Friday, December 30, 2011

Just in...

USDA Report Analyzes Farmers’ Productivity Gains

Washington--A recent report from the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service confirms what farmers have been saying for a while now: there are fewer growers, but they are producing more while using fewer chemicals and less land, labor and water. The report credits new technology-driven production practices, like precision agriculture, with this increase in productivity and decrease in environmental impacts.

Farmers and ranchers are also relying more on contracting and shifting to partnerships and corporations, allowing risks to be spread over a wider set of stakeholders, according to ERS’ “The Changing Organization of U.S. Farming.”

Although production has shifted to larger farms over the past 25 years, 97 percent of all farms remain family farms generating more than 85 percent of the total value of U.S. agricultural production, the report said.

ERS report: “The Changing Organization of U.S. Farming

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Just in...

Gray Wolf De-listing Allows Population Management

Madison--The Fish and Wildlife Service recently removed gray wolves in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota and parts of adjoining states from the federal Threatened and Endangered Species List. The news was welcomed by state Farm Bureaus in all three states.

According to Karen Gefvert, director of governmental relations for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, the ruling will “finally provide relief for Wisconsin farmers who have experienced livestock losses from wolf attacks.” The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will now be allowed to manage a wolf population that has grown from the state’s established goal of 350 to more than 800 wolves.

“We all understand the need to protect those species that are endangered, but the wolf population has far exceeded endangered numbers and needs to be brought under control,” said Ernie Birchmeier, Michigan Farm Bureau livestock and dairy specialist. Nearly 700 wolves live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The decision to de-list the gray wolf returns management of the species to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Minnesota’s gray wolf population is estimated at 2,921. Wolf populations in all three states will be monitored for at least five years by the FWS to ensure the species continues to thrive. According to the FWS, if it appears at any time that the gray wolf cannot sustain itself without the protections of the Endangered Species Act, the listing process can again be initiated, including emergency listing.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau statement

Michigan Farm Bureau statement

Fish & Wildlife Service news release

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Congress Fails to Extend Expiring Tax Provisions

Washington--Members of Congress left Washington, D.C., without extending more than five dozen tax provisions for both individuals and businesses worth roughly $55 billion that will expire at the end of 2011. It is uncertain whether or not Congress will vote to extend the tax provisions retroactively when it returns next year. Farm Bureau supports several tax provisions that are set to expire at the end of the year. This includes provisions on renewable fuels, the Alternative Minimum Tax, bonus depreciation, Section 179 small business expensing, the deduction self-employed individuals may take against self-employment taxes paid and reinstatement of five-year depreciation of farm equipment. Learn more by reading AFBF backgrounders posted online.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Just in...

Senators Urge DOL to Cancel Proposed Youth Labor Regs

Washington--A total of 28 senators have joined 70 House members in asking Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to withdraw proposed rules related to youth under the age of 16 working on farms. Under the proposed rules, youth under the age of 16 would be banned from operating tractors on farms other than those owned by their parents. Added restrictions on youth working with livestock and outdoors during the summer are also being considered.

Farm Bureau and numerous commodity groups also are urging Solis to drop the proposed rules.

“The traditions and the work ethic associated with growing up on a family farm are worth preserving,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman told the Des Moines Register.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just in

Kyle and Jessica wade of Downey, Idaho drive cattle in this photo from last September.

More Young People See Room for Them in Ag

San Francisco--More and more people in their 20s and 30s are becoming farmers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The publication credits an oppressive corporate world with minimal job security and a growing demand for locally grown and organic food that is making younger people want to leave their careers and start work in agriculture.

While farming has its risks and expensive start-up costs, the sector still did better than other parts of the economy during the past several years. Further, according to the Agriculture Department, farm profits will hit record highs this year.

“People are looking at farm income, especially the increase in asset values, and seeing a really positive story about our economy,” said Mary Clare Ahearn, USDA senior economist. “Young people are viewing agriculture as a great opportunity and saying they want to be a part of it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Just in from Washington

AFBF: Farmers Have Big Concerns About New Farm Bill

Washington--Heading into the new year and the start of hearings on the 2012 farm bill, growers want Congress to know that three different support programs are not better than one.

The three programs being considered are a shallow loss program, a higher target price program and the Stacked Income Protection Plan for cotton.

