The Promotion of Agritourism

Imagine a crisp autumn evening towards the end of October. Halloween is just around the corner, and your corn maze is packed with people enjoying a classic autumn pastime. Suddenly you hear a scream and a father comes running out of the maze with a child in his arms. The child suffered a broken ankle after tripping on a corn … Read More

Crop Insurance

This is the time of year when farmers in Idaho are planting their crops. Common crops include potatoes, barley, wheat, and alfalfa. Thanks to the federal government, affordable crop insurance is available to farmers and ranchers on most crops. There are two types of crop insurance available to farmers: Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (“Multi-Peril”) and Crop-Hail Insurance. Multi-Peril Insurance must … Read More

The Ol’ Outhouse

You can still find an ol’ outhouse here and there on Idaho farms and ranchs. Today we have the convenience of indoor plumbing. It is no longer necessary to slip on some shoes and run out back to the outhouse like grandma and grandpa used to do. But are outhouses still legal? Can you build an outhouse next to the … Read More

Food Safety Modernization Act Update

Idaho farmers may soon be facing new regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been working with food industry stakeholders to address food safety concerns. On January 4, 2013, the FDA announced two proposed rules under the FSMA, including a proposed rule to establish science-based standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding … Read More

Trespassing pigs

Several years ago we brought home from the Bonneville County Fair a pig that my daughter had won in the greased pig contest. We had never raised a pig before, and this pig wasn’t very big to begin with. However, when we got home with the pig we quickly built a pen out of some cattle panels, gave it some … Read More

Rules for the old burn barrel

Out back of the house near the garden, hidden behind a hill of wildflowers, is my burn barrel. The burn barrel has long since lost its coat of paint, smoked away with the first hot fire. The barrel had a former life as a 55 gallon drum containing some forgotten liquid. It now stands ready to consume whatever I might … Read More

Right to farm

It is a common story in Idaho that has been repeated over and over. Developer buys farm ground outside of City. Developer builds subdivision and sells lots. City folk buy lot and build dream home in subdivision with beautiful views of the neighboring farmer’s property. Not long thereafter the city folk’s home is full of smoke from farmer burning his … Read More

Open range

Last summer I stood on my front porch and looked out onto the county road in front of my home. Standing in the middle of the road was a lone Holstein heifer. I chuckled, happy that for once it was not my cow. I then hollered at my kids and we walked out to the road. There were no cars … Read More

Noxious weeds

June and July are months in which our family dutifully weeds the yard and garden. However, August brings a flurry of family activities. There is the family vacation, the County Fair, the family reunion, the oil change, the flat tire, the raspberries. On top of this school starts soon and there are the backpacks, the shoes, the clothes, the paper, … Read More

Home on the range

Oh, give me a home Where the buffalo roam, Where the deer and the antelope play… Many of our grandparents or great-grandparents came west with the promise of land. They came west to carve a new home out of the land where the deer and the antelope play. They needed land for farming and land for grazing livestock. Today, farmers … Read More