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

Encroachments on Easements

Eastern Idaho’s climate is arid, with cold winters and hot dry summers. Most snowfall occurs in the surrounding mountains, and then melts in the spring and summer. Pioneers in Eastern Idaho harnessed those waters with canals and ditches that even today carry water to farms and ranches across the Snake River plain. Without irrigation water, farming and ranching in Eastern … Read More

Ag-Gag Law

On February 28, 2014 a new law protecting Idaho farmers and ranchers was signed into law. Idaho Code § 18-7402 now makes it illegal to interfere with agricultural production. Often referred to as the “ag-gag” bill, the law protects Idaho farmers and ranchers and makes it a crime for a person to: • Enter upon a farm or ranch by … Read More

The Nuts and Bolts of the Farm Bill

The first farm bill was passed during the Great Depression in order to give financial assistance to farmers who were struggling due to an excess crop supply, which in turn created low prices. Subsequent versions of the farm bill have stabilized prices for farm products and secured the food supply for Americans. On February 7, 2014 the President signed into … Read More

Immigration and Temporary Workers

Hispanics are vital to the success of Idaho farms and ranches. Hispanics fill many