Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Idaho Farm Bureau's Legislative Stolling Buffet a Hit with Lawmakers
Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley (left) congratulates Public Affairs director Kent Lauer on a successful Legislative Leadership Conference.
(BOISE) Idaho Farm Bureau Federation Governmental Affairs Division annual Legislative Dinner was a huge success drawing 15 more lawmakers than last year, according to Dennis Tanikuni, Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs. 57 Legislators and 20 guests were among the 193 attending the IFBF's Legislative strolling Buffet.
Finding a place to sit was the biggest challenge facing Farm Bureau members as the Red Lion Downtowner staff scurried to keep the buffet table stocked.
Each table was designated by Idaho's Legislative Districts, Bureau Members sat in their 'districts' and had the opportunity to break bread with their respective Senators and Representatives. Lawmakers were delighted to have the chance to talk to constituents from their districts and get caught up on the news from home.
One of the hottest topics of discussion heard during dinner was plentiful snowpack numbers across Idaho. Representative Scott Bedke (R-Oakley) says that snowpacks east of the Magic Valley were at record levels, the deepest snow he says "since the big winter of 1984."
Representative Bert Stevenson (R-Rupert) talked to Farm Bureau farmers from his district about in-depth comprehensive management plans for aquifers throughout Idaho. This past week a bill endorsed by the House Resources and Conservation Committee and chaired by
Stevenson got a unanimous “do -pass” recommendation. The Idaho Farm Bureau is a big supporter of the bill along with the Idaho Waters Association and the Idaho Ground Water Appropriators. The program would be funded by a $20 million appropriation from the general fund.
Senator Denton Darrington (R-Declo) talked at his table about "what a difference a year makes, last year there was worry of drought," he says. "This year we're worring about floods across the Snake River Plain. "We have 6 foot drifts, its the most snow Ive seen since the winter of '49," Darrington told his table.
Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley declared the evening a huge success for farmers and Farm Bureau members. "Any time we can voice our concerns directly to our lawmakers really helps us down the road and we're happy with the turnout."