Fort Hall--Bryan Searle of Bingham County was elected to serve as the 14thIdaho Farm Bureau President during the organization’s 76th Annual Meeting held this week at Fort Hall.
Delegates from 36 county Farm Bureaus participated in the election. Frank Priestley of Franklin County served as Idaho Farm Bureau President for the past 18 years. Priestley was re-elected eight times and was the longest-serving president in the organization’s history.
Farm Bureau Delegates re-elected Mark Trupp of Teton County as vice president. Tom Daniel of Boundary County, Chris Dalley of Bingham County, Rick Pearson of Twin Falls County, and Tracy Walton of Gem County were re-elected to the State Board of Directors. Dean Schwendiman of Fremont County stepped down as a director. He was replaced by Stephanie Mickelsen of Bonneville County. Cole Smith of Bear Lake County was re-elected as the Young Farmer and Rancher Chairman.
Sherril Tillotson of Bannock County, Doris Pearson of Twin Falls County, and Carol Rust of Benewah County were re-elected to serve on the Idaho Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee.
Searle has served on the Idaho Farm Bureau Board of Directors for the past 24 years. A third-generation farmer, Searle grows potatoes, grain, alfalfa and canola seed on a 5,500-acre farm. He and his wife Mary are the parents of five children. Searle graduated from the Eastern Idaho Technical College.
Delegates also discussed a variety of agriculture and natural resource policy matters. Delegates adopted new policy on grizzly bears and voted to oppose a recent water ruling in the Boise River drainage.
Farm Bureau’s annual banquet drew more than 350 members, packing the Fort Hall Convention Center to capacity.
Jim and Carol Guthrie of Bannock County received the President’s Cup Award. The Guthries are lifelong ranchers and have been involved in Farm Bureau for three decades. Carol served as the Idaho Farm Bureau Women’s Chair for more than 15 years and currently serves on the American Farm Bureau Women’s Committee. Jim has served as Bannock County Farm Bureau President for nearly two decades.
Winner of this year’s Young Farmer and Rancher discussion meet was Paige Nelson of Jefferson County. She comes from a ranching family and works as freelance journalist. She received a Polaris 450 HD ATV and an all-expense paid trip to Orlando, Florida to compete in the American Farm Bureau Discussion Meet in January.
Kyle and Jessica Wade of Bannock County won the Young Farmer and Rancher Excellence in Agriculture Award. Todd and Jenny Cook of Bingham County received the Young Farmer and Rancher Achiever Award. The Wades received a $1,500 check while the Cooks won a Polaris 570 Ranger. The Cooks and the Wades will also travel to the American Farm Bureau Convention in Orlando, Florida in January to compete for the national Excellence in Agriculture and Achiever competitions.
Dealers from 16 Idaho Polaris Dealerships donated the 570 Ranger, valued at $10,000.
Recognized as Women of the Year were Sara Erb of Bingham County, Susan Brown of Madison County, Elizabeth Kohtz of Twin Falls County and Margaret Cooke of Benewah County.