“I just don’t think there’s an economist in the country that is good enough at this that they can make sure that we’re getting equity between three types of programs,” explained Mary Kay Thatcher, American Farm Bureau Federation farm policy specialist, in Monday’s Newsline.

If the programs are not treated equitably, farmers will start responding to government signals, rather than those coming from the marketplace, Thatcher warned.

AFBF Newsline

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just in from Washington

Farm Bureau Presidents Winnow Potential New Policies

Washington--Farm Bureau presidents from all 50 states and Puerto Rico met in Washington, D.C., this week to sort through new policy proposals recommended by members. The results are a report to the voting delegates at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in January. The content of a new farm bill proposal for delegate consideration took center stage during the recent discussion.

Our resolutions committee “worked very hard to come up with a clear direction,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “That clear direction was established around a program called Systemic Risk Reduction, which is a new policy proposal and a new way of providing a safety net for agriculture in an environment where we will not have as many budget dollars.”

Other issues including dairy policy, regulatory issues, immigration, and wild horses and burros also were discussed at the meeting this week.

Newsline audio story

Monday, December 19, 2011

Season wrap-up

Input costs take a sharp hike, farmers looking for ways to save money

Boise--Just as Idaho farmers were getting ahead thanks to favorable market prices, input prices could topple the fragile balance between farmer profit and debt.

Farmer Mike Garner of Raft River is weathering the storm. “They’re up significantly everyone knows what fuels done at the pump versus last year. Commodity prices are higher and we’re thankful for that, but it seems we can never get the break we need to make money.”

The United State Department of Agriculture projects that farm expenses this year could top the $286.6 billion, the second highest mark on record while Purdue University Ag economists say that costs are up 13-percent from 2010. Most of the input hikes are coming from skyrocketing fertilizer prices.

Average per-ton fertilizer prices from April to November jumped from $520 to $736 for ammonia, $503 to $661 for diammonium phosphate, and $501 to $526 for potash, according to USDA.

Commodity prices have risen “but when you start looking at input costs, our margins are the same but the risks are exponentially higher,” said Ron Moore, chairman of the Illinois Soybean Association. “Fertilizer prices have gone up 50 percent in our area since last summer.”

Farmers are doing research online and flooding sites with tried and true ways to save money. The University of Nebraska is offering tips to farmers, just as many are buying inputs. They listed 5 ways to hedge against rising input costs:

  1. Prepaid Inputs. Seed, fertilizer, fuel, chemical, and others offer discounts and attractive financing terms for purchases before planting. For fuel, many dealers allow farmers to split price fuel for planting and harvesting and sign contracts for future delivery. Some will give the farm a better price if there is storage for a season’s worth of fuel to be delivered during the off season. Full tanker loads that can be delivered to the farm also may be discounted. Fertilizer dealers may offer some of the same opportunities for early delivery and/or truckload quantities.
  2. Bulk Containers. Buying seed or crop protection chemicals in bulk containers also means lower prices.
  3. Group Purchasing Power. Some farmers are pooling their input purchases to get price breaks. The key is to get a pool large enough to get a quantity discount, such as with tanker loads or bulk containers.
  4. Competitive Pricing. The competition among dealers is getting tighter, it's good to see who can deliver your products at the most competitive price and in a timely manner.
  5. Price Guarantees. With the 2011 crop, locking in input prices will help nail down profit margins. If input prices are unsure, the margins could be much smaller when the crop is actually delivered and sold after harvest. With increasing volatility and more interest in forward marketing, early pricing of inputs is becoming more important to the bottom line.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just in

Occupy Protests Hurting Portland Seed Business

Portland-As the Occupy Wall Street movement heats up in America, there is one business that is cooling down—the seed business. Portland-based Smith Seed, a grass seed wholesaler, said it lost more than $10,000 this week when seeds destined for Asia, Europe and South America couldn’t reach the Port of Portland because protesters were blocking the gate.

“I think the occupiers are fast becoming the 1 percent, and the rest of us that are trying to make a living are becoming the 99 percent,” said Galen Troyer, general manager of Smith Seed.

According to Troyer’s calculations, the company lost nearly $6,000 in seed invoices, almost $3,000 in driver wages and another $1,500 in overtime when everything went wrong.

