Food Safety’s the Law

  Federal authorities have recommended that the owner of Peanut Corporation of America spend the rest of his life behind bars. The owner, Stewart Parnell, was found guilty of 71 criminal counts after his company distributed salmonella contaminated peanut butter that killed nine people and sickened some 900 others. Parnell is slated to be sentenced in September in federal court. … Read More

The Final Clean Water Rule: Irrigation Ditches

The Enviornmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have published a final rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act. Waters that are covered by the Clean Water Act are subject to regulation by the EPA. So what about the ditchs carrying water on your farm? Are they covered by the … Read More

Are you planning to burn debris? You need a Permit.

As the weather warms up and lawns begin to turn green from the recent rain, many farmers and ranchers will be cleaning up their property for the upcoming summer. This cleanup may include the need to burn some debris. If you grew up in eastern Idaho, or have lived here for a while, you may not think twice about setting … Read More

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