Free Trade

Exports of agricultural products are a big part of Idaho’s economy. In the most recent marketing year Idaho exports of potatoes and potato products totaled 1.4 billion dollars. Other exports include things like dairy products, vegetables, and fruits. Idaho also exports a significant amount of alfalfa hay. Agricultural exports are also important nationally. Last year the United States exported $140 … Read More

The Statute of Frauds: Get it in Writing

A man’s word is his bond. Or so the saying goes. However, the law requires that some contracts be made in writing, and signed by the party to be charged, so as to avoid fraud, confusion, and disagreement over the terms of the contract. An agreement covered by the Statute of Frauds that is not in writing is invalid. The … Read More

The Value of Knowing What an Acre of Land Is

The Public Land Survey System is a survey method developed for platting and selling land in the United States. It is grid system that enables land to be identified based upon its location in relation to a starting point. The Boise meridian, located approximately 19 miles from Boise, between the Snake River and the Boise River, governs all land surveys … Read More

The Federal Meat Inspection Act

I have a small pasture in front of my home. It is maybe an acre and a half in size. I irrigate it with sprinklers, and I put two or three cows on it. Late in the Fall I like to take one cow to the butcher, and the rest to the sale. The Federal Meat Inspection Act (“FMIA”) is … Read More

Recharging the East Snake Plain Aquifer

The Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer extends from St. Anthony to Twin Falls and King Hill. It is 170 miles long, and as wide as 60 miles. The aquifer is made of mostly broken basalts. Like a giant sponge, this broken basalt holds water. As deep as 4,000 feet, water flows most easily in the upper few hundred feet. If … Read More

Invasive Species

The 2017 Idaho Legislature has passed a bill authorizing additional funding to the Idaho Department of Agriculture to prevent invasive species from entering the state. Invasive species are harmful, non-native, plants and animals that damage Idaho’s ecosystems and environments. Idaho’s Invasive Species Act of 2008 prohibts any person from importing, transporting, or introducing invasive species into the state without a … Read More

Be Sure to Know Your Rights to Water Your Stock

The water right rule in Idaho, both before and since the adoption of the Idaho Constitution, is that the first in time is the first in right. The constitutional method of appropriation generally requires an actual diversion of water in order to obtain a water right. However, no diversion from a natural watercourse or diversion device is needed to establish … Read More

Overtime Pay and Minimum Wage

On December 8, 2016, two dairy workers in southern Washington state sued their employer for overtime pay. The class action lawsuit is challenging a long-time part of federal labor laws that exempts agricultural employees from overtime pay requirements. This suit is the latest in a line of cases across the country. Agricultural workers are using the courts to break down … Read More

Budgets and Operating Loans

Farmers and ranchers are businessmen. Just like any other business, farmers and ranchers need a budget. A budget forces a farmer to set in writing expectations for expenses and income. A good budget will show the relationship between expenses and anticipated income, and assist in making decisions. For example, if your budget shows that you can’t make your loan payment, … Read More

The Election and Immigration

This November farmers and ranchers will have the opportunity to vote for the next President of the United States. Donald Trump has vowed to build a “big beautiful wall” at the border and to deport millions of illegal immigrants. Hillary Clinton has promised to introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Many farmers and ranchers … Read More