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April 2013 • Volume 17, Issue 3

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Gem County Dairyman Employs Grassroots Activism

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Hydropower Bill Introduced

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Idaho Farm Bureau

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LFTB Legal Battle Ensues


April Showers Bring... Taxes By Bob Stallman AFBF President

It’s that time of year again—tax time. Boston threw a tea party to protest it; Shakespeare and Mark Twain have prattled off quotes about it; the Beatles even dedicated a song to it.    Nothing brings people together more than rallying against a tax.

Farm Bill Past Due By Frank Priestley President Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

The 2008 Farm Bill was recently extended until September 2013. In spite of urging Congress to act on this important legislation last year, they kicked the can down the road, which is becoming an all too regular

The Injustice of It All By Rick Keller CEO Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

Case 1: The USFWS determined in March 2010 that the listing of the greater sage-grouse under ESA is warranted, but precluded by higher priority listings. Western Watersheds claimed the precluded determination is arbitrary, capricious, 2

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

The Ag Agenda While taxes are necessary for a functioning government and society (where would we be without public schools, roads and firemen or police officers), if not reigned in, they can become too much for American families and businesses.

complex and unjust tax laws have been doing just that. To get the country back on track, Congress is working to reform the tax code and Congressional leaders say that nothing is off the table, which is good news for farmers and ranchers.

There’s one for you

Farm Bureau supports an overhaul of the current federal income tax system. The new tax code should encourage, not penalize, success See STALLMAN, page 6

Taxes should never impede job creation, higher wages and economic investment. But, unfortunately, occurrence in our nation’s capital. It is vital that Congress complete a new five-year farm bill this year, and we urge Farm Bureau members to let their congressmen know how important this is. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, budget restrictions dictate that the next farm bill will have fewer resources than in the past. Farm policy must help protect a stable food supply by ensuring responsible farm businesses stay in business during difficult times.

and contrary to law. The Idaho Farm Bureau went to court and defended the Service’s determination and argued that it is not arbitrary and capricious. We argued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s precluded determination should be upheld. On February 3, 2012, Judge Winmill filed a decision in our favor and against Western Watersheds Project.  The court awarded the Idaho Farm Bureau and other interveners being represented by the Pacific Le-

Last year, there was broad support for a bill passed by the full Senate and the House Agriculture Committee. The estimates made by the Congressional Budget Office in mid-March for the cost of the bill and how much money is cut from agricultural spending in a potential sequestration bill, FY2014 appropriations, the continuing resolution and debt ceiling negotiations will be a large determinant in how similar bills See PRIESTLEY, page 6

gal Foundation and granted a total of $625 to cover the cost of litigation, to be paid by the plaintiffs. To date, no money has been received. Case 2: In April 2009, the Federal government removed the gray wolf from its List of Endangered and Threatened Species. Several environmental groups challenged the listing and sought an injunction from the removal. The Idaho and Montana Farm Bureaus filed and were granted intervenor status See KELLER, page 11


Volume 17, Issue 3

IFBF OFFICERS

President ................................... Frank Priestley, Franklin Vice President ..................................Mark Trupp, Driggs Executive Vice President .............................. Rick Keller BOARD OF DIRECTORS Bryan Searle ............................................................Shelley Scott Bird .......................................................... Pocatello Chris Dalley ....................................................... Blackfoot Dean Schwendiman ........................................... Newdale Danny Ferguson ........................................................Rigby Scott Steele ..................................................... Idaho Falls Gerald Marchant .................................................. Oakley Rick Pearson ................................................... Hagerman Mike Garner.............................................................. Declo Curt Krantz ............................................................ Parma Mike McEvoy..................................................... Middleton Tracy Walton ....................................................... Emmett Marjorie French .............................................. Princeton Bob Callihan . ...................................................... Potlatch Tom Daniel ............................................... Bonners Ferry Carol Guthrie ......................................................... Inkom Cody Chandler ..................................................... Weiser STAFF Dir. of Admin. Services ....................... Nancy Shiozawa Dir. of Organization............................... Dennis Brower Commodities & Marketing Assistant ........... Peg Pratt Member Services Assistant . ................... Peggy Moore Publice Relations Assistant ..................... Dixie Ashton Dist. I Regional Manager .......................... Justin Patten Dist. II Regional Manager ....................... Kendall Keller Dist. III Regional Manager .................. Charles Garner Dist. IV Regional Manager ................... Russ Hendricks Dist. V Regional Manager ...................... Bob Smathers Dir. of Governmental Affairs ....................... Kent Lauer Asst. Dir. of Governmental Affairs ... Dennis Tanikuni Range/Livestock Specialist..........................Wally Butler Director of Public Relations ............. John Thompson Video Services Manager ............................ Steve Ritter Broadcast Services Manager .................... Jake Putnam Office Manager, Boise ................... Julie Christoffersen Member Services Manager ........................ Joel Benson Printed by: Owyhee Publishing, Homedale, ID GEM STATE PRODUCER USPS #015-024, is published monthly except February, May, August and November by the IDAHO FARM BUREAU FEDERATION, 275 Tierra Vista Drive, Pocatello, ID 83201. POSTMASTER send changes of address to: GEM STATE PRODUCER P.O. Box 4848, Pocatello, ID 83205-4848. Periodicals postage paid at Pocatello, Idaho, and additional mailing offices. Subscription rate: $6.00 per year included in Farm Bureau dues.

MAGAZINE CONTACTS: Idaho Farm Bureau Federation EDITOR (208) 239-4292 • ADS (208) 239-4279 E-MAIL: dashton@idahofb.org www.idahofb.org

Cover: Gem County dairy operator Terry Jones recently expanded his operation and completed a water rights permitting process. A new law was enacted to make the water right permitting process less burdensome. Jones played an integral role in updating Idaho Code. Photo by Steve Ritter

Dairyman Terry Jones looks over his dairy operation in Gem County. Jones recently spearheaded a new law that allows a time extension for water rights development.

Dairyman Works to Enact New Law

Article and photos by Steve Ritter

A bill that allows an extension of time to fully develop a water right because of unforeseen delays was signed into law on March 15th by Idaho Governor Butch Otter. That’s important to farmers like Terry Jones of Emmett. Jones says farmers need time to develop water rights to meet the needs of growing farm operations. “Water Resources, by law, says at the end of ten years that’s the end of your development time and you have to start all over again, and I said why do we need to do that?” said Jones. “We have already gone through the permitting process once, so I got with a lawyer, we scratched our head a little bit, wrote up a bill, got support for it, and today I’m the benefactor of that success.” Representative Lenore Barrett of Challis sponsored House Bill 131. She wanted to target smaller water permits, specifically those involving the diversion of two or more cubic feet per second or the cultivation of 100 or more acres. For those permits, an extension of up to 10 years to establish full beneficial use of the water for the project can be granted by the director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources if the permit holder shows good cause. The legislation broadens the justification for such an extension to include development time lost because of delays caused by state or local government permitting or administrative actions related to the permit holder’s land or water development work. See TERRY JONES page 4 Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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TERRY JONES

Continued from page 3

Calves feed at a dairy owned by Terry Jones of Gem County.

House Bill 131, which was backed by the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, the Idaho Water Users Association and the Idaho Department of Water Resources, passed the house 68-0-2 and the senate 33-1-1. The new law took effect immediately. The making of state law in Idaho is an unpredictable process. From conception to the Governor’s signature sometimes takes years. To pass the house and senate with almost 100 percent support is as rare as albino deer in the Boise foothills. And to have the bill written in a way that allows the law to take effect immediately is even more unusual. As an active member of Farm Bureau for over 30 years, and a past state director, Jones has plenty of background knowledge on how law making works. House Bill 131 was unique 4 #

from the start. When an existing law threatened to bring to a disastrous halt a million dollar CAFO expansion project, Jones went to work on the new law. “When I said to the attorney, let’s just re-write the law he was taken back and said, ‘how do we do that?’ “I told him what we needed to do was get all the parties together, so we got Water Resources, the Idaho Pumper’s Association we got the ground water users together along with Farm Bureau.” With a groundswell of grassroots support and a couple years of time, the appropriate legislators finally understood the complexity of the problem. “We got it through both the House and the Senate with only one no vote out of all those people,” said Jones. “I think that’s a success story on how you do things right when you get your ducks in a row.” The expansion project would have been shut down on May 1st, had HB 131 failed. That

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

could have resulted in the loss of millions of dollars. Jones proudly says his expansion is a

$2 million shot in the arm for the local economy.


Under the Hydropower Restoration Act of 2013 existing dams would be retrofitted for increased energy production.  Farm Bureau file photo

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Hydropower Bill By Jake Putnam WASHINGTON D.C. - On Capitol Hill, cheap affordable energy is not a new concept but hydropower legislation in the Senate is new and innovative.  The Hydropower Improvement Act of 2013 is sponsored by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and co-sponsored by Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch. “Streamlining the hydropower relicensing process and retrofitting existing structures for energy production needs to happen,” said Senator Risch. The legislation not only boosts capacity on existing dams but encourages hydropower production on conduit projects like irrigation canals.  The legislation caught the eye of Idaho’s Congressional delegation because the Gem

State has thousands of miles of canals that could one day produce clean, cheap energy. 

bon economy. This bill will turn that untapped resource to clean energy in Oregon and across the United States,” said Wyden.

The legislation’s appeal is that it increases hydropower production without building new dams. 

Senator Risch says that hydropower is still the cleanest, most cost effective domestic sources of energy. “The relicensing process shouldn’t be a hindrance to a proven clean energy resource,” he said.

So far no major environmental groups have opposed the Act. “Hydropower efficiently and cleanly provides about seven percent of the nation’s electricity. Senator Murkowski’s legislation helps to increase that capacity without increasing the country’s out-of-control deficit,” said Senator Crapo. Even Oregon Senator and Democrat Ron Wyden is on board. “Generating hydropower from water in irrigation canals, conduits, and behind existing dams is the low-hanging fruit the U.S. should seize as it moves toward a low-car-

As the country’s largest source of renewable energy, hydropower allows the nation to avoid approximately 200 million metric tons of carbon emissions each year. That’s not all. According to the Department of Energy, the U.S. has the potential for 300 gigawatts of additional hydropower. Throughout the Pacific Northwest, hydropower has proven to be a valuable, efficient energy resource that produces a low carbon footprint for the environment. See HYDROPOWER page 11

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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Priestley

Continued from page 2

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introduced in 2013 look in comparison to those passed last year. Farm Bureau will focus on: - Limiting the reductions in cuts to the commodity, conservation and crop insurance titles; Protecting and strengthening the federal crop insurance program; - Refraining from basing any programs on cost of production; - Ensuring equity across all commodities; - Ensuring that programs will not cause planting decisions to be based on farm program benefits that accrue more beneficially to a particular crop.; - Maintaining the marketing loan program; - Opposing the linkage of conservation compliance with crop insurance; - Opposing means testing and further payment limits; - Eliminating the dairy price support program and the Milk Income Loss Contract program, and use the funds associated with those programs to offer a voluntary gross margin insurance program for dairy producers;

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Maintaining the current sugar program; Including the Supplemental Coverage Option, whereby program crop producers, as well as producers of specialty crops, could purchase a county level revenue policy on top of their individual crop insurance coverage to cover all or part of a producer’s deductible portion of their individual insurance policy; Restoring the critical, nonprogram crop, disaster programs, such as the Livestock Indemnity Program, Livestock Forage Program and the Tree Assistance Program, to provide those producers with some basic risk management tools to help address catastrophic losses and make those programs retroactive; Achieving the vast majority of necessary reductions in conservation funding from the land retirement programs rather than working land programs; Consolidating conservation provisions and focusing on administrative savings and simplicity in the remaining

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programs; and Expanding the State Block Grants for Specialty Crops program.