Alvie Shrock, a truck driver for the seed industry, said his haul of 50,000 pounds of hay destined for Korean livestock is now held up in a Portland warehouse. He said he understands the Occupy movement’s frustration with Wall Street and bank bailouts, but not the protesters’ measures of trying to capsize the U.S. free-market system.

“The Constitution gives us the right to the pursuit of happiness,” said Schrock. “It doesn’t guarantee us an iPod or an iPad or a big-screen TV.”

Gazette Times Article

Friday, December 16, 2011

Just in from Washington

U.S. Ethanol Market Remains Unconcentrated

Washington--The market for fuel ethanol in the United States remains unconcentrated, with 164 firms nationwide either producing ethanol or likely to be in production in the next 12 to 18 months, according to the Federal Trade Commission's 2011 report on the state of U.S. ethanol production.

The FTC report is the agency's seventh annual report on ethanol market concentration. The FTC calculated market concentration for the ethanol production industry using different measures and concluded that as of September 2011, there were only four more ethanol producers in the U.S. than at the time of the FTC's 2010 report. The largest ethanol producer's share of capacity decreased slightly to 11.5 percent of domestic ethanol production capacity—below the 12 percent share in 2010, and remaining below the largest producer's capacity share between 2005 and 2007, which ranged from 26 percent in 2005 to 16 percent in 2007.

The annual FTC reports are required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just in from Washington

U.S. Ag Profits Exceed $100 Billion

Washington--Farm profitability is up as U.S. farmers are experiencing one of the best years in decades. According to USDA data, farm profit is expected to reach $100.9 billion this year, while cash-on-hand to pay farm expenditures is also expected to hit the $100 billion mark. Says USDA, it will be the first time that both farm profit and expenditures have done so. Further, crop and livestock sales are expected to make history with crops predicted to exceed $200 billion in sales, while livestock sales increases are predicted to make double-digits.

“We're just experiencing the best of times,” said Bruce Johnson, an agricultural economist at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. “It's a story to tell.”

Illinois corn and soybean farmer Dale Hadden estimates his crops to be worth 10 percent to 15 percent more this year, allowing him to pay off a year’s worth of a seven-year tractor loan. Iowa corn and soybean farmer Jeff Reinking was able to pay on land debt and update his combine to a newer model.

But, not all farmers are having the same luck. Commodity prices were driven up because of drought in parts of the country, say some farmers.

Huffington Post Article

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Trade Mission

The Idaho Farm Bureau's Dennis Brower and an Idaho Trade delegation that included Lt. Governor Brad Little and Celia Gould, Director of the Department of Agriculture, just returned from Mexico. Officials believe the mission resulted in some promising leads.

"This is still part of the dating process," said the Lt. Gov. "We didn't seal any marriages but we did some pretty good dancing."

Just in from Washington

U.S. Supreme Court to Review Arizona Immigration Law

Washington--The U.S. Supreme Court announced yesterday its plans to hear Arizona’s appeal of a ruling against its immigration law, which, among other things, requires local police to question people they stop about their immigration status.

Responding to a challenge to the Arizona statute by the U.S. Justice Department, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state was interfering with the federal government’s authority over immigration. The court stopped enforcement of parts of the law.

Arizona’s law is considered among the most stringent in the country, but there are other states taking a similar approach and the Supreme Court’s decision will impact them, too.

The U.S. Justice Department has also filed suit against Alabama for its new immigration law, which the federal government says oversteps the state’s minimal authority over immigration. As in Arizona, the Alabama statute requires police to do an immigration status check during traffic stops.

Bloomberg article

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just in

Senators Want Floor Time for Pesticide Permit Fix

Washington--With new regulations in place as of Nov. 1 that could require farmers to get a Clean Water Act permit for certain pesticide applications, efforts continue to get a legislative fix to eliminate these duplicative permitting requirements resulting from the 2009 National Cotton Council v. Environmental Protection Agency case.

Last week, more than two dozen senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urging them to set aside floor time for a full, open debate on the topic.

“While we recognize that many important legislative items vie for limited floor time, this is a rare opportunity to demonstrate to the American public that Democrats and Republicans are capable of working together to address important issues,” the bipartisan letter said.

