Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2014 Annual Meeting

Rancher Tim Lowry awarded the President's Cup

Garden City--Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley awarded rancher Tim Lowry the Organization's highest honor at Wednesday night's annual banquet.

Lowry joined the Farm Bureau back in 1969.

“I decided to go with the Farm Bureau. I've always been impressed with the Farm Bureau and everything they've accomplished. I was always impressed with their strength, their numbers and their philosophy and positions. You read their policy book and its very proactive with positions in defense of what I call the American System.”

Lowry was a due-paying member of Farm Bureau for a couple of decades when suddenly he found himself in a situation where he needed the organizations help. In the late 90's the BLM challenged his water rights and it not only threatened his ranch but water rights on every ranch across the western US.

"I’ve had help on a number of issues," said Lowry, "But the one I'll never forget is the Farm Bureau's help on the water rights battle. It was great because the Idaho Farm Bureau and various county farm bureaus helped support us financially. Without that kind of backing its very difficult to make a stand. With the backing by the Farm Bureau you have the opportunity to not only stand-up but to prevail."

Lowry won the landmark water rights case with a spirited fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Lowry says his years as a Farm Bureau member have paid off many times over and he's not afraid to tell ranchers coming up to get involved.

"A young person can get involved at the county level and work their way up and actually have input and be able to affect the direction of their career," said Lowry

Lowry changed the face of ranching in the United States with that court victory, and many agree that he single-handedly kept ranching alive. But the Owyhee County rancher cautions that the Federal Government will not give up and a new generation will have to step up to keep the nation's rangeland open.

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