Serious consideration of the new bill is expected in April. Farm policy should provide strong and effective safety net/risk management programs that do not guarantee a profit but, instead, protect producers from catastrophic occurrences while minimizing the potential for farm programs affecting production decisions. It should be compliant with World Trade Organization agreements. Farm Bureau supports a program that reduces complexity while allowing producers increased flexibility to plant in response to market demand. Farm Bureau supports a safety net that helps producers deal with catastrophic revenue losses and allows farmers to purchase insurance products to further protect individual risk. The program should be delivered by private crop insurance companies. If a catastrophic risk program is not achievable, we support producers being allowed a choice of program options.

Stallman

Continued from page 2

even greater.

and promote savings, investment and entrepreneurship. Importantly, it should be fair to farmers and ranchers and other family and small business owners. The tax system should be transparent and simple for Americans to understand.

To provide a fairer tax system, Farm Bureau supports lowering tax rates for individuals and providing additional relief from the capital gains tax for farmers since they are hit especially hard by the tax. We also advocate repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax. This tax no longer serves its original purpose of preventing tax avoidance by higher income Americans, but instead creates a burden on the middle class. While these measures would significantly help farmers and ranchers, it would benefit many other Americans and small family businesses.

Nineteen for me Farmers and ranchers work in a world of uncertainty. From volatile global markets to fluctuating operating expenses, from Mother Nature’s many moods to disease outbreaks, it  makes running a farm or ranch challenging under the best of circumstances. Add a complex and burdensome tax code, and the challenge becomes 6

Other tax provisions, like the Health Insur-

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

ance Tax and the Medicare Contribution Tax, also need repealed.  The HIT tax will raise insurance costs for farmers and ranchers, making it harder to purchase coverage for themselves, their families and their employees. The Medicare Contribution Tax, which is a tax on unearned income, will especially burden farmers and ranchers since theirs is such a capital-intensive business. Benjamin Franklin once said that nothing in this world is more certain than death and taxes. While both are inevitable, the federal tax code should be the lesser of the two evils. Making our tax system fair, simple, understandable and non-burdensome is imperative for all Americans.


Congressional delegation awards It’s rare for an entire state congressional delegation to receive this award. Idaho is one of the only state Farm Bureaus that receives consistent and often unanimous support from its entire delegation. Photos by Rick Keller

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, right, receives his Friend of Farm Bureau award from Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley.

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador, right, receives his Friend of Farm Bureau award from Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley.

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, right, receives his Friend of Farm Bureau award from Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley.

Idaho Senator Jim Risch, right, receives his Friend of Farm Bureau award from Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley. Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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Suicide risk high in rural areas By Carol Ryan Dumas - Capital Press Three main risk factors that contribute to suicide are prevalent in rural areas, making farmers and ranchers more vulnerable, experts say. Studies show that a lack of access to effective, affordable mental health care, easy access to firearms and a rugged, individualistic culture that doesn’t lend itself to seeking help are primary factors contributing to suicide, said Kim Kane, a suicide prevention trainer and former executive director of the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho (SPAN Idaho).

and financially demanding and stressful occupation. In addition to carrying an unusually high number of serious life stressors, farmers are unlikely to seek help when overwhelmed by stress or depression,” the researchers said in their report. Formal research on suicide among farmers is a relatively new field, but Benchmark pulled together some ag-specific information from several studies over the last 15 years. In the area of stressors unique to farming,

In Idaho, the highest suicide rate in 2011 was in Canyon County, which is a mainly rural and agricultural area, said Judy Gabert, resource specialist with SPAN Idaho.

Farmers and ranchers have a tendency to be among the group that is most individualistic and won’t seek help, she said, adding that they have to change how they feel about getting help. “It takes a lot more guts to admit you need help and getting it rather than staying quiet,” Kane said.

* Male farmers 75 and older committed disproportionately more suicides than younger male farmers and were more likely to use firearms, the most common means for male farmers.

In addition, the stigma of mental illness exists in rural communities. The stigma leads to less open discussion of the topic and fewer people seeking help, she said.

* Male farmers had a higher suicide rate (34 per 100,000 people) compared with the general male population (24 per 100,000). * Female farmers completed suicide at the same rate as the general female population (6 per 100,000).

“We have a long row to hoe in doing away with that stigma,” she said.

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The combination of many stressors, lack of a close confidant and untreated clinical depression is relatively common in farmers and essentially a prescription for suicide, the research shows.

Research also found:

Rural residents have limited means to get help and are farther from emergency rooms and mental health centers, she said.

“Farming is a physically, mentally, socially

The research also shows that male farmers especially are reluctant to seek help for, or even discuss, depression and other mental health issues.

There was also some research done on serotonin levels in the brain and a related increase in farmers risk for mood disorders and suicide. Farmers were found more likely to commit suicide during spring planting or fall harvest. Researchers speculated that farmers are strongly tied to the seasonal cycle and are either naturally responding to that cycle or to the increases in workload and stresses.

Suicides are still rare in the U.S. About 38,000 are reported annually.

In addition to the lack of social support and mental health services, farmers are also at increased risk due to a combination of stressors, according to research conducted by Benchmark Research & Safety of Moscow, Idaho.

the research lists financial stress, especially foreclosure; health problems, especially disabling injury; crop loss due to machinery breakdown or weather; higher stress in livestock producers compared with other farmers; and a higher number of stressors in older farmers and women farmers.

Information Research shows that farmers and ranchers are more vulnerable to suicide than many other occupations. The risk goes up during spring planting and harvest. Farm Bureau file photo

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

Suicide prevention hotline: 800-273-TALK (8255) See SUICIDE PREVENTION page 31


The lifeblood of America . They’re the humble heroes who rise before dawn and battle the elements. They put clothes on our backs and food on our tables. Their genuine values and tireless work ethic are an inspiration to us all. We appreciate all that America’s farmers do and invite you to join us in saying thanks at www.fbfs.com/SayThanksToAFarmer. FB02-ID (3-12)

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Focus on Agriculture

Taking Stock on World Water Day By Cyndie Sirekis The 20 anniversary of the United Nations’ World Water Day (March 22) is an appropriate time to reflect on the achievements of U.S. farmers in caring for the environment and water resources. th

Reducing water use and improving water quality continue to be important goals for farmers and ranchers in growing crops and raising animals for food. Overall, farmers are producing more food using fewer natural resources, particularly water. Research conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service shows farmers have become 28 percent more efficient in water use over the last decade and 49 percent more efficient over the last five years. Other studies consistently reveal farmers are producing more bushels of crops using the same amount or less water. Seed innovations have played a major role in reducing the amount of water needed to 10

grow crops. Both conventional breeding techniques and genetic modification are making crops less water-dependent. Some drought-tolerant seed varieties already are available to farmers but more research is needed. Farmers are continuously improving the way they use water to irrigate crops. Customizing water application to soil and seed needs results in less wasted water. And innovative tools such as drip tape irrigation pipes laid along the ground, used by fruit and vegetable farmers, reduce evaporation and use less water than flood irrigation. The timing of irrigation for specific crops has been studied extensively with the goal of avoiding overwatering. Armed with the most up-to-date research findings and technologies, farmers can now precisely apply irrigation water to crops, when growing plants are best able to use it. The philosophy of “Reduce, reuse, recycle,” in place on America’s farms and ranches

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

for decades, is more evident than ever before. Capturing and reusing water used in raising animals and growing crops is just one example among many. U.S. beef cattle production has long been inaccurately characterized as water-wasteful. But analysis by Washington State University researchers of how ranchers use water to raise cattle revealed that compared to 1977, every pound of beef produced today requires 14 percent less water. Clearly, the trend of farmers and ranchers working harder (and smarter) to use less water as they produce food for American consumers and customers around the world shows no sign of slowing down. That’s worth celebrating on World Water Day and every day. Cyndie Sirekis is director of news services at the American Farm Bureau Federation.


HYDROPOWER Continued from page 5

“I look forward to working with my colleagues from both parties to pass the Hydropower Improvement Act and build on our use of hydropower to create jobs, protect our environment, and bring clean energy resources to our communities,” said co-sponsor Senator Patty Murray DWashington. The Hydropower Improvement Act of 2013 would add power generation to existing irrigation dams that currently don’t produce power. It also promotes a new micro-dam technology that’s being developed throughout the Northwest. All parts of the country benefit from the Act because an astonishing 97 percent of the nation’s dams don’t generate power. With Washington and Idaho leading the way, the functions of old dams retrofitted to produce power could quadruple capacity and keep power bills the lowest in the nation. Republican sponsors of this bill endorse it because it would, in a couple of ways, result in less government. The measure calls for the Federal Energy Regulatory Com-

mission to exempt small conduit projects. Approval processes that now take four or more years would be studied with the intent of streamlining the permit process to a couple of years. Dams in Idaho would undergo extensive study, with an emphasis of finding ways to expand storage and increase capacity. Turbine upgrades and other projects could lead to more energy produced using the same amount of water. Sponsors say the legislation directly benefits agriculture without taking valuable irrigation water. Hydropower produces three-fourths of our state’s electricity; it also irrigates hundreds of thousands of acres of potatoes, sugarbeets, onions, wheat and corn, not to mention a dozens of other cash crops totaling billions of dollars in annual revenue in Idaho. Sponsors say this is a win-win for both parties because members of Congress have the chance to pass meaningful bi-partisan legislation allowing clean-energy production for the Northwest and allowing the nation to move forward at last on critical energy

legislation.

Details of the Hydropower Improvement Act of 2011 Provides the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the authority to extend preliminary permit terms; Directs FERC to explore a possible twoyear licensing process for hydropower development at non-powered dams and closed-loop pumped storage projects;  Establishes an expedited process for FERC to consider “qualifying conduit” hydropower facilities; Increases the rated capacity for small hydro projects from five to 10 megawatts;  Calls for the Department of Energy (DOE) to study the technical flexibility and grid reliability benefits that pumped storage facilities could provide to intermittent renewable energy, and the range of opportunities for conduit hydropower potential;  Does not contain any spending authorizations and therefore does not represent any new funding. 

KELLER

Continued from page 2 by the court. We were represented by the Mountain States Legal Foundation of Denver, Colorado. In April 2011, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson earned congressional approval to delist the gray wolf and it was signed into law by President Obama. An environmental group sued, challenging Congress’s authority to delist the wolves in Idaho and Montana. After petitioning the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Idaho and Montana Farm Bureaus were granted intervenor status to defend the authority of Congress to delist. The Court reluctantly ruled in our favor but ordered the Federal government to pay $380,000 to the environmental activists for filing the suit. No compensation

was provided for our winning side of the argument. The disparity in these two cases is overwhelming. Farm Bureau is not seeking compensation. We understood the costs when we entered the legal proceedings. Our contention is with the entitlement mentality of many of the environmental activist groups that file lawsuits and enter into prolonged legal battles as a source of revenue for their organization and officers. It is wrong. The assertion of entitlement is greed. They feel they are entitled to these large sums simply because of who they are and represent, not on the merits of the case. Their entitlement mentality demands much and

gives little or nothing in return. They seek to elevate themselves above the humble and hardworking farmers and ranchers who suffer unjustly under the weight of their litigation. The courts and environmental groups have abused the Equal Access to Justice Act which was designed to provide assistance to the little Davids battling the giant Goliaths. Congress must curtail these abuses by correcting the Act. The Courts must use judicial prudence to correct the exploitation and limit the compensation they have eagerly doled out in the past to environmental groups. Entitlements, actual or implied are unjust and need to be reformed.