The senators noted the House had passed the Farm Bureau-supported Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011 (H.R. 872), which would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and the Clean Water Act to clarify that CWA permits are not needed when a pesticide is applied in accordance with a FIFRA-approved label.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just in

Surprise! USDA Report Boosts Corn Supply Forecast

Washington--The Agriculture Department unexpectedly increased its projection for U.S. corn supplies prior to the next harvest and forecast that global production is likely to reach an all-time high next year as larger crops are grown in Canada, China and Europe, according to AgPro Newsletter.

Domestic corn stockpiles at the end of the 2011-12 marketing year in August are expected to total 848 million bushels, USDA reported in its monthly Supply & Demand Report released today.

Estimated supplies are up 0.6 percent from 843 million bushels in a USDA report last month and contrasted with expectations for a decline of about 1.4 percent, to 831 million bushels, based on the average estimate in a survey of 19 analysts conducted by Thomson Reuters. Supplies will be slightly more than expected because of slightly lower food, seed and industrial use, according to USDA.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Just in

Boise--The Idaho Grower Shippers Association has pledged to donate three potatoes to The Idaho Foodbank for each fan who attends the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 17.

With more than 28,000 fans projected to attend the game, the donation could be more than 84,000 potatoes or 42,000 pounds.

“This is an amazing contribution when it’s most needed,” said Karen Vauk, President and CEO, The Idaho Foodbank. “During the holiday season, our demand is at its highest point of the year. We encourage people in the community to attend the game and drive this amount even higher.”

The donation will be made as a giant trailer load by the Idaho Grower Shippers Association, a nonprofit trade organization with more than 80 members who are engaged in the packing and shipping of Idaho Potatoes.

“We’re delighted to support the Idaho Foodbank and their vital mission while aligning with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to showcase a great game on the field,” said Dean Gibson, chairman of the Idaho Grower Shippers Association.

The game is at 3:30 p.m. at Bronco Stadium, featuring the Ohio Bobcats and Utah State Aggies.

Read more:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Just in

Wake Island Vets Remembered

Boise--Exactly 70 years ago today marks the attack on Wake Island where hundreds of Idaho construction workers fought shoulder to shoulder with US Marines against elite Japanese forces.

The Boise-based Morrison-Knudsen workers were on Wake building an American outpost in the Pacific when war broke out. Some were killed, many captured and then held as prisoners of war until 1945. On Wednesday afternoon, the workers, living and dead were recognized with a new monument dedicated at Veterans Memorial Park.

After Wake Island was attacked, the construction workers joined U.S. Marines on the island in defense and the island earned the nick-name Alamo of the Pacific. The battle lasted 15 days, followed by years of brutal treatment in POW camps. Many died, including the great-grandfather of the high school sophomore who planned the monument to the brave construction workers.

"They ended up being in a war." Eagle Scout candidate Noah Barnes told the crowd at the ceremony.

When Barnes was tasked with an Eagle Scout project he chose something special, deciding on a sandstone monument honoring Wake Island veterans, funded by local donations and it includes the story of the battle.

"My great grandfather was on the island, and I wanted to do something to recognize them, because they really didn't get any recognition," said Barnes.

"Around here we had a lot of buddies over there, now there's only 7 of us," Goicoechea said.

"It means an awful lot and it shows the respect of our people thats unknown. When we came home from prison camp, hell, nobody knew anything about us," said Wake Island survivor Joe Goicoechea.

Seven decades have passed since the 8th of December attack but for survivors its bitter and fresh.

"It's just like it happened this morning," Goicoechea said. The workers on the Island knew the Japanese had attacked Pearl. It was just a few hours later when they were attacked across the International dateline.

"I can still remember that morning and the noise we heard, we thought it was our planes." Goicoechea said.

So daring, so close that survivors will never forget that moment. "They were low enough, you could see the whites of their eyes. The pilots, when they went by," Gary Rogde said.

"That night. That was the worst night I ever had in my life, I was scared as hell and still shake," Goicoechea said.

Survivors now have a monument in Boise to honor the brave construction workers who held off the Japanese for two weeks giving the American people hope in the days after Pearl Harbor.

"Long past due," Rogde said.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Just in from Washington

AFBF Urges House to Bite the Dust

WASHINGTON – The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging congressional members to pass H.R. 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, when it comes before the full House later this week. In a letter to House members, AFBF said the legislation would limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate naturally occurring dust, or “nuisance dust.”

