Friday, December 3, 2010

71st Annual Meeting wrap-up

Bonneville President Stephanie Mickleson at the House of Delegates on Wednesday--Putnam photo

Farm Bureau Delegates Amend Wolf Policy

BOISE – Delegates to the 71st Annual Idaho Farm Bureau Convention amended the organization’s policy on wolves this week supporting a predator classification.

Delegates expressed frustration and skepticism with the federal government’s wolf management plans but did retain language supporting a wolf hunting season should the predator be removed from the Endangered Species list. The delegation, with representation from 37 county Farm Bureaus also adopted language encouraging Idaho to invoke 10th Amendment state sovereignty rights over wolf management on all state and private lands.

Don and Judi Hale of Blackfoot were awarded the IFBF President’s Cup for their contribution to agriculture over the past three decades. Don Hale passed away last spring. He emerged as a water rights advocate in the 80’s, serving as a water master and eventually serving on the Committee of 9. Judi Hale has a lifetime of involvement in every aspect of Farm Bureau. Judi owns and operates the family farm in Blackfoot.

“I think Farm Bureau gave us the chance to make a name for ourselves, and it gave me a chance to find out who I really was and learn things for myself and be a leader; If Don were around he would be proud,” said Judi Hale.

The Women’s Leadership Committee honored Jerica Meyer of Filer, Tracey Lakey of Soda Springs, Annette Clark of Rigby, Carla Poelstra of Sandpoint and Alicia Rohrbacher of Gem County as Women of the Year for volunteer efforts and accomplishments in their respective Districts.

Stephen Bagley of Victor won top honors in this year’s Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet. Bagley took home a check for $500 from Dodge and a new Polaris four-wheeler for his efforts. In addition he will receive an all-expense paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation Meeting in Atlanta next month where he will compete against peers from throughout the nation. Bagley also won the YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award this year taking home a new laptop computer and a second $500 check from Dodge. Austin and Maysi Tubbs of Oneida County won the YF&R Achiever Award, also winning a four-wheeler from Polaris, a $500 check from Dodge and a trip to Atlanta.

U.S. Senator James Risch received the Friend of Farm Bureau Award via a teleconference and spoke briefly to the convention.

Congressman-elect Raul Labrador spoke during the first day of the convention. Labrador told Farm Bureau members he doesn’t know much about agriculture but promised to stand-up for farmers on Capitol Hill.

IFBF members also attended educational workshops on social networking, crop management strategies, oilseed production and marketing, water, county coordination planning and several others. The banquet keynote speaker was Matt Rush, a Farm Bureau Young Farmer from Arizona who urged farmers to stay viable, be valuable and most importantly to be visible.

Re-elected to the IFBF State Board of Directors were Mike McEvoy of Canyon County and Mike Garner of Raft River. Carol Guthrie of Inkom was re-elected chair of the IFBF Women’s Leadership Committee and Austin Tubbs of Malad was re-elected chair of the IFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee.

The Idaho Farm Bureau is the largest general farm organization in the state. Find more information at

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