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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Attorneys representing a beef processing firm in South Dakota have asserted in court documents that Diane Sawyer of ABC News, did not use good judgment in reporting on a controversy that arose last year related to the use of Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB). Photo courtesy of American Broadcasting Company

Special Report: LFTB Controversy Leads to Court

By P.J. Huffstutter and Martha Graybow DAKOTA DUNES, South Dakota (Reuters) - A year ago, Beef Products Inc. had four state-of-the art plants, more than 1,300 employees and was expanding aggressively. The meat company was the leading maker of “lean finely textured beef,” a low-fat product made from chunks of beef, including trimmings, and exposed to tiny bursts of ammonium hydroxide to kill E. coli and other dangerous contaminants. Few Americans realized the product was a mainstay of fast-food burgers, school lunch tacos and homemade meatloaf. Today, the South Dakota company’s revenues have plummeted from more than $650 million to about $130 million a year, and three of its plants are shuttered. Company officials blame the abrupt falloff on a series of ABC News broadcasts that began 12

last March - stories that repeatedly called its product “pink slime.” BPI hired a high-powered Chicago trial lawyer and in September slapped the network, star anchor Diane Sawyer and other defendants with a 27-count lawsuit that seeks at least $1.2 billion in damages - about one-fifth of the fiscal 2012 net income of American Broadcasting Co parent Walt Disney Co. Now, the case, which many observers initially wrote off as a public relations ploy by a desperate company, is shaping up as one of the most high-stakes defamation court battles in U.S. history. The court fight could put modern television journalism on trial and highlight the power of language in the Internet Age: In the wake of the reports on “World News with Diane Sawyer,” the term “pink slime” went viral. The case also underscores an intensifying

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

war between the farm sector and its critics over how food is made. In Europe, for instance, an uproar has erupted over the inclusion of horsemeat in a variety of products. Although the media furor over “lean finely textured beef” has waned in the U.S., the economic ripple effect is still being felt by the nation’s meat-packers and ground beef manufacturers, which are wrestling with a dwindling cattle supply and rising meat prices - and are now slowly reintroducing products similar to LFTB into the marketplace. Libel cases are extremely difficult to win in the U.S. because of strong press protections, and ABC has compelling legal arguments. However interviews with BPI’s founders, agriculture industry officials and legal experts, as well as a review of federal documents and court records, suggest that ABC’s reports had certain flaws that could resonate with a jury: ABC’s lead reporter


on the story mischaracterized BPI’s product on Twitter; the network failed to clearly describe on-air how the company’s beef wound up in the nation’s food supply; and ABC did not reveal in an interview with a former BPI employee that he had lost a wrongful termination lawsuit against the company. ABC denies the allegations in the lawsuit and is seeking to have it thrown out. The network and its lawyers at Washington D.C. law firm Williams & Connolly declined to comment on the case. In court papers, the network argues that the lawsuit is a bid by BPI to chill media coverage of the food industry. The case also could shine an unflattering light on BPI. Many consumers find the notion of processed beef unsavory, and the lawsuit could open the door to the company having to reveal closely guarded information about its processes that could be used in other litigation. BPI founders Eldon and Regina Roth say they plan to pursue their fight against ABC even if it takes years and tens of millions of dollars in legal fees. “We have to do this,” Eldon Roth told Reuters. “We have no other choice.” The lawsuit, originally filed in South Dakota state court, is hinged partly on a state product-disparagement statute designed to protect farming interests. Twelve other states have similar laws - dubbed “veggie libel” measures by critics - but they have rarely been invoked. Under the South Dakota version of the law, plaintiffs must show that defendants publicly spread information they knew to be false and stated or implied “that an agricultural food product is not safe for consumption by the public.” If BPI were to win on that claim, under the law it could be awarded triple the damages that were caused. That means that the company’s claim of more than $400 million in projected lost profits could balloon to damages of more than $1.2 billion. For BPI to prove the defamation piece of its case, it would need to show that the network negligently reported a false statement

of fact that injured its reputation. If BPI is deemed by the court to be a public rather than a private figure in the legal sense, it would have a higher bar to cross: The company would need to prove ABC knew the facts it was reporting were false or it recklessly disregarded the truth. While the case is in the early stages, the network appears to have a legal leg-up on both counts: ABC never said BPI’s product is dangerous, and courts have repeatedly offered broad protections for journalists in the course of their work. But by calling a food product “slime” 137 times over the span of nearly four weeks on its newscasts, its website and on Twitter, according to BPI’s tally, did ABC make the public think LFTB was unsafe? If, as BPI alleges, ABC shrugged off information that refuted parts of its reporting, did it act recklessly and could it therefore be held liable for defamation? “It’s hard to imagine ‘slime’ being a positive term, but at the same time, was it used with malice?” said Gene Policinski, senior vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center at the Freedom Forum, a group that promotes free-speech issues. “This is going to be a very tough thing for BPI to prove.” WHAT EXACTLY IS “SLIME”? At the crux of the debate are two little words: “pink slime.” The term is believed to have been coined as a description for LFTB by a U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist who used it in a 2002 email to colleagues after touring a BPI plant. The phrase came to light in December 2009 when the New York Times published a story by Pulitzer Prizewinner Michael Moss that cited the email. The story discussed BPI’s technology and effectiveness in preventing the spread of food contaminates. BPI did not sue the Times. That story, and subsequent media reports that referred to the term, “were not causing any damage to the company,” said BPI’s attorney, Dan Webb, chairman of law firm Winston & Strawn and a former U.S. Attorney in Chicago.

But, Webb contends, ABC’s use of “pink slime” so many times - combined with alleged misstatements and omissions - made consumers believe the company’s beef was something foul. That’s led lawyers for ABC and BPI to pull out their dictionaries in a duel over the definition of slime. BPI’s lawyers point to the Oxford Dictionary, which describes slime as a “moist, soft, and slippery substance, typically regarded as repulsive,” and the American Heritage Dictionary, which calls it “vile or disgusting matter.” But ABC’s lawyers, in their motion to dismiss the case, argued that slime is a fitting description of the company’s product. They point to “more neutral” definitions of the term, citing another entry in the American Heritage Dictionary that calls slime a “thick, sticky, slippery substance.” And regardless, ABC’s lawyers also argue, use of the term was the kind of “rhetorical hyperbole” that is constitutionally protected. They point out that courts have rejected defamation claims based on allegations of “name calling.” Restaurant reviewers, they note, have been protected over speech that describes food in unpleasant ways. One example the network’s lawyers have held up for comparison: A 1977 court ruling that found a reviewer who called a dish “trout a la green plague” and a sauce “yellow death on duck” had not defamed a Louisiana restaurant owner. One issue in dispute in this case: the circumstances around the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s approval of using LFTB in the making of ground beef. In ABC’s first broadcast on the subject on March 7, the network said that former Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Jo Ann Smith was appointed to the board of directors of a large BPI supplier after she “made the decision to okay” BPI’s “mix.” H. Russell Cross, a former head of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, told Reuters he, not Smith, made a pivotal deciSee LFTB CONTROVERSY page 14

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LFTB CONTROVERSY

Continued from page 13

sion in mid-1993 that “lean finely textured beef” was beef, and therefore did not need to be labeled in packages of ground beef. “She had nothing to do with it,” he said. Moreover, it wasn’t until 2001 that the company secured USDA approval for its use of ammonium hydroxide as a processing aid, according to a document Reuters obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Smith, who had left the agency by early 1993, could not be reached for comment. Cross left USDA in 1994 and is now head of the department of animal science at Texas A&M University. BPI said Cross “did some consulting work” on its behalf about nine years ago; Cross, who was employed by a large beef packer at the time, says he was not paid by BPI. THE ROLE OF TWITTER BPI’s lawsuit cites other examples of what the company calls misleading and sloppy reporting by the news network. Among them: Twitter exchanges between Jim Avila, the lead ABC reporter on the story and a defendant in the case, and meat industry officials and other critics of his reporting. One of his tweets has become central to BPI’s claims that the network falsely stated that LFTB is not meat. In that tweet last March, Avila wrote in a reply to a critical viewer that “no one said this slime is dangerous. It’s just not what it purports to be. Meat. And if it’s in ground beef it should be labeled.” ABC’s lawyers have said in their court papers that this “single brief statement” was directed at “a very limited audience” and should be understood as protected opinion. While BPI’s lawsuit points to the tweet as an example of alleged false statements, Avila’s remark could help ABC in other ways: It backs up the network’s argument that its reporters did not say the product 14

was unsafe. The beef processor has also accused the network of ignoring comments and research from experts who provided a more positive view of BPI’s product. In its lawsuit, BPI described a telephone interview it said Avila conducted with an agricultural food-safety consultant, David Theno. According to the lawsuit, Theno told Avila that BPI’s process was safe, but the reporter told him he wasn’t credible and hung up on him. Theno, who describes himself as a friend of the Roth family, told Reuters that Avila appeared to be pushing for quotes slanted against BPI and its product. Theno said he told the reporter he had been paid by the company previously for consulting work. The reporter said he was on deadline. The two continued to talk and then the line went dead, Theno said. Thinking the call had been dropped, Theno said he called Avila back to see if they had been disconnected, but Avila replied that he had hung up. The conversation then grew heated, Theno recalled. Avila, through an ABC spokesman, declined to discuss those phone calls. Theno’s comments were never used in the broadcasts. In their court papers, the network’s lawyers noted that the ABC reports informed the public about how BPI’s product is perceived by both supporters and critics and that the reports included responses from the meat industry and information from academic experts in animal science and nutrition. RESTRAINING ORDER BPI has also sued some of the people ABC interviewed on air, including a former BPI quality assurance manager, Kit Foshee, for alleged false statements. Among them: Foshee told ABC that LFTB “will fill you up, but it’s not going to do you any good.” In a follow-up story posted on ABC’s web

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

site, Avila reported that Foshee had been fired by BPI years earlier after complaining about some of the company’s practices. But ABC’s stories did not mention that Foshee was involved in messy litigation with the company a decade ago. Based on court files, Foshee was fired in late 2001. A few months later, BPI sued Foshee in South Dakota over allegations of theft of trade secrets. Foshee counter-sued, claiming he had been wrongfully terminated. A jury ruled against Foshee on his claims. Last summer, a few months after his ABC interview, Foshee drove onto the parking lot of BPI’s headquarters and spoke with employees. “Kit stated it wasn’t over and that he looked forward to more things happening to Eldon Roth,” according to a copy of an affidavit of one BPI employee who spoke with Foshee. BPI and the Roths returned to South Dakota state court last summer and were granted a restraining order against Foshee. Foshee’s lawyer, Steven Sanford, said the restraining order does not matter to his client “since he has no desire ever to return.” BPI has also disputed how ABC characterized others who appeared in the broadcasts. When the first “pink slime” broadcast aired last March, Diane Sawyer said “a whistleblower has come forward” to tell the public about the processed beef. She was referring to former USDA scientist Gerald Zirnstein, who is credited with coining the term “pink slime.” Zirnstein is also a defendant in the case. His attorney, William Marler, told Reuters his client is not a whistleblower. A court affidavit from the retired scientist also said ABC approached him to do the interview about BPI - not the other way around. In the coming weeks, U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is expected to rule on whether the lawsuit will stay in her courtroom, as ABC


wants, or go back to state court, where it was originally filed. If ABC then wins on its motion to dismiss, the claims are knocked out. If not, the case would move toward trial. Even before ABC began airing its “pink slime” reports, BPI and the ground beef business were coming under closer scrutiny. McDonald’s Corp said in early 2012 that McDonald’s USA had stopped purchasing ammonium hydroxide-treated lean beef trimmings in an effort to make its global beef supply chain consistent. Today, the U.S. meat industry has changed how it makes ground beef, turning to more expensive types of beef trimming and other parts of the beef carcass. At the same time, retail prices for ground beef are soaring as cattle ranchers and beef packers struggle with elevated feed prices resulting from last summer’s drought in the U.S. Midwest. One beef processor wasn’t able to keep

up. AFA Foods Inc in Pennsylvania filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last April and blamed its woes on general media coverage of “pink slime.” Cargill, the world’s largest ground beef producer, said it, too, has seen an impact on its business from news stories and social media chatter about “pink slime.” Cargill makes a product similar to BPI’s, though it relies on different technology and on citric acid, rather than ammonium hydroxide, as a processing agent to kill potential pathogens. Last spring, Cargill told Reuters, it saw an 80 percent drop in production volume of finely textured beef. Though its production volume is still far less than a year ago, a company spokesman said demand is slowly returning. These days, ground-beef manufacturers have the option to label their packaging to disclose the presence of LFTB, a change that the USDA approved after the ABC broadcasts began. Previously, LFTB was

not listed as an ingredient: Federal regulators said it was no different than other protein found in ground beef. BPI has said it supports the rule change, saying it will help restore consumer confidence in its product. BPI has been trying to woo back customers. Hy-Vee Inc, the Midwestern grocery retailer headquartered in Iowa, dropped ground beef with LFTB in it during the height of the general media coverage of “pink slime.” But a company spokeswoman said the retailer soon reversed that decision. Customers in areas where BPI had factories demanded Hy-Vee bring it back, the retailer said. People wanted to buy it. At a Hy-Vee store in South Sioux City, Iowa, part of the refrigerated meat case is stocked with tube-shaped packages of ground beef. They have a small stamp on the back that reads: “contains lean finely textured beef.”