Naturally occurring dust is a fact of life in rural areas,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “It is raised by such normal activities as driving on unpaved roads and is composed of soil and organic material. The amount of dust in the air depends on wind and rainfall, two conditions that EPA cannot regulate.”

AFBF went further to say that EPA has admitted that it cannot conclusively establish a link between “nuisance dust” and adverse human health effects.

“EPA admits there are limitations to the studies it cites, which casts doubt on its validity to support additional regulation,” said Stallman. “Should such a link be established, the bill would allow EPA to regulate.”

While EPA has said it does not intend to propose stricter regulations on dust, AFBF said that still does not provide much needed assurance for farmers and ranchers, especially when final rules often differ from proposed rules and lawsuits are a dime a dozen.

Legislation is the best way to provide certainty to farmers, ranchers and rural America that their activities will not be unduly regulated by conditions beyond their control and for substances for which adverse health effects cannot be truly established,” said Stallman.

Just in

Idaho Beef Summit Scheduled for January In Twin Falls

Twin Falls – Beef producers can learn ways to improve the quality, consistency, and value of their product at the upcoming Idaho Beef Summit, sponsored by the Idaho Beef Council.

University of Idaho animal and meat science faculty and UI Extension faculty, along with other beef industry professionals will conduct the course beginning on the evening of January 5 and concluding at noon at January 7 at the Canyon Springs, Red Lion Hotel in Twin Falls, Idaho. Registration is $50 per person.

The Idaho Beef Summit will feature speakers, hands-on workshops, and demonstrations focusing on beef end product quality. Producers will have the opportunity to learn the “meat” side of the beef industry, according to UI Extension Educator Sarah Baker.

Beef producers will hear from leading industry personnel on understanding and improving beef carcass quality through DNA-based technology, nutrition, and marketing. Leading retailers and chefs will discuss retail and foodservice trends and showcase how consumer preferences affect the bottom lines of beef producers. Attendees will view cutting demos and tour processing facilities to learn about carcass grading, processing, and value added marketing for market and cull beef. The Summit will offer “Meat Science Basics for Ranchers” and updates from industry, check-off, and BQA leaders.

The Summit is intended to benefit Idaho’s beef industry by helping producers continually improve the quality and consistency of their product, making it as competitive as possible with other protein sources available to consumers. “It validates for them that they aren’t just producing calves, they are producing beef,” Baker says.

For more information, or to register, please contact the University of Idaho Extension Office in Custer County at 879-2344 or your local Extension office.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Just in from Washington

AFBF: DOL Overreaches on Youth Labor Rule

Washington--In official comments to the Labor Department, the American Farm Bureau Federation said the department’s proposed changes to child labor regulations go beyond DOL’s authority and urged the department to “maintain the integrity of the family farm exemption approved by Congress.”

“Farmers and ranchers are more interested than anyone else in assuring the safety of farming operations,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. However, he said, the right of family farms, partnerships and family corporations to operate the farms with family members should not be infringed.

AFBF commented on behalf of a coalition of 70 farm groups as well as in separate comments of its own. The coalition says DOL should withdraw its proposal and ensure it is following congressional intent by only addressing particularly hazardous work. The department is authorized to prevent youths from working in jobs that are “particularly hazardous,” AFBF said, but the regulatory proposal goes well beyond that objective.

AFBF News Release

Just in from Washington

AFBF Calls for Senate Action on Pesticides Bill

Washington--AFBF and 38 other groups have written to Senate leaders urging them to take action on H.R. 872, a bill to eliminate duplicative regulation of pesticides. The Senate Agriculture Committee passed the bill in June; the House passed it in March.

The groups said in their letter that they believe there are more than 60 senators who would vote for the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act—60 votes being the threshold to end debate and allow a vote on the bill.

The expansion of pesticide permitting requirements is the result of a 6th Circuit Court decision (National Cotton Council v. EPA) overturning EPA’s 30-year policy that a Clean Water Act permit is not required for pesticide applications authorized under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. Requiring CWA permits results in overlapping regulation of pesticides, according to Farm Bureau and the other groups.

“We believe that the agency’s regulation correctly interpreted congressional intent under the CWA and that Congress needs to take the necessary action to confirm that original intent,” the groups wrote.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Just in from Washington

Farm Income and Expenses Likely to Set Records

Washington--All indications point to 2011 as a record-setting year for farm income. A new report from the Agriculture Department forecasts that net farm income will top $100 billion for the first time ever.

