Arkansas River Basin: The Palmer Land Trust honors organic farmer Dan Hobbs for ‘Innovation in Conservation’

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Here’s a report from Hal Walter writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The Palmer Land Trust honored Avondale area farmer Dan Hobbs with its 2012 Innovation in Conservation Award on Wednesday evening.

Hobbs was recognized for his achievements in strengthening agriculture in the Arkansas River Valley, particularly in the areas of building organic farming alliances and farmto- table infrastructure, as well as securing financial investments and technical assistance for the local farming community.

He farms near Avondale, raising a variety of certified-organic vegetable and seed crops on his Hobbs Family Farm.

The award was presented before an audience of 320 at a Colorado Springs hotel following a local foods dinner featuring vegetables from Arkansas Valley Organic Growers, which Hobbs founded in 2006.

“Things are getting exciting out in the countryside,” said Hobbs in accepting his award. “There is an unprecedented level of synergy and momentum in the Arkansas River watershed. I’m not just talking about a set of neat projects, but thoughtful, long-term thinking, planning and implementation.”

He noted that 10 years ago the audience likely would not have enjoyed a local food dinner at such an event. In fact, vegetables served to the audience were from his and other Arkansas River Valley farms.

Hobbs was nominated for the Award by Jay Frost, who farms and ranches along the Fountain Creek between Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

Other award recipients included Friends of Open Space Award to the Gold Belt Tour and San Juan Skyway National Scenic Byways; and The Stewardship Award to the Rocky Mountain Field Institute.

The Stuart P. Dodge Award for Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Dale Lasater for his dedication to conservation through his Colorado Springs area family ranching operation, Lasater Grasslands Beef.

The Palmer Land Trust celebrated its 35th year of conserving public open, spaces farms and ranches and critical habitat and scenic vistas in 2012. This was the trust’s third annual conservation awards.

Back on April 1st the Chieftain quoted Hobbs, “Our goal [Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association] is to protect farmers from patent infringement charges by Monsanto when their organic crops are contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically altered seed.”

Here’s a post from May, where I published a poem written by Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs, about about his son’s organic operation. Here’s the poem:

Organic Garlic Offering

Pick a spot of Colorado
sun below the ditch

October morning
plant them firm,

To root your hopes
set them loose

But turn
some water in

July’s the harvesting,
Purple Glazer, Silver White

Music Pink, Romanian Red,
Chesnok Inchelium, California Early,

Heirloom pungent, easy peel
good for salsa, pestos

Eating fresh and clean
saving this good farmland

Reprinted, with permission, from Living the Four Corners: Colorado Centennial State at the Headwaters by Justice Greg Hobbs. Click here to order the book from Continuing Legal Education Inc.

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