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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Tree Seed Germination Requires the “Right” Light

By Timothy Prather We all know that if we open a pack of bush bean seeds from the garden store, we won’t find bean sprouts. The dry, dark packet keeps seeds from starting the germination process. When we plant our bean seeds in the garden in the spring, we expect to see beans coming out of the ground within a few weeks. So as long as moisture and soil temperature are right, the seeds sprout. For other plant species, however, the right soil temperature and moisture are not enough. Many plant species require light to begin the germination (sprouting) process. Oh, and it is not just enough light, the plants require the right kind of light. We consider ourselves to be quite different from plants and one area we would consider ourselves different is with respect to light. Plants don’t have eyes so they can’t see. We have chemical photoreceptors called rhodopsin and photopsin. Plants don’t have either of those receptors. So how do plants know there is the right kind of light to germinate? It turns out that plant actually do see in their 18

In the foreground, logging debris was scattered. Note the Scotch broom (dark green shrub) is only on the right of the picture, outside of the logging debris treatment. Forest managers in Oregon and Washington are using the technique to manage for Scotch broom.

own way. Our receptors are different from the plant receptors but they do have receptors that allow them to perceive light. In their own way, plants actually do see. Plants have receptors called phytochromes and phytochromes react to light. Phytochromes exist in a form that absorbs red light or a form that absorbs far-red light. Changes to wavelengths of light that are perceived by the seed affect which form of phytochrome is present.So, red light converts phytochrome to the form that absorbs far red light and far

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

– red light converts the phytochrome back to the form that absorbs red light. Also, the far – red form is easily lost in the plant so red light tends to reduce phytochromes, overall. Far-red light inhibits germination by changing the balance of the two forms of phytochrome. So what does the ratio of red and far-red phytochrome do in plants? Red light reduces the amount of red phytochrome and the change in the ratio triggers a change in gibberellin. Gibberellin is a plant hormone that is important to stimulate the seed to germinate.

So what does that have to do with forests? If plants require higher light levels to survive, germinating under a forest canopy could result in the plant’s dying. Seeds perceive red light and far-red light so light quality within forests is very important. Under a canopy of trees the amount of red light hitting the soil is reduced and with leafy vegetation, the amount of far-red light in the canopy increases. So the red form of phytochrome in seeds stays higher under forest canopies which reduce gibberellins, keeping seeds dormant. One strategy for some plants is to


Scotch broom cover was low even three years after the logging debris were scattered.

stay dormant in the soil if other plants are shading the soil surface. Enough light may be hitting the ground but if there are too many plants over the ground surface then the quality of light changes and a seed can sense the plants and so it does not germinate. The seed avoids competition with the plants above by delaying germination to another time, perhaps even years later. Low light conditions in forests and particularly low levels of red light, keep many types of seeds dormant. Low light conditions usually reduce the impact of weeds in forested areas. Many weedy species germinate in more open areas rather than under forest canopies. When we harvest trees we open the canopy. We let red light into the canopy and that red light is perceived by seeds. The red light affects phytochromes and a change in the balance of phytochromes stimulates gibberellins and the gibberellins begin the process of germination within the seeds. It turns out that we can still reduce the amount of red light hitting the soil even with harvest. Researchers Tim Harrington, Robert Slesak and Stephen Schoenholtz found that increased debris reduced the amount of competing vegetation. In their experiment they looked at high and low covers of logging slash left after forest harvesting. The slash included both woody materials and foliage (green needles) from the harvested Douglas-fir trees. Weedy species like Scotch broom are severe com-

Douglas fir had higher survival four years after planting when debris was scattered instead of removed.

petitors with seedling trees. In the study, as Scotch broom cover reached 40 percent, survival of Douglas fir went from nearly 90 percent (no Scotch broom) to less than 60 percent. When slash was left on site and scattered the Scotch broom was seven percent after three years but Scotch broom cover was 27 percent after three years when debris was removed. The trees had lower competition as cover of logging slash increased, likely because of sensitivity of

Scotch broom germination to reductions in the ratio of red to far-red light under fresh logging slash. Timothy S. Prather is a professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, at the University of Idaho. He can be reached at tprather@uidaho.edu.

Woody debris was removed from the site. The dark green shrubs in the background are Scotch broom where debris was removed. Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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Top Farm Bureau Agents

Rookie of the Month:

Eric Wilkins Newell Agency

Agent of the Month:

Jonathan Jensen Schmitt Agency

Agency of the Month: Schmitt Agency

e e y r r F ta o N At all county Farm Bureau offices for Idaho Farm Bureau members. 20

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

Family of Member Services

TM


Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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American farm bureau federation news

Adequate Land Ranks as Top Concern of Young Farmers AFBF Staff Report Securing adequate land to grow crops and raise livestock was the top challenge identified in the latest survey of participants in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program. That challenge was identified by 20 percent of respondents, followed by burdensome government regulations and “red tape,” which was identified by15 percent of the young farmers and ranchers responding. “Access to adequate land to begin farming or expand an established operation is a major concern for today’s young farmers,” said Zach Hunnicutt, AFBF’s national YF&R Committee chair and a crop farmer from Nebraska. “Another major challenge we all face in one form or another is the cost of complying with a maze of government regulations.” Other issues ranked as top concerns included economic challenges, particularly profitability, 12 percent; water availability, 10 percent; taxes, 9 percent; health care availability and cost, 9 percent; availability of farm labor and related regulations, 8 percent; and willingness of parents to turn over the reins of the farm or ranch, 7 percent. When asked to name the top three steps the federal government should take to help young farmers and ranchers, cutting government spending was the top response, with 24 percent listing this as most important. Twelve percent of those surveyed said maintaining the farm safety net was most important, while financial assistance for beginning farmers and tax reform were each cited by 11 22

percent as the priority that should be first on the list. The 21st annual YF&R survey revealed that 90 percent of those surveyed are more optimistic about farming and ranching than they were five years ago. Last year, 94 percent of those surveyed said they were more optimistic about farming than they were five years ago. The 2013 survey also shows 83 percent of the nation’s young farmers and ranchers say they are better off than they were five years ago. Last year, 94 percent reported being better off. More than 94 percent considered themselves lifetime farmers, while 90 percent would like to see their children follow in their footsteps. The informal survey reveals that 84 percent believe their children will be able to follow in their footsteps. The survey points out that 64 percent of YF&R members consider communicating with consumers a formal part of their jobs. Many use social media platforms as a tool to accomplish this. The popular social media site, Facebook, is used by 82 percent of those surveyed who use the Internet. Thirty percent of respondents said they use the social networking site Twitter, and 18 percent use YouTube to post videos of their farms and ranches. “Use of technology to improve production practices on the farm and to interact with consumers—our customers—continues to grow,” Hunnicutt said. “Having instant access to information and communication tools is the ‘new normal’ and that’s not going to change,” he said. Nearly 80 percent of young farmers and

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

ranchers surveyed said they regularly use mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets to communicate. That’s up from 66 percent last year. Computers and the Internet remain vital tools for the nation’s young farmers and ranchers, with 92 percent surveyed reporting using a computer in their farming operation. Nearly all of those surveyed, 94 percent, have access to the Internet. High-speed Internet is used by 65 percent of those surveyed, with 22 percent relying on a satellite connection and just over 2 percent turning to dialup. The survey also shows that America’s young farmers and ranchers are committed environmental caretakers, with 64 percent using conservation tillage to protect soil and reduce erosion on their farms. AFBF President Bob Stallman said the annual YF&R survey underscores his belief that the future of U.S. agriculture is in good hands. “The future looks bright for American agriculture and our nation as a whole, thanks to the commitment and solid knowledge base held by today’s young farmers and ranchers,” said Stallman. The informal survey of young farmers and ranchers, ages 18-35, was conducted at AFBF’s 2013 YF&R Leadership Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., in February. The purpose of the YF&R program is to help younger members learn more about farming and ranching, network with other farmers and strengthen their leadership skills to assist in the growth of agriculture and Farm Bureau.


Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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Grain Marketing with Clark Johnston

Expect a More Difficult Grain Marketing Year Ahead By Clark Johnston

consider.

It is now officially spring and the markets are trading the same as they do most years as we move from winter into spring. From the first of February through the third week in March we saw the May corn futures trade 52 cents lower and then move back 47 cents higher. During this same time frame the inverse from May to December Corn widened from $1.42 to $1.65 thus reminding us that we are still short old crop corn with the real possibility of a large new crop.

We are seeing shortages in Soft White, Hard White and Hard Red Winter. Having said this it really isn’t a time to get bulled up on prices. Indications are that the flour millers have good coverage into June on Soft White and it wouldn’t take much more for them to drop their bid and take a wait and see approach as we move toward new crop. This was evident just a few weeks ago when Portland dropped their soft white bid 35 to 40 cents overnight.

Ethanol margins that were just a few months earlier weak enough to cause some plants to slow production and even close once again became profitable by the middle of March. We did have announcements of plants coming back on line as margins closed in on forty cents per corn bushel. Helping the margins was the fact that Ethanol prices strengthened by 30 to 35 cents per gallon. Some plants were even looking at the possibility of using soft red wheat to replace corn in their operation as Chicago May wheat moved closer and closer to May corn. By the third week in March the wheat to corn spread of 36 cents just 6 weeks earlier had moved to even money with the corn market actually trading a few cents premium to wheat. The convergence of the wheat/corn spread also made it attractive for the feed lots in the southwest to feed soft red in their ration. Locally we have seen some classes of wheat trade low enough to work back into the feed market. Both HRW and Hard White were close and did reach that level for a short time before moving back higher on a stronger basis. There is still the possibility of wheat working back into the local feed market but, there may not be enough wheat still on hand for the feeders to even 24

In the Hard White market the supply is very limited with the millers still looking for enough supply to make it to new crop. The demand for a finished product made with hard white seems to be increasing even at this time of the year. The posted bids have remained fairly flat but we have seen wheat contract at a substantial premium to the posted bids over the past couple of weeks. Remember, it never hurts to make an offer, you just never know when it will be accepted. Let’s switch gears now and talk about new crop. In the corn market we are currently hearing projections for acreage to be up from last year. If I may, I would like to take a little more conservative approach to 2013 production. If we take planted acres at 97 million and then harvest 91percent of those acres. (91 percent would be in line with the yearly average) This will give us 88 million acres that will be harvested. Trend line yields are running close to 165 bushels per acre but, I would like to use 150 bu per acre, this would give us total production of 13.2 billion bushels giving us a little more corn production than in each of 2010 and 2011. If this is the case we could very well see corn move low enough to take wheat out of the feed ration. This would in turn increase