“That’s one part of the story and production expenses have also increased,” said Matt Erickson, an American Farm Bureau Federation economist. “Net farm income is actually supposed to increase 28 percent this year, but on the other hand, production costs are also supposed to increase,” he noted. Year-over-year, production expenses exceeded $300 billion for the first time and are expected to be at $320 billion, a 12 percent year-over-year increase.

Erickson says high commodity prices, high demand and tight stocks have all added up to the big year, but the USDA report shows it will also be a costly one. Overall expenses for 2011 for the U.S. ag sector are expected to increase by 23 percent for feed costs for livestock producers, 28 percent for fertilizer and 27 percent for fuels. Seed and other miscellaneous costs are up as well. Another area that’s adding up to a big expense for farmers is land, with a 25 percent increase in farmland values—the largest increase since 1970. In northwest Iowa, land values recently reached $16,000 per acre.

Newsline radio story

Friday, December 2, 2011

2011 IFBF Convention Wrap-up

Susan and Lynn Steadman accept the Presidents Cup at the IFBF Convention in Coeur d'Alene on Wednesday night.

Frank Priestley Reelected Idaho Farm Bureau President

COEUR D’ALENE – Delegates at the 72nd Annual Idaho Farm Bureau Convention reelected Frank Priestley to serve an 8th consecutive two-year term as President of Idaho’s largest general farm organization.

“It’s an honor and I’m humbled to serve another term as President,” Priestley said. “I want to thank all the members for their support. Now it’s back to work to address the complex issues that concern the farmers of this state.”

Priestley has served at various leadership levels in the organization for over 30 years and has also served on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Board of Directors. He raises alfalfa and dairy heifers on his farm in Franklin County.

At the Annual Meeting Banquet at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, Lynn and Susan Steadman of Raft River were awarded the IFBF President’s Cup for their contribution to agriculture through the decades. Steadman served on county, state and national advisory boards before his election as IFBF Vice President. In their years of service the Steadman’s emerged as leaders at every level of Farm Bureau involvement, starting back in 1982 when they were first honored as outstanding Young Farmers & Ranchers members.

“I’ve served locally, nationally and I’ve greatly enjoyed our Farm Bureau activities,” Steadman said. “We made great friends along the way not only in our county but throughout the state and across the country. We greatly treasure those friendships and always will.”

The IFBF Women’s Leadership Committee recognizes volunteers at the Annual Meeting and selects a Woman of the Year from each of five districts. The women are singled out for their volunteer efforts and accomplishments in their respective districts. The five women selected this year are Shirley Barrie of Bonneville County, Julia Phillips of Bingham County, Ilean Bruns of Twin Falls County, Sherry Colyer of Owyhee County, and Sandy Daniel of Boundary County. The five women were profiled in a special video that was shown during the IFBF Annual Banquet.

Jake Andersen of Power County won this year’s Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet. Andersen took home a new Polaris Trail Boss four-wheeler for his efforts. Duke Mumford of Franklin County won the Excellence in Agriculture Award and received a new laptop computer. Greg and Gwen Andersen of Power County won the Achiever Award, and a new Polaris Ranger side by side. The winners of all three Young Farmer and Rancher awards also receive an all-expense paid trip to Honolulu, Hawaii in January where they will compete against their peers from across the nation.

Also during the annual meeting IFBF members attended educational workshops on social networking, direct marketing, farm safety, market outlook, labor and immigration reform, the Idaho One plan and Robert Blair, a farmer from Kendrick who was named an Eisenhower Fellow this year reported on a recent trip to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The banquet keynote speaker was rancher Wanda Blair of South Dakota who easily lived up to her billing of “Giving the Gift of Laughter.”

Mark Trupp of Teton County was reelected as IFBF Vice President. Reelected to the IFBF State Board of Directors were Bryan Searle of Shelley, Curt Krantz, Notus, Danny Ferguson, Rigby, Gerald Marchant, Oakley and Marjorie French of Princeton. Cody Chandler of Weiser was 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

USDA Extends Application Deadline for Dairy Margin Protection Program

Re-enrollment Continues Through June 22, Dairy producers urged to act now WASHINGTON– U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announ...