Farm Bureau Delegates Set Policy for 2013
Boise--Delegates to the 73rd Annual Convention of the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation set the organization’s course for 2013 and beyond this week as farmers and ranchers from across the state representing 37 county Farm Bureaus met in Boise.
Delegates reviewed the organization’s entire policy book updating positions and adding new policy on a wide range of agriculture, natural resources and other topics. Specifically, the delegates voted not to support a proposal to increase brand inspection fees to help offset costs associated with the management of wolves, adopted new policy on management of existing roads on public lands, updated policy on sage grouse management and voted to oppose establishment of a state health care insurance exchange.
Delegates sent a recommendation to the IFB State Board of Directors opposing implementation of “federal laws or executive orders that mandate the state government or individuals to participate in a federal health insurance program.”
President Frank Priestley awarded Gary and Sandy Fuhriman of Bannock County the IFBF President’s Cup for their contribution to Farm Bureau over the past three decades. The Fuhriman’s helped establish trade relationships with Mexican grain milling companies that quadrupled Idaho’s grain trade with Mexico. Gary Fuhriman is the former (retired) IFB director of commodities and marketing. Prior to that the couple were active volunteers for the organization, with Gary serving as Teton County FB president and later as a state board member while Sandy was a leader in the FB Women’s organization.
“On an early tour we met people that were influential in the Mexican wheat market but didn’t realize the real influence they had at the time,” said Gary Fuhriman. “But it paid off and we realized that families were the key. We got to know their families and invited them up along with their wives. Once we got to know each other a mutual trust was developed.”
“Farm Bureau was always a part of our family life,” said Sandy Fuhriman. “In fact when I was in high school my dad sold Farm Bureau insurance in the winter so it’s always been a part of my life. He was on the State Board and it was an easy transition for Gary and I to become active in Farm Bureau.”
The Women’s Leadership Committee honored five women as District Women of the Year. This year’s honorees are: Sharon Harris of Woodruff, Linda Crapo of Parker, Freda Lee, of New Plymouth, Carol Fleener of Moscow and Evelyn Jones of Paul.
Elizabeth Kohtz of Twin Falls County won top honors in this year’s Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet. Kohtz won a Polaris four-wheeler for her efforts. Kohtz did a skillful job bringing background knowledge to the meet and seamless discussions into ‘passing on the family farm’ to the next generation. Along the way they tackled tough issues like the capital gains tax. Kohtz received an all-expense paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation Meeting in Nashville in January where she’ll compete against peers from throughout the nation.
Wes and Julie Mackay of Lemhi County won the YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award, receiving a cash prize and an Ipad computer. Conrad and Adriane Isaak of Power County won the YF&R Achiever Award, a four-wheeler from Polaris, and a trip to the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Nashville.
Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter addressed Farm Bureau on Tuesday thanking the group for support in removing Slickspot peppergrass from the endangered species list.
IFBF members also attended educational workshops on marketing, legislative issues, residue management, the Affordable Healthcare Act, and a constitutional law seminar put on by Justice Dan Eismann of the Idaho Supreme Court. The banquet entertainment was a rousing song and dance troop called the “Musetes.”
Tom Daniel of Boundary County was elected to the IFB State Board of Directors. Re-elected to the Board were Dean Schwendimann of Madison County, Chris Dalley of Bingham County, Rick Pearson of Twin Falls County and Tracy Walton of Gem County.