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

Clark Johnston

wheat inventories causing the wheat markets to also move lower. We are expecting the wheat futures to increase the carry in the market as we move closer to harvest. If you are looking at marketing your 2013 crop watch for the fast moves higher in the market caused by weather concerns to contract some wheat. Remember, weather markets move both ways and more times than not when the market moves quickly higher it will correct just as quickly. This year is looking like a year in which you will need to stay on top of the market movement and not hesitate to sell on the short term rallies. If the futures do increase the carry then you will be able to look at selling into the deferred months to take advantage of the carry market. The market will give you your opportunities this year but, you will need to make your decision ahead of time as to the levels you want to merchandise. When compared to the previous few years, this year could be the year in which you need a plan and then stick to it. Clark Johnston is a grain marketing specialist who is on contract with the Idaho Farm Bureau. He is the owner of JC Management Company in Northern Utah. He can be reached at clark@jcmanagement. net


Ranchers Feeding Youth er and the presenter of the beef by-products session. “Our goal is to educate the children on what by-products go into other products that people use every day. Like a basketball, cosmetics, laundry soap, candles and marshmallows. The gelatin is used in making marshmallows which always seems to be of curiosity for people.” The kids also attend a production class where a video of a live birth is shown and the ranchers answer questions about raising cattle. Shirley Florence of Lakefork talked to the groups about land use and explained how little of the overall land mass in the world is used to grow food. “We had a local extension educator from the University of Idaho who actually got this started in local schools around here. She came to the Valley/ Adams County Farm Bureau and asked us to help sponsor

it, so we have been in about six schools in the last year.” Members of the Payette River Cattlemen’s Association and the Valley/Adams County Farm Bureau staged the half day event. The two organizations also provided the meat and buns, while the school provided the rest of the meal. Donna Geibel, a special education assistant at the school, joined students in the lunch room for burger day. “I think it’s very educational because a lot of the kids maybe don’t have access to the type of information this is giving them”, she said. Meanwhile, outside at the grill, Joe Kennedy smiles while brushing away the smoke and flipping more burgers on and off the grill. He sees the day as pretty simple “they get the flavor of it” he says as he ducks a flare up on the grill.

Violet Howard of McCall enjoys a burger for lunch at Barbara Morgan Elementary in McCall.

Article and photos by Steve Ritter One hundred and sixty degrees. And if it looks like it’s burnt they probably won’t eat it. Those were rules of the day for cattle rancher Joe Kennedy as he leaned over a large barbecue grill owned by the Payette River Cattleman’s Association. The cattlemen’s group, in cooperation with the Valley/Adams County Farm Bureau, cooked hamburgers for the students at Barbara Morgan Elementary in McCall, Idaho.

They cooked 230 burgers for the third and fourth grader students. “We have found that the third and fourth grade are optimum, the kids are impressionable and they learn”, says Dave Veselka the president of the Valley/Adams County Farm Bureau. Learning is what the program is all about. Along with burgers for lunch, the kids are schooled on the beef industry. “This is called Ranchers Feeding Youth,” says Sandy Dryden a Meadows Valley cattle ranch-

Valley/Adams County Farm Bureau President Dave Veselka, helps cook burgers for third and fourth graders at Barbara Morgan Elementary School in McCall.   Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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Farm Bureau Collegiate Awarded with Trip to Washington D.C. By Bob Smathers Travis Chase, from Payette County and a member of the Collegiate Farm Bureau student organization at the University of Idaho was one of 20 undergraduates nationwide selected to attend the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum in 2013. Undergraduates from around the country wrote essays titled “Agriculture as a Career” and the top 20 were selected and awarded with trips to the conference in Washington D.C. Chase and the other 19 award recipients were honored with front row seats next to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the opening session on February 21. Chase attended breakout sessions at the Forum which featured food price and farm income

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Collegiate Young Farmer Travis Chase from Payette County recently attended the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum in Washington D.C.

outlook, threats to forests and natural resources, challenges in trade with the European Union, food safety, managing

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

farm risk, showcasing local foods, water management, production outlook for various crops, energy, transportation,

and others. Chase also visited the NRCS headquarters in Maryland, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and ERS in Washington D.C. Here is an excerpt from Travis’s essay: Why do I choose agriculture? One reason is the job security: people will always have to eat. But the real reason for this career choice is that I love it. I grew up on a small family farm with the rural values and way of life that are important to me. I have an inborn fondness for that way of life. Agriculture is an industry that is both personally fulfilling and essential for the sustenance of our future. It has been said that if you find a job that you enjoy, you will never have to work a day in your life. My job is in agriculture.


Idaho FFA—Premier Leadership, Personal Growth and Career Success through Agricultural Education As part of the National FFA Organization, Idaho FFA is an integral part of agricultural education by helping make classroom instruction come to life through realistic, hands-on applications. FFA members embrace concepts taught in agricultural science classrooms nationwide, build valuable skills through hands-on experiential learning and each year demonstrate their proficiency in competitions based on real-world agricultural skills.

2012 - 2013 Idaho State FFA Officer Team (Pictured from left) Lauren Clark, State Secretary, Meridian FFA Chapter; Lauren Gleed, State Treasurer, Preston FFA Chapter; Ayla Neumeyer, State Vice President, Bonners Ferry FFA Chapter; Tanner Beyer, State President, Kimberly FFA Chapter; Michelle Ball, State Reporter, Kuna FFA Chapter; and Ellie Dalton, State Sentinel, Dietrich FFA Chapter.

Federally Chartered FFA was organized nationally in 1928 in Kansas City, Mo. In 1950, Congress granted FFA a federal charter, making it an integral part of public agricultural instruction under the National Vocational Education Acts. FFA receives no federal funding. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. Science, Business, Technology The National FFA Organization has evolved in response to expanded opportunities available in the agricultural industry. Today’s FFA helps members prepare for careers in agribusiness, agrimarketing, science, communications, education, horticulture, production, natural resources, forestry and many other diverse fields.

FFA today is comprised of 557, 318 student members in grades 7 through 12 who belong to one of 7,498 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, including 4,222 FFA members in 87 Idaho FFA chapters.

The 2012-13 Idaho FFA State Officer Team is set to lead the 82nd Annual State FFA Leadership Conference April 10-13 in Twin Falls where over 1,500 Idaho FFA members, agriculture teachers and guests will convene. FFA members from all of Idaho’s 87 FFA chapters will compete in career development events and leadership contests, and receive special recognition for their achievements, as well as participate in leadership presentations and workshops.

To learn more about Idaho FFA, please visit: www.idahoffa.org www.idffafoundation.org

FFA MOTTO Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.

Agricultural education prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems. Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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Butler named President of Society for Range Management Boise--After a lifetime of work on the range, long time range manager Wally Butler found a home on the range.

years in the Kendrick area before working his way back into the range consulting business. 

Butler took over the reins of the Society for Range Management in February for a one-year term.

At the Farm Bureau he’s a salaried lobbyist and works closely with Farm Bureau members who as a perk of membership get his expertise year round. He says his SRM appointment dovetails with the Farm Bureau.

“It’s an international organization with membership of at least a hundred different countries,” said Butler.  The Society for Range Management is headquartered Denver. Butler says it’s an organization of range managers. “It’s a very broad-scoped organization, that’s everyone from professors to research people to ranchers and range consultants like myself.” Butler has served as the Idaho Farm Bureau range and livestock specialist for the past 15 years. The University of Idaho graduate has a bachelor of science, animal science and a master’s degree in range management. He joined the Society while still a student at the U of I.

“I think it’s a valuable thing to members,” said Butler. “And it’s a good deal because every year we do an officer team fly back to Washington. We get face to face meetings with agency heads, range staffers for the various agencies. We meet with the NRCS, the BLM and Forest Service, and we’re on a first name basis with those folks because they’re also members of the Society.”

“It’s was an organization that caught my eye back in Moscow. They were the only organization doing viable scientific research at the time. I knew I had to belong back then and still do,” Butler said.

As the new President of the SRM the pace is fast and furious. On the first day on the job he handled a touchy position letter on the Wild Horse issue. “As one of the sister societies, we have a huge concern about how wild horses are handled on the Western range, that’s the kind of issues we deal with every day. It’s the same issues we wrestle with at the Farm Bureau,” said Butler.

During Butler’s long career he ranched for more than 15

Butler adds that that the SRM publishes most of the scien-

28

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

Longtime Idaho Farm Bureau employee Wally Butler was recently named president of the Society for Range Management, an international organization based in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Steve Ritter

tific information often used in court cases. Published journals serve as the range manager’s bible and guide worldwide. “Rangeland Ecology and Management is the premier range management journal, it is peer reviewed and we also

publish the magazine Rangelands, which is also peer reviewed. It’s more than the science, it’s the used on the ground, its range management science,” said Butler. Butler says US Rangelands See BUTLER, page 33


Snowpack levels are off slightly this year with some areas as much as 25 percent below normal.

Photo by Steve Ritter

Dry winter months to affect summer Water Supply By Jake Putnam Pocatello - A March 22nd blizzard covered Pocatello and Southeast Idaho in snow.  A series of storms combined with below normal temps have camouflaged a nagging fact in Idaho: snowpack levels are below normal. In some areas snowpack levels are up to 25-percent below normal. The Natural Resources Conservation Service says that two months of below normal precipitation across most of Idaho will affect water supply in the late summer months according to the latest agency report.   “The snowpack is lagging from below normal precipitation in January and February. March had storms and freezing temps and that slowed the melt off, but won’t greatly affect streamflow forecasts,” said Ron Abramovich, Idaho NRCS Water Supply Specialist. 

Right now, the majority of streams across Idaho are forecast in the 70-90 percent of average range. After the dry summer of 2012, carryover water was used at the tail end of the season and below normal reservoir levels has water managers concerned this year. “We’ve learned from the past that when we get two dry winter months in a row, that’s when negative, impacts on the water supply start to occur,” Abramovich said. At Heise north of Idaho Falls, they’re seeing snowpacks just 77-percent of normal. That’s a critical part of the Snake River drainage. Water managers there say snowpack numbers have reached the ‘anxiety point and say they’re going to have to have a record spring to catch up. The latest reports from the Federal Government concur. The USDA-NRCS National Water and Climate Center’s seasonal

water supply projections indicate worsening drought conditions across the western half of the U.S. and list Idaho in the ‘hardest hit’ category.   Meanwhile, snowmelt forecasts over the West have decreased by 15 percent to 30 percent since February. “Except for small areas in the Bighorn Mountains and Colorado’s Front Range, February precipitation was less than 50% of average,” according to their monthly press release. NRCS Natural Resources Specialist Dana Larsen says farmers and ranchers need drought management plans in place and to prepare for another year of drought even if they’re in areas that aren’t likely to be affected. “We want farmers and ranchers prepared at all times. Drought planning shouldn’t See SNOWPACK, page 32

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

29


Chris Black is a rancher in Owyhee County and a believer in holistic range management principles.

