Country of Origin Labeling

Country of Origin Labeling (“COOL”) is a federal law that requires retailers, such as grocery stores and supermarkets, to notify their customers regarding the source of certain foods. Examples of food covered by the law include beef, veal, pork, lamb, goat, chicken and fish. Retailers must also specify production steps of birth, raising and slaughter of some meats. Also included … Read More

Disparaging Agriculture Food Products

Thirteen states, including the State of Idaho, have adopted agricultural food product disparagement laws. Idaho’s disparagement law is designed to protect producers of perishable agricultural food products. A person who defames an Idaho producer of products such as potatoes, onions, beef, or milk can severely damage the producer by claiming that the product is unsafe or unhealthy. For example, Beef … Read More

Water Preferences

The West is a land of limitations. Mountains, deserts, rocks, soils, and the arid climate all place limitations on farmers and ranchers. There are places where you can grow crops, and places that you simply can’t. A significant limitation on farmers and ranchers is imposed by water. Water is required for drinking and for domestic use. Water is required for … Read More

A River Runs Through It (The Farm)

Rivers and streams cross many farms and ranches in Eastern Idaho. These rivers and streams are accessible in many instances by the public, including hunters and fisherman. Idaho law allows a recreational easement to the public to access any river or stream that is “navigable.” This means that any stream which, in its natural state, during normal high water, will … Read More

Gleaning Potatoes

In many parts of Idaho farmers allow people to come into their fields after harvest and glean potatoes from the field. The potatoes are great for eating and are sometimes collected in large numbers and donated to food banks, the elderly, or those in need. Gleaned potatoes are generally fit for human consumption if gleaned before a hard frost. While … Read More

Grazing on Public Lands

Idaho ranchers often rely on grazing on public lands. In Idaho the federal government owns 64% of all land. This includes lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, and lands owned by the Bureau of Land Management. The federal government originally owned all of the land that makes up Idaho. The Oregon Treaty of 1846 settled competing American and British … Read More

The Law of Slow Moving Vehicles

Spring is in the air. The wind is blowing like it always does in Eastern Idaho, and farmers and ranchers are moving tractors and farm equipment up and down the road. It is important that farmers and ranchers follow the law for safe driving of tractors and farm implements on the road. Idaho law restricts slow-moving vehicles like tractors from … Read More

Beef Cattle Environmental Control Act

In order to protect Idaho’s natural resources, including surface waters and ground waters, the Idaho legislature passed a law to ensure that manure and wastewater associated with beef cattle operations are handled safely. That Act is known as the Beef Cattle Environmental Control Act. The Act requires slaughter and feeder cattle or dairy heifer feeding operations to have engineered wastewater … Read More

Careless Exposure of Barbed Wire

The history of barbed wire is the history of the West. Barbed wire, also known as barb wire, made it practical to fence large areas and dramatically reduced the costs of fencing. Barbed wire played an important role in the protection of range rights and allowed ranchers to contain livestock. Most Idaho farmers and ranchers have barbed wire fences on … Read More