Farmers Conservation Alliance Irrigation Modernization Program Recognized

Farmers Conservation Alliance irrigation program recognized

Energy Trust, FCA receive state Clean Energy Leadership award

Energy Trust of Oregon and Farmers Conservation Alliance (FCA) announced last month that their Irrigation Modernization Program received the 2016 State Leadership in Clean Energy Award given by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA).

Read the complete article here: Hood River News: FCA IM Program Recognized

We’ve Been Busy

It’s been a while since we posted news on our blog. We’ve been busy building a new Irrigation Modernization program. The Irrigation Modernization program is connecting irrigation districts and farmers with the tools they need to invest in modern irrigation infrastructure. The pilot is now underway with 13 irrigation districts in the state of Oregon.

Take a closer look at what its’ about at

We’ll be posting program updates, so come back often!


A Visit to the Sixmile Farmers Screen

From Dan:

Dan Kleinsmith

Last month, while on a trip out to Missoula, I stopped by the Sixmile Creek Farmers Screen, which was installed in 2011. As project manager for FCA, I like to check on projects at least once a year. This diversion is just 10 minutes off the highway which makes it an easy side trip.

This year was the screen’s third full season of operation. I can always tell by the amount of vegetation growing around a screen if it’s had a successful year — trampled vegetation means lots of foot traffic, which means a lot of screen maintenance. As you can see here, the area around the screen looks kind of overgrown – that’s a good thing.

FCA's Farmers Screen installation on Sixmile Creek in Montana

FCA’s Farmers Screen installation on Sixmile Creek in Montana

I was also impressed by how well the screen is holding up to the elements. The screen material itself is stainless steel, but the body of the screen is a mild steel sheet metal. This project was installed on a very tight budget and, in an effort to save money, our client Trout Unlimited decided to forgo painting the screen. Over time, surface rust will develop so we’ve been monitoring the effects of not painting the screen on this installation. I was impressed to see that this year it really didn’t look any different from last year.

I didn’t take any flow measurements while on site like I usually do, but it looked to me like there was an adequate amount of screened water running for this late in the season. Sometimes, when a fish screen looks like it hasn’t been visited in a long time, it means bad things for how it’s actually being operated. Our first priority at FCA is to ensure that the Farmers Screen is the right screen technology for any diversion. I’ve seen too many fish screens that were poorly suited to conditions at their site, and then simply abandoned because water user gave up in frustration trying to keep up with maintenance. It’s great to see how well our site vetting process works. This is the happiest little screen in Montana!

Well … except for the two other FCA Farmers Screens in Montana!


Dan Kleinsmith

When Hobbies Attack at FCA!

As everything we do at FCA revolves around innovation and invention, it’s no surprise we have some pretty creative thinkers on staff. Today we thought we’d share just a couple examples of how FCA’ers bring their creativity to work.

Genevieve Scholl-Erdmann heads up FCA media, public relations, and metrics data reporting. She is also an art historian and, ipso facto, a painter. Earlier this year, we were all very excited to receive our custom-made scale model of a typical Farmers Screen installation for use in demonstrations in our booth at conferences.

When the model arrived, just in time for the River Restoration Northwest conference in February, we were really excited. The construction of the miniature Farmers Screen and the way that it worked, was perfect. But, we wanted to enhance the surrounding landscape to represent what installations really look like in the field.

So, Genevieve got to escape from behind her desk to have some fun with paints and brushes for a few days. Now our scale-model Farmers Screen is easier to understand. Here’s a fun “Flipagram” of the painting coming together.

Be sure to visit our booth at a conference soon and check it out!

And here it is on its maiden voyage:

Dan Kleinsmith is FCA’s project manager and also an exceptionally talented photographer. Just as he has done with the Farmers Screen, Dan is always exploring new technologies in his photography, designing and engineering cool gadgets to achieve the results he wants and sharing his knowledge, process, and images generously. In the past couple of years, Dan has brought his photographic innovations to work at FCA to create time lapse videos of Farmers Screen installs. These turned out to be a really great way for new clients to learn what to expect when their new modular Farmers Screen is installed.

In his spare time, Dan has also built his own quad copter and mounted FCA’s GoPro camera to it. He has flown it over operating Farmers Screens, creating short films that, again, give our new and potential clients a clear picture of how the Farmers Screen works and what it looks like in the ground. Below is the time lapse of the Sixmile Creek modular installation and a quad copter fly over of the Three Sisters Irrigation District 160 CFS Dual Farmers Screen.

Now we’ve just got to figure out how to bring Roy Slayton‘s hobby into our workday. Our resident spirits-master has just opened a new craft distillery on Hood River’s beautiful waterfront with his business partner, Chris Taylor. Check them out at

Always at the front of the line for a good thing, here’s Julie buying their first bottle. Cheers to hobbies and bottoms up!