Chris Black - Ranching for the 21st Century By Steve Stuebner Bruneau Rancher Chris Black’s family has been ranching in Owyhee County for more than a century. When Chris took control of the family ranch, he decided to try some new management techniques to improve environmental stewardship and bring their operation into the 21st Century. “I wanted to do things better. I wanted to manage better, and I wanted to be able to prove that things were working,” said Black. “And it seemed like Holistic Management was a tool that would achieve all of those ends.” Holistic Management is a concept created by Allan Savory, a wildlife biologist from Africa who promotes the proper use of livestock grazing as a tool to increase biodiversity and ecosystem health. In the mid-1990s, Black attended some Holistic Management workshops, and he’s been using Holistic Management in the Owyhee Plateau for over 15 years. 30

“What it means is that you take the whole ecosystem as a whole and you manage for everything,” Black says. “Instead of just managing for cows, or just for wildlife, you’re managing for the whole. You’re managing for the whole ecosystem’s good.” Chris grazes 1,000 to 1,500 head of Angus and Beef Master Cattle on 30,000 acres of BLM land in the Owyhee Plateau. The main area he grazes is called Dickshooter Ridge, a whale-like mountain that straddles the deep canyons of Battle Creek and Deep Creek in what is now the Owyhee River Wilderness. Chris uses active management techniques such as herding by horseback with assistance from his herding dogs -- and where it is feasible, by motorbike -- to graze areas with intensity at the right time, and then move the animals to new pastures. He has segregated Dickshooter Ridge into 25 different paddocks - individual pasture units - where the cattle are allowed to graze for

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

short periods of time - only five to 12 days apiece. There are no fences in the area, so to manage the cattle herds correctly, Black has to herd the animals on a daily basis to ensure they are grazing in the right areas. He also has developed water sources for the animals, so there is water for the cattle to drink in each of the paddocks. His son, Justin, who is attending the University of Idaho, works the cattle in the summer with his dad. “Water is key to everything in the West,” he notes. “The term paddock comes from how far you can graze animals from a water source.” Dickshooter Ridge is chock full of wildlife, too. “This is considered one of the premier areas for sage-grouse, elk, bighorn sheep, antelope and deer,” he says. Because of Black’s management techSee CHRIS BLACK, page 32


SUICIDE PREVENTION

Continued from page 8

Suicide is a complex issue By Carol Ryan Dumas – Capital Press Suicide is almost always caused by several causes, including depression and other psychiatric illnesses that are treatable if people will seek help. But all too often, and especially in rural communities, people don’t even talk about it, much less get help, said Kim Kane, a suicide prevention trainer and former executive director of the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho (SPAN Idaho). However, there are steps friends or family members can take to help someone who might be suffering and contemplating suicide, she said. One of the most important things a family member or friend can do is to directly ask the person they’re worried about if he is thinking about suicide or killing himself. She cautions people not to ask an indirect question, such as “You’re not suicidal, are you?” or “You’re not thinking of doing something crazy, are you?” Those only serve to deny the person’s pain, humiliate the person and give the impression that you don’t want to recognize the possibility, she said. Despite the myth that asking a person would plant the seed to commit the act, the opposite is true, she said. Showing that person that you care and stand ready to help can give them hope, a sense of belonging and the support they need to seek help, she said. The person in crisis is often relieved that someone recognizes their misery, and making that connection opens a channel of communication, she said. People thinking about suicide feel hopeless, disconnected, feel like they don’t

belong anymore, see themselves as a burden, and think those around them would be better off without them, she said.

crisis. People can also find resources for mental health and other needs by calling 211.

Not all of those people will complete suicide. Psychologist Thomas Joiner has found three components that must be present for a person to complete suicide. They perceive themselves as a burden, they have no sense of belonging and they must have the ability to harm themselves, she said.

Some warning signs of suicide

Humans’ most basic instinct is survival, and that plays a key role in understanding suicide. Someone who has gotten used to physical pain, either by experiencing it or witnessing it, could have acquired an ability for self harm. That’s why doctors, prostitutes, police officers, military personnel and people who have already attempted suicide are at higher risk for suicide, she said. While suicide is never done on a whim and there’s always a plan -- days, months or years in advance -- most suicidal people are surprisingly ambivalent about it, up to the last second. That innate will to live gives others more time to intervene and help, she said.

* Talking about wanting to die. * Looking for a way to kill oneself. * Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose. * Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain. * Talking about being a burden. * Increased use of alcohol or drugs. * Acting anxious, agitated or reckless. * Sleeping too little or too much. * Withdrawing or feeling isolated. * Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge. * Displaying extreme mood swings. * The more signs a person shows, the greater the risk What to do * Do not leave the person alone.

That’s one reason restricting access to lethal means makes a difference, she said.

* Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects.

Those seconds in which the plan is foiled can allow a person to change his mind or allow others time to intervene, said Judy Gabert, a resource specialist with SPAN Idaho.

* Call the Suicide Prevention Hotline 800 273-TALK (8255)

Gabert pointed out that the suicide prevention hotline - 800-273-TALK (8255) has kept many people from dying from suicide, but it is not just for people contemplating suicide. It is also a resource for people wanting to help someone else in

Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional Source: Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

31


SNOWPACK

Continued from page 29

start in crisis. It should start with a plan and long-term grazing management,” said Larsen. Snowtel data reveals that high elevation snowpack in central Idaho is adequate and carrying near normal snowpack average. The low elevation snowpack lacks volume and will melt out quickly as seasonal temperatures increase.  “Knowing what elevation your water supply comes from will help Idaho farmers prepare for the season’s water supply,” Abramovich said. “Of course lower elevations melt out sooner and runoff will be low and that means a decreased water supply.” Abramovich pointed out this year NRCS

switched to a new time period to calculate normal snowpacks. Percentages may seem higher than last year because the new normals for the 1981-2010 period are lower than the 1971-2000 period. The new normals allow comparison to the most recent climatic norms. Comparing the actual water content of the snowpack or the snow water equivalent; provides a true measure between years.   The complete March 2013 Water Supply Outlook Report is available online at  www.id.nrcs.usda.gov/snow  and click on the “March 2013 Water Supply Outlook Report”  link. The report includes snowpack, precipitation, runoff, and water supply information for specific basins.

Climate Prediction Center projections for the remainder of winter indicate drier than normal weather over most of the West, which means worsening drought conditions if current weather patterns continue. “With only one month remaining in the snow season, it’s highly unlikely the snowpack will recover to normal levels over the Four Corner States,” USDA-NRCS hydrologist Tom Perkins said.  NRCS conducts snow surveys at the end of each month from December through May to make snow runoff predictions and water supply forecasts used in managing Idaho’s water resources.  

CHRIS BLACK

Continued from page 30

niques, sage-grouse are doing fine on his private lands and the BLM allotments, too, he says. “Fish and Game says we have a strong sage-grouse population, and it’s been holding steady.” Black has done his homework about Holistic Management. He has set goals for rangeland health as well as cattle weight gain, and he keeps tabs on wildlife objectives with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He strives for a rich mixture of plant diversity in riparian areas as well as on the open range, and he understands how well-shaded, healthy riparian areas store water to provide season-long flows for fish, wildlife and cattle. “The intent is to manage for everything -for recreation, wildlife and the health of the land most especially because that’s what keeps everything together.” Black documents range health with photography plots throughout the public and private lands where he grazes his cattle. “I wanted to learn how to do monitoring because I wanted to see if my management 32

was working, and I know that I’ve got to be able to prove to the BLM that my management is working.” With intensive grazing at the right time, Black has watched the rangelands become invigorated with luxuriant plant growth, while biodiversity has increased. Black is a believer in Savory’s credo that intensive grazing, hoof action and manure (fertilizer) all serve to invigorate the plants and enhance biodiversity. “It’s really just basic biology,” he says. “But timing is everything.” During a tour of the Pole Creek area off of Mud Flat Road, Black showed how his grazing management has allowed Pole Creek to recover into a thriving ecosystem. In the early 1990s, Pole Creek was grazed year-round, and it had turned into a gravel bed with deeply incised banks and not much vegetation. He changed the timing to grazing the area in the spring when the cattle are being herded toward Dickshooter Ridge, and then it is rested all summer to allow the plants to grow back, and then he grazes it again in the fall on the way

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

home. “As long as you’re in there for a short time, graze that plant off and get out and provide the recovery period it needs, then the plants will be invigorated and come to their full biological potential,” he says. “This is kind of a perfect riparian scenario,” Black says as he shows the diversity of plant life growing next to Pole Creek. “You have a pool of water and overhanging banks with sedges ... it makes for good habitat for fish and other animals. You’ve got diversity in the age group of willows, and seeing a dynamic system of different species .... Diversity.” Black’s management techniques have paid off in solid weight gains for his cattle, which means higher income, and he received a national stewardship award from the BLM in 2008. “It’s a great honor for me ... they’re recognizing some of the things that I’ve done on the land. Great honor for me,” Black said. “I want to be my best at what I do, and this, to me, is being my best.”


BUTLER

Continued from page 28 are in great shape - the best in more than 100 years. “For instance, the last issue of Rangelands Magazine says cattle and elk grazing can be complementary on the range. It’s a published article that was done out of Utah and we find articles like these all the time,” said Butler. Butler says he’s concerned with antigrazing groups because they will often cite studies that are not peer-reviewed. “The thing that happens with nay-sayers is that there’s junk science out there too,” said Butler. “There are places that publish non peer-review studies because they’re like-minded people and publish articles that are not scientifically correct. They’ll even cite good scientists but take things out of context.”

Butler says the Societies research is trusted. “It’s is made up of people from across the political spectrum and their goal is scientific truth and that trumps politics.” Butler adds that political groups using junk science are eventually exposed. “We keep a close eye on the stuff that these groups do,” he said. “I personally know some of the scientists they cite and I know the work that they have done and I have gone back and looked at where they get that information. More often than not, I find that it’s taken out of context. The sad thing is that judges and staff do not have time to validate bogus studies; so it makes it into court and used against us. Unfortunately, we see that happening often.” Butler says he’ll have a busy year ahead

juggling Farm Bureau range duties, and the SRM. “My chair is just for a year,” he says. “That’s how the system is set up, so my main function changes from range management stuff to the things like the wild horse issue and other rangeland issues. I’ll be managing a budget, we just moved into a new office building in Denver, so it’s all the administrative and less glamorous type of things, but its stuff that needs to be done.” said Butler. For Butler the SRM appointment is the highlight of a range management career that spans four decades. “He says he’ll be busy in 2013 but able to keep an even closer eye on issues important to Idaho farmers and ranchers.  

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

33


Crapo seeks constituents’ horror stories about agency

In advance of Gina McCarthy’s confirmation hearing for the U.S. EPA administrator post, a key Senate Republican is crowdsourcing stories of the impact of agency regulations. Sen. Mike Crapo has set up a new email address for citizens in his home state of Idaho to submit their real-life stories of their interaction with EPA rules. Crapo, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee that will consider McCarthy’s nomination, said in a statement that the input “would be timely and will illustrate to the nominee, and my colleagues, the impacts these regulations are having on economic growth and job creation.” Crapo said he already gets plenty of input from Idaho farmers and ranchers about the agency, and this effort will allow him to compile the real-life impacts of EPA’s work. “One incident is too many and

Annual Summary for Pesticide Data

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has posted data from the 2011 Pesticide Data Program Annual Summary. This information, along with 34

with a new administrator comes a new opportunity to improve how the federal agency serves the public,” Crapo said. “Many EPA requirements needlessly drive up costs that affect the bottom line for business and industry. Additional and unnecessary burdens being placed on small businesses hurts Idaho’s economy and the ability to compete in the marketplace.” A hearing date for McCarthy’s nomination has not yet been set. Crapo is accepting stories at EPA_Stories@Crapo.senate.gov and also on Twitter with the hashtag #IdahoEPA.

Idaho Trout Sales Increased in 2012

Idaho value of sales for trout 12 inches and longer during 2012 totaled $42.8 million, up 14 percent from the $37.6 million in 2011, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The number of trout 12 inches and longer sold was 30.9 million, up 12 percent from the 27.6 million sold in 2011. Total

an explanatory guide for consumers, can be found at www. ams.usda.gov/pdp. The 2011 PDP report confirms that overall pesticide chemical residues found on the foods tested are at levels below the tolerances

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

pounds sold in 2012 were 36.6 million pounds, compared to 33.0 million pounds in 2011. Average price per pound for trout 12 inches and longer was $1.17, up from $1.14 in 2011.

