HPWD Board Sets November 12 Rulemaking Hearing;

Public Invited to Comment

Friday, October 25, 2013   From the High Plains Water District

      The High Plains Underground Water Conservation District Board of Directors have scheduled a November 12 public hearing to receive comments on proposed rule amendments to extend the district's current moratoriums through December 31, 2014. The Board is also considering amendments to rules relating to the district's water well permit process.

      The hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. in the A. Wayne Wyatt Board Room of the High Plains Water District (HPWD) office, 2930 Avenue Q, in Lubbock.

      "Based upon comments at our recent County Advisory Committee meeting, the HPWD Board of Directors is considering extending the current moratoriums for an additional year," said Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo. "The HPWD Board believes this is prudent since it gives additional time to review and make possible revisions to Rule 5, relating to implementation of the district's 50/50 management goal and groundwater production limitations. The Board wants plenty of time to work on this rule in order to get it right," he said.

      In addition, amendments are being considered to Rule 7.7, "Content of Permits," and Rule 7.8, "Deposits."

      The proposed amendments are posted as a PDF at http://www.hpwd.com/about-hpwd/agendas-and-official-notices. It is located under the HPWD Public Hearing (Rulemaking) subhead. Proposed changes to the rules are shown in color on the PDF.

      Persons may request the amendments by e-mail at info@hpwd.com. Copies are also available for public viewing at the district headquarters in Lubbock, HPWD County Offices, and the HPWD office at 6500 Canyon Drive, Ste 200, in Amarillo.

      Written comments concerning the proposed rule amendments will be accepted at the district's Lubbock office until 5 p.m. on November 11.

      The HPWD Board may take action to adopt the rule amendments as proposed or may adopt them with additional changes based upon comments and/or discussion received at the November 12 public hearing. The Board may take action at their regular meeting immediately following the hearing or may wait until their monthly meeting in December.

      The public is invited to attend. Comments will be accepted either in person or in writing at this hearing. 

      Visitors are encouraged to park their vehicles in the lot immediately to the west of the HPWD building. If full, then overflow parking will be on 30th Street.

      Created in 1951 by local residents and the Texas Legislature, the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District is charged with conserving, preserving, protecting, and preventing waste of groundwater within its 16-county service area.


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Master Marketer Program Scheduled for

January in Vernon

Friday, October 25, 2013   By Kay Ledbetter, AgriLife TODAY

      Producers interested in learning how to increase their net returns possibly by more than $250,000 over the next 10 years need to attend the Master Marketer Program set for 2014, according to Stan Bevers, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist in Vernon.

      The training will begin January 22-23 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center near Vernon. The 64-hour curriculum is offered as four, two-day sessions held every two weeks, and is the most intensive marketing/risk management training provided by Extension anywhere in the United States, Bevers said. Other dates are February 5-6, February 19-20 and March 5-6.

      The program teaches participants how to develop marketing plans, evaluate marketing alternatives, manage production and price risk, and helps teach the skills and discipline necessary to execute a risk management and marketing plan, he said.

      The registration fee is $340, which includes all meals and materials. The registration fees fall short of covering all costs of this program, he said. Most of the costs are covered by grants from and partnerships with other organizations including the Texas Corn Producers Board, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Board, Texas Farm Bureau, the Cotton State Support Committee, and the Texas Wheat Producers Board.

      Anyone interested in attending can get more information by contacting their local AgriLife Extension county agent or by calling Bevers at (940) 552-9941, ext. 231. Registration is available online at http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu. Due to the hands-on nature of the course, attendance is limited. The deadline for registration is January 15.

      Bevers said in post-training surveys in the previous years, 186 Vernon Master Marketer participants indicated their gross income increased on average $34,000 annually based on what they had learned in the training.

      "Interested participants should weigh carefully the registration fee, the time commitment and travel costs associated with the program against the potential of a $250,000-plus increase in returns over the next decade when considering signing up for the program," Bevers said.

      The instructors for the training consist of top professionals from industry and universities from around the country, Bevers said.

      Case studies, group discussions and simulation exercises will be used wherever possible to provide students with experience using real tools that they can use on their own farm and ranch operations when they leave the class, he said.