed Specialist for the City of Fort Collins Utilities’ Watershed Program.  He is responsible for watershed monitoring, assessment and planning efforts that support the protection and management of the City of Fort Collins drinking water sources and the Cache la Poudre River.

Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson owns and operates an organic farming operation outside of Eaton, Co.  The operation contains organic certified acres, transitional acres and non-organic acres.  All the acres have been minimum till since 2018 and experiments with moving to no-till have been explored since.  Crop rotations include alfalfa, corn, pinto beans, winter wheat, and cover crops.  If it wasn’t for the move to organic, the operation would be 100% no till.

Rob also has a real estate brokerage practice that focuses on farms, ranches, water, and commercial properties.  Since his start in 2012 he has supported farmers, ranchers and developers in their needs for land and water.

Before striking out on his own in 2012 he led a team for nearly 15 years at IBM that supported the US Military and Intelligence Community in designing and implementing extremely large-scale IT systems.

Adam Jokerst

Adam Jokerst is the Rocky Mountain Regional Director for WestWater Research, a leading economic consulting firm in water market research, pricing, valuation, and transaction advisory services. Adam has worked on Western water issues for over 15 years and has overseen long-range water supply planning, water acquisition, water rights protection, and water storage programs.   Prior to joining WestWater, he served as Deputy Director for Water Resources at the City of Greeley.  Adam holds a B.S. in biological and agricultural engineering from the University of Arkansas and a M.S. in civil engineering from Colorado State University and is a licensed professional engineer in Colorado.

Reid Maynard

Reid is a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University and is a trainee in the Interdisciplinary Training, Education and Research in Food-Energy-Water Systems (InTERFEWS) Program. He has a B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from CSU and previously worked as a refinery process improvement engineer. Reid’s research interests focus on modeling the sustainability of emerging agricultural production systems and technologies, such as controlled environment agriculture. His current project centers on applying Life Cycle Assessment methods to evaluate the energy, climate, and water sustainability of distributed food systems compared to conventional systems.”

KC Mcfearson

KC McFerson is the senior planner in the Division of Local Government within the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). She supports Colorado’s communities with technical assistance in long-range land use planning goals and projects. Prior to her current role, KC worked for DOLA as the land use and water planner and also spent several years managing a federally-funded grant program to encourage community building and resilient land use solutions for flood recovery. She received her Master’s in Community and Regional Planning and J.D. from the University of Oregon, both with concentrations in land use and natural resources management.

Patrick McMeekin

Patrick began his real estate career in 2004 interning for Water Valley Land Company in Windsor, CO.  In 2005, Patrick accepted a full-time position with Water Valley Land Company as the Director of Development.  In this position Patrick was responsible for entitlement and construction of both residential and commercial projects located throughout Northern Colorado.

In 2012 Patrick was promoted to Chief Operating Officer at Water Valley Land Company.  In this role Patrick helped negotiate numerous public/private partnerships with local municipalities for the construction of regional infrastructure and negotiated raw water dedications to municipalities to secure potable water sources for future projects.  As COO Patrick oversaw the real estate and resource assets of the corporation.

In 2016, Patrick joined Hartford Homes as the VP of Land Development.  In 2020 Patrick was promoted to the President of Land.  Patrick’s responsibilities with Hartford entail managing the acquisition and entitlement of new development projects, overseeing horizontal construction, managing the HOA’s/Metro Districts of the company, and management of the company’s water rights portfolio.

In his career Patrick has entitled roughly 5,000 residential units.

Patrick is a Graduate of Colorado State University and enjoys skiing and golfing with his wife Kate and their 2 boys.

Becky Mitchell

Rebecca Mitchell (Becky) serves as the Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) as well as the Colorado Commissioner to the Upper Colorado River Commission. She is an accomplished water leader with over 20 years of experience in the water sector and highly knowledgeable in Colorado water law. Mitchell played a significant role in developing the Colorado Water Plan, working with the state’s nine basin roundtables, the Interbasin Compact Committee, and the public. She has worked in both the public and private sector as a consulting engineer; she received both her B.S. and M.S. from the Colorado School of Mines.

Jennifer Shanahan

As the Senior Watershed Planner for the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department Jen works on a variety of projects related the health of the Cache la Poudre river. She works to integrate best practices from the dynamic world of river science to the decision-making realm, collaborates across disciplines and stakeholders, and guides multi-disciplinary teams on habitat assessments and restoration planning. Jen has a Master’s degree in Rangeland Ecology with a research focus in riparian restoration from Colorado State University.

Meagan Smith

Meagan Smith is the Deputy Director of Public Works at the Town of Wellington, where she oversees the Water and Wastewater Utilities, including long term water supply planning. Meagan previously spent five years with the Water Resources Division at Fort Collins Utilities, where her work focused on assessing the impacts of climate change and other risks on the Utilities’ ability to meet demands in the near and long-term future. Meagan has a B.S. in Biosystems Engineering from Oklahoma State University and an M.S. in Water Resources Engineering from Colorado State University.

Hally Strevey

Hally is the Executive Director of the Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed (CPRW) and has been with CPRW since 2015. Her family has a cabin on the Poudre River, and she spent much of her childhood fishing, hiking, and cross-country skiing in the watershed. These experiences helped to fuel her passion for a career path in watershed management.  Hally has a diverse background in both wildlife and ecology with a Bachelor of Science in wildlife biology from Colorado State University and a Master of Science in restoration ecology from Montana State University.

Zach Thode

Zach is a native of Livermore, working on ranches in this rural community in Northern Colorado from elementary through college.  Zach graduated from Colorado State University, with a degree in agricultural engineering. After college, he found work as a construction laborer and advanced to management, spending six years engaged in the construction of municipal water treatment facilities across Colorado and Wyoming. For another five years, Thode designed large scale, irrigation systems.  Zach now manages a large cattle ranch in Livermore, while also continuing in Graduate school, representing the BigIron Auction company, and free-lance consulting.  A wife and 4 young children keep Zach focused on the future.

Board involvement:

Larimer County Ag Advisory Board (chair), Rocky Mountain Section of ASABE, Ft Collins Conservation District, Poudre River Runs Through it Board, Larimer County Stock Growers, Ag Water Quality Advisory Board, Livermore Community Church Board