Red Meat Production Up 8 Percent

Commercial red meat production at Idaho packing plants for February 2013 totaled 3.7 million pounds, up 8 percent from February of last year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Accumulated red meat production for the January-February 2013 period totaled 7.9 million pounds, up 15 percent from the comparable period a year earlier. Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 3.67 billion pounds in February, down 6 percent from the 3.91 billion pounds produced in February 2012. Beef production, at 1.87 billion pounds, was 7 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.36 million head, down 8 percent from February 2012. The

established by EPA and do not pose a safety concern

Animal ID Rules Now in Effect

USDA’s final rule to implement

average live weight was up 13 pounds from the previous year, at 1,320 pounds. Veal production totaled 9.0 million pounds, 9 percent below February a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 59,600 head, down 1 percent from February 2012. The average live weight was down 18 pounds from last year, at 258 pounds. Pork production totaled 1.78 billion pounds, down 6 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 8.59 million head, down 5 percent from February 2012. The average live weight was down 1 pound from the previous year, at 277 pounds. Lamb and mutton production, at 11.5 million pounds, was down 7 percent from February 2012. Sheep slaughter totaled 161,700 head, 2 percent below last year. The average live weight was 142 pounds, down 7 pounds from February a year ago. January to February 2013 commercial red meat production was 8.0 billion pounds, down slightly from 2012. Accumulated beef production was up slightly from last year, veal was down 4 percent, pork was down 1 percent from last year,

a national Animal Disease Traceability system goes into effect today. The rule applies only to animals moved in interstate commerce, is administered by states and tribal nations, and uses the most cost-


effective technology. USDA hopes to work with states to get the program up and running quickly, but enforcement will likely not begin for another six to 12 months.

Grants for Energyefficiency Improvements Available

The Agriculture Department has released a funding source for farmers and rural small businesses that focuses on farms conserving and producing renewable energy through the Rural Energy for America Program. Through the program, grants and low-interest loans are available to farms and rural small businesses for the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems and for making energy-efficiency improvements. The competitive grants can be up to 25 percent of total eligible project costs. Grants range from $1,500 for energy-efficiency improvements on up to $500,000 for renewable energy systems.

New ‘Farm Bureau Advantage!’ Website Launched

The new “Farm Bureau Advantage!” website outlines how Farm Bureau has teamed up with leading businesses to provide Farm Bureau members with substantial benefits on automobile purchases, car rentals, farm and business supplies, health care, hotels, mobile/cellular, online/Internet services and more. “FB Member Advantage!”

increases the economic value of membership in Farm Bureau by teaming with leading companies to offer special incentives that demonstrate their strong support for agriculture and rural America. Member benefits offered to Farm Bureau members are determined by the state Farm Bureau of membership. Farm Bureau Advantage! website

USDA Announces Tougher Measures for SNAP

Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon recently announced tough new measures as a part of USDA’s ongoing effort to ensure integrity in the nation’s nutrition safety net, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The announcement codifies an expanded legal definition of “trafficking” that incorporates not only the direct exchange of SNAP benefits for cash but other indirect methods of obtaining cash for SNAP benefits. The expanded definition now includes so-called “water dumping,” or the purchase of beverages in containers with returnable deposits for the sole purpose of discarding the contents and returning the containers to obtain cash refund deposits; and the sale or purchase of products originally purchased with SNAP benefits for purposes of exchanging those products for cash or other items.

Antibiotics Remain Important

The American Farm Bureau Federation and other members of the Coalition for Ani-

mal Health recently hosted an educational briefing for congressional staff on meat production, public health and the importance of antibiotics. The briefing focused on helping legislators understand how and why farmers and ranchers use antibiotics. Farmers and veterinarians are working together to manage potential hazards, with the goal of producing a safe and wholesome food supply, protecting public health and preserving antibiotics for use by future generations.

modities for pesticide residues. Each year, USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency jointly determine which commodities to test. In 2011, USDA collected 743 whole milk samples in 10 of the largest states, mostly at the retail level. Overall, only five of the milk samples showed any presence of pesticide residue and all were lower than EPA-established tolerances for those compounds.

EPA Announces Final Rule on Renewable Fuels

The Environmental Protection

New Maps Identifying Agency has finalized its renewMajor Crop-Producing able fuels rule, allowing new processes and feedstock prodAreas

A total of 40 new maps have been released by the Agriculture Department showing major crop-producing areas in the United States and abroad. The new maps, listed by country and commodity, illustrate cropping patterns in the U.S., China, India, Pakistan and South Africa. USDA blog http://blogs. usda.gov/2013/03/07/

USDA Pesticide Survey Finds No Problems in Milk

The most recent national government survey looking for pesticide residues in foods found virtually no positive levels in milk, and none that exceeded government tolerance levels, according to the National Milk Producers Federation. USDA conducts an annual Pesticide Data Program survey  to test various food com-

ucts for biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuels and cellulosic biofuels. EPA evaluates lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions to determine if a new fuel meets legal requirements for producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the gasoline or diesel fuel it replaces. The new qualified “pathways” remain unchanged from EPA’s proposed rule. The agency has also clarified its definition of renewable diesel to explicitly include jet fuel. A four-page fact sheet released by EPA outlines the changes in the final rule. Farm Bureau paid closest attention to the newest fuel “pathways” outlined by EPA. Those include camelina oil and energy cane cellulosic biomass (new feedstocks) and renewable gasoline and renewable gasoline blendstocks, which are new fuel types.

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

35


Farm Bureau Members Pay Less For Choice Hotels!

FARM BUREAU COMMODITY REPORT GRAIN PRICES

Portland:

White Wheat 11% Winter 14% Spring Corn

Ogden:

White Wheat 11% Winter 14% Spring Barley

A $40 room will be closer to

Pocatello:

White Wheat 11% Winter 14% Spring Barley

$32 A $60 room will be closer to

White Wheat 11% Winter 14% Spring Barley

Nampa:

White Wheat (cwt) (Bushel)

$48 A $90 room will be closer to

Lewiston:

White Wheat Barley

Under 500 lbs 500-700 lbs 700-900 lbs Over 900 lbs

1.800.258.2847

Farm Bureau Discount Code advanced reservations required

3/25/2013

Trend

8.64 8.64-8.91 9.26 290.50-293

8.47 8.89-8.95 9.50 308-308.75

- .17 + .25 to + .04 + .24 + 17.50 to + 15.75

8.40 8.03 8.60 12.00

8.30 8.15 8.29 12.10

- .10 + .12 - .31 + .10

8.00 7.52 7.81 12.08

7.85 7.73 7.92 11.67

- .15 + .21 + .11 - .41

7.90 7.50 7.90 12.25

8.00 7.37 7.80 12.25

+ .10 - .13 - .10 Steady

13.08 7.85

13.00 7.80

- .08 - .05

8.48 231.50

8.17 221.50

- .31 - 10.00

2/19/2013

3/25/2013

LIVESTOCK PRICES Feeder Steers

$72 00209550

Burley:

2/19/2013

Feeder Heifers Under 500 lbs 500-700 lbs 700-900 lbs Over 900 lbs

Holstein Steers Under 700 lbs Over 700 lbs

Cows

Utility/Commercial Canner & Cutter

Stock Cows Bulls

Slaughter

BEAN PRICES: Pinto Pink Small Red

Trend

142-207 120-175 115-142 92-131

134-182 118-165 109-132 110-116

- 8 to - 25 - 2 to - 10 - 6 to - 10 + 8 to - 15

128-172 116-153 107-134 100-120

126-154 112-141 106-126 90-114

-

75-110 55-103

73-104 74-96

- 2 to - 6 + 19 to - 7

59-79 53-70

62-80 55-70

+ 3 to + 1 + 2 to steady

750-1425

775-1500

+ 25 to + 75

60-95

70-100

+ 10 to + 5

33.00-35.00 40.00-42.00 40.00-42.00

33.00-35.00 40.00 40.00

Steady Steady to + 2.00 Steady to + 2.00

Compiled by the Idaho Farm Bureau Commodity Division 36

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

2 to - 18 4 to - 12 1 to - 8 10 to - 6


Rob, The Table below is the same information as above, you can use th

IDaho Hay Report Fri Mar 22, 2013 USDA Market News Tons: 8200 Last Week: 760 Last Year: 825 Compared to last week, Domestic Alfalfa for new crop steady in a light test.Trade turned active on new crop contracts with moderate demand. Retail/feed store/horse not tested this week. Buyer demand good with light to moderate supplies. All prices are dollars per ton and FOB unless otherwise stated.

IDAHO HAY – 3/22/13 Tons: 8,200 All prices are dollars per ton and FOB unless otherwise stated. Quality Tons Price Range Avg. Price Alfalfa Large Square Utility - Weedy 500 168.00 168.00 Alfalfa Standing Good/Prem – 3,200 175.00-180.00 176.09 New Crop Alfalfa/Grass Mix Large Square Fair/Good 500 185.00 185.00 Oat Standing Good – New 3,500 150.00 150.00 Crop Barley Straw Large Square Utility 500 38.00 38.00 http://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/ML_GR312.txt USDA Market News, Moses Lake, WA 509-393-1343 or 707-3150

POTATOES FOR PROCESSING March 26, 2013 IDAHO---Open-market trading by processors with growers was inactive. UPPER VALLEY, TWIN FALLS-BURLEY DISTRICT, IDAHO---Shipments 813779-778 (includes export of 3-8-7)---Movement expected to remain about the

5 Year Grain Comparison

Grain Prices.................3/23/2009.....................3/23/2010.....................3/23/2011.................... 3/20/2012....................3/25/2013 Portland: White Wheat..................... 5.55 ..............................4.72 ..............................7.10 ...........................7.00 .............................8.47 11% Winter...................6.24-6.34 ..................4.95-5.05...................... 8.20-8.30 ....................7.39-7.41......................8.89-8.95 14% Spring........................ 7.99 ..............................6.83...............................11.22 ...........................9.42 ...........................9.50 Corn...............................174-177.00 ................. 166.75-168........................276.00...........................276.50...................... 308-308.75 Ogden: White Wheat.....................4.64 ............................. 4.14 .............................7.00 ............................6.30............................. 8.30 11% Winter....................... 5.37...............................3.90 ..............................7.10 ............................6.25 ........................... 8.15 14 % Spring......................6.84 .............................5.66 ..............................9.84 ............................7.94 ........................... 8.29 Barley................................. 6.49 .............................. 6.12 ............................10.20.............................10.55.............................12.10 Pocatello: White Wheat..................... 4.55 ............................. 4.15 .............................7.20 ............................6.15............................. 11% Winter....................... 4.93 ..............................3.77 ..............................6.54 ............................6.07 .......................... 14% Spring........................ 6.77 .............................5.59 ..............................9.81 ............................7.86 ........................... Barley................................. 5.58 ............................5.94 ...........................9.90 ..........................9.38 ..........................

7.85 7.73 7.92 11.67

same. Trading active. Prices generally unchanged. Russet Burbank U.S. One baled 5 10-pound film bags non size A 3.50-4.00, 50-pound cartons 40-60s 4.50-5.00, 70s 5.00-5.50, 80-100s 6.00-6.50. Russet Norkotah U.S. One baled 5 10-pound film bags non size A mostly 3.50-4.00, 50-pound cartons 40-70s mostly 4.00, 80-100s mostly 5.00. Shipments for the weekending March 23, 2013 were generally Russets with 55 percent Burbanks and 34 percent Norkotahs.

Burley: White Wheat......................4.17 ..............................3.95 ..............................6.70 ............................6.10............................ 11% Winter........................5.16 ..............................3.80 ..............................6.90 ............................6.08 .......................... 14% Spring........................ 6.56 .............................5.45 .............................9.74 ............................7.82 ........................... Barley.................................6.00...............................5.50 .............................10.25 ...........................9.50 ..........................

8.00 7.37 7.80 12.25

Nampa: White Wheat (cwt).......... 7.38 ..............................6.50 .............................10.17..............................9.87 ........................... 13.00 (bushel)........... 4.43 ..............................3.90 ..............................6.10 ............................5.92.............................. 7.80 Lewiston: White Wheat..................... 5.30 .............................4.20 ..............................6.80 ............................6.70...............................8.17 Barley...............................106.50........................... 111.50 .......................211.50...........................196.50.......................... 221.50 Bean Prices: Pintos..................................N/A..........................30.00-31.00.................. 28.00-30.00.......................50.00.......................33.00-35.00 Pinks............................37.00-39.00...................30.00-31.00 ........... 29.00-30.00.................45.00-46.00 ............... 40.00 Small Reds...................38.00-40.00...................30.00-31.00..........................N/A .45.00-46.00 ....................40.00 ***

IDAHO Milk production DOWN 4.2% March 18, 2013 Idaho milk production during February 2013 totaled 1.00 billion pounds, a 4.2 percent decrease from the same month last year, and a 9.0 percent decrease from January 2013, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. However, production was down only 0.8 percent after adjusting for the leap year. January 2013 milk production was revised to 1.11 billion pounds, up 4 million pounds from the preliminary. Average milk production per cow for February 2013 was 1,730 pounds, down 70 pounds from last year’s level. The average number of milk cows during February was 579,000 head, down 2,000 head from February 2012. Milk production in the 23 major States during February totaled 14.6 billion pounds, down 3.4 percent from February 2012. However, production was 0.1 percent above

last year after adjusting for the leap year. January revised production at 15.9 billion pounds, was up 0.6 percent from January 2012. The January revision represented an increase of 6 million pounds or less than 0.1 percent from last month’s preliminary production estimate. Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 1,722 pounds for February, 58 pounds below February 2012. The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.50 million head, 13,000 head less than February 2012, but 2,000 head more than January 2013. Special Note: Due to sequestration, all releases of this report have been suspended through the end of the federal fiscal year on September 30, 2013. Please check the NASS website at www.nass.usda.gov for any future updates on NASS programs.

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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5 Year livestock comparison ......................................3/23/2009.....................3/22/2010.....................3/22/2011.................... 3/20/2012....................3/25/2013 Under 500 lbs.................90-129 ......................110-140..........................132-175 ................... 170-220 ...................134-182 500-700 lbs..................... 85-119 ........................95-137 .........................121-170.........................137-193........................ 118-165 700-900 lbs......................77-98 ........................87-110 ..........................93-135 .....................121-154........................ 109-132 Over 900 lbs....................77-93 ...........................84-95 ..........................95-125..........................116-141.........................110-116 Feeder Heifers Under 500 lbs................. 88-116 .........................97-132...........................116-160 ....................142-200........................126-154 500-700 lbs.....................79-107 .........................90-119 .........................115-145 ......................135-179.........................112-141 700-900 lbs......................74-90 ..........................84-104...........................95-132..........................115-149........................106-126 Over 900 lbs....................76-78 ...........................78-89 ........................93-107..........................103-120......................... 90-114 Holstein Steers Under 700 lbs..................42-65 ...........................65-86 ..........................65-117...........................75-128..........................73-104 Over 700 lbs....................52-65 ...........................55-79 ............................65-94 ..........................75-114...........................74-96 Cows Utility/Commercial...........32-55.............................43-65.............................57-80........................... 65-82............................62-80 Canner & Cutter..............31-48.............................33-57.............................40-75............................ 58-73............................55-70 Stock Cows.....................680-1000.......................650-1125.......................675-1500..................... 950-1550......................775-1500 Bulls – Slaughter............42-68.............................49-80.............................65-97............................ 70-98 ........................70-100

Idaho Cattle on Feed Down 2 Percent from Previous Year

March 22, 2013 Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Idaho from feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head on March 1, 2013 totaled 225,000 head, down 2 percent from the previous year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The cattle on feed inventory is unchanged from February 1, 2013. Placements of cattle in feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during February totaled 36,000 head, down 1,000 head from February 2012 placements. Marketings of cattle from feedlots with 1,000 head or more during February totaled 35,000 head, down 6,000 head from last year. Other disappearance totaled 1,000 head during February. Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.9 million head on March 1, 2013. The inventory was 7 percent below March 1, 2012. Placements in feedlots during February totaled 1.48 million, 14 percent below 2012. Net placements were 1.42 million head. During February, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 355,000, 600-699 pounds were 270,000, 700-799 pounds were 407,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 450,000. Placements are the lowest for February since the series began in 1996. Marketings of fed cattle during February totaled 1.64 million, 7 percent below 2012. Other disappearance totaled 60,000 during February, 35 percent below 2012.

Cattle Outlook March 22, 2013 USDA’s March cattle on feed report said there were 7.0% fewer cattle in large feedlots than on March 1, 2012. The average of pre-release trade predictions was that the on feed number would be down 6.5%. More on this in next week’s report. The average price of choice beef at retail during February was $5.222 per pound. That was down 2.2 cents from January, but 17.7 cents higher than in February 2012. The February choice beef price was the highest for any month other than January 2013. The average price for all fresh beef was a record $4.915 per pound during February, up 0.3 cents from the previous record set in January. It appears that Congress is about to pass a spending bill for the rest of this fiscal year which will avoid the need to furlough meat inspectors. The 5 area average price for fed cattle was $125.10/cwt in February.That was up 40 cents from January, but down 60 cents from February 2012. The record is $126.80/ cwt set in March 2012. As often happens at this time of the year, the price spread between choice and select beef is quite small. Today the select carcass cutout value is higher than the choice cutout for the first time since April 12, 2012. Both choice and select beef cutout values declined this week. On Friday morning, the choice boxed beef carcass cutout value was $192.17/cwt, down $3.75 from last Friday. The select carcass cutout was $193.04/cwt, down $1.16 for the week.

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Idaho Farm Bureau producer / April 2013

Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $124.77/cwt, down $1.74 from the prior week and down $1.82 from a year ago. On a dressed weight basis, steers averaged $197.71/cwt this week, down $5.14 from the week before and down $5.43 from a year ago. This week’s cattle slaughter totaled 601,000 head, down 0.8% from the week before and down 0.3% from the same week last year. The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on March 9 was 860 pounds, up 2 pounds from the week before and up 12 pounds from a year ago. This was the 61st consecutive week with steer weights above the year-earlier level. Year-to-date cattle slaughter is down 3.4% and beef production is down 2.6%. Feeder cattle prices at this week’s Oklahoma City auction were generally $1 to $6 lower from the previous week. The price ranges for medium and large frame #1 steers were: 400-450# $177-$182, 450-500# $169-$177, 500-550# $164-$183.50, 550-600# $157.50-$170, 600-650# $140.50-$165, 650-700# $139-$146.50, 700750# $135-$143.10, 750-800# $130.75-$142.75, 800-900# $124-$132.85, and 9001000# $119-$124.75. The April fed cattle futures contract ended the week at $126.20, up 43 cents from the week before. The June contract lost 13 cents this week to settle at $121.17 on Friday. August fed cattle ended the week at $122.85/cwt. March feeder cattle futures ended the week $2.02 lower at $134.65/cwt. Provided by: University of Missouri


DEADLINE DATES: ADS MUST BE RECEIVED BY MAY 20 FOR NEXT ISSUE.

Classifieds

Animals ASCA registered Australian Shepherd pups. Working line since 1968. Full satisfaction guaranteed. All four colors available. Boise, Id 208-484-9802 APHA Broodmares. Excellent bloodlines. Great conformation. Super dispositions. Herd reduction. Great prices. Stallion Service Available-$400 fee. LFG. Caldwell, Id 208454-2454 Free:  2-year-old, spayed, Akbash guardian dog.  Would make a great warehouse or other secured area patrol dog. Indian Valley, ID. Call evenings: 208-256-4426  or email fishertexels@gmail.com 10 year old registered paint palomino gelding, 15-3 hands, well broke, big strong horse ready for work on the ranch or in the mountains for hunting, packing or show - can provide photo - $2400. ph. 208- 4253107 in Grace ID. 4 yr old reg blk Crabbet Arabian, 4 yr old reg Bay Paso Fino with 3 months columbian foundation training, this is a fun, quick, spins on a dime, moves off leg, jumps like a deer, exciting ride. 208-741-2071 Mother’s Day Lamb, 100% Grass Fed Idaho Lamb - Market Lambs, Suffolk and Dorset Crosses, Starting at $100. Nampa, Id. Contact gutierrezfamily@clearwire.net or call 208899-7715

Farm Equipment Grainary 15ft Dia. X 8ft high. Also old wooden box Manure spreader. Works great! Make me an offer on one or both. Pocatello, Id. 208-232-4467 400’ - 5”x50’ Aluminum Ringlock Mainline, Older Potato Sorter on Wheels, Davis Potato Piler 27’ Boom, Lincoln SAE 400 Shield Arc Welder - Gas Engine, Older Spudnik Potato Scooper, Ford Truck Van - 14’ Box Bed Totally Insulated, BEGE 6 Yard Dirt Mover, 13’ Double Bar Tool Bar - Gauge Wheels. St. Anthony, Id. Call for Info and Pricing 208313-0115 or 208-624-7735

Balewagons: New Holland self-propelled or pull-type models/parts. Also interested in buying balewagons. Will consider any model. Call Jim Wilhite at 208-880-2889 anytime Allis Chalmers 6040 tractor, has 3 pt. hitch & hydraulics. $4,500. New Holland 3118 sidekick spreader. $8,000. Both in good working condition. Call 208-852-0731 or 208-220-9527 for more info. John Deere 6300 tractor with canopy & 640 loader, 4 WD, 6,030 hrs. $25,000. Ford TW20 tractor, 4 WD, 130 hp., 8,638 hrs. $12,000. Both in good working condition. Call 208-852-0731 or 208-220-9527 for more info.

Recreational Equipment 2001 Mallard Travel Trailer, 26 feet Fully Equipped. Full bath, tub/shower. Separate bedroom with queen. Roll out awning. Used less than 5,000 miles, professionally maintained annually, and stored inside. Excellent condition. $7299. Priest River, Id. 208-290-5399

Wanted Pasture for about 60 pairs and 3 bulls, could use it all summer or just a few months. Could split the herd up. Call 208254-3388

Paying cash for German & Japanese war relics/souvenirs! Pistols, rifles, swords, daggers, flags, scopes, optical equipment, uniforms, helmets, machine guns (ATF rules apply) medals, flags, etc. 549-3841 (evenings) or 208-405-9338. Old License Plates Wanted: Also key chain license plates, old signs, light fixtures. Will pay cash. Please email, call or write. Gary Peterson, 130 E Pecan, Genesee, Id 83832. gearlep@gmail.com. 208-285-1258 Paying cash for men’s vintage/old clothing from the 1950s and back. Includes denim (jeans, jackets, bibs), leather jackets, boots, suits, shirts, pants, and WW2 U.S. Clothing. Condition can vary! Call 208-241-5366

Miscellaneous Complete package - Nearly new American Trail saddle, brest collar, upgrade cinch. Leather saddle bags, new leather chinks, insulated horn bags. Halter, bridle, saddle pad, saddle stand. $900. Lewiston, Id. 208553-7559 1977 17’ Komfort Travel Trailer, Bumper pull, self-contained AC, 2 Axl; 1966 16’ bumper pull, Single axl; 8’ gun cabinet; Computer desk; Several sets of extension mirrors for Dodge and Chevy pickups. American Falls, Id. 208-226-3105

Real Estate/Acreage Home For Sale: 1866 sq. ft. manufactured home on permanent foundation on 1.6 acres; 3 bedrooms, 2 baths; 24’ x 40’ unattached heated garage; 8’ x 14’ wooden storage shed. Located one mile from American Falls, Idaho. Phone 208-221-5513. Work hard, earn a good living with Clearwater County, Idaho, feed store. $575,000 + inventory for historic building, warehouse, rental properties. 35+ years selling feed, seed, tack, pet supplies. Owner retiring, will finance. Selling home w/acreage. Google Whipple’s Feed, Orofino, 208-476-4412. 23 acres with water rights. 4 bdrm home. Large shop, Outbuilding barn w/pins for horses, livestock. Nice yard trees. Great place for kids, nice climate in Hammett Valley. 45 minutes from Boise. More details. Call 208-599-0505. Idaho Farm Bureau producer / april 2013

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April 2013, Volume 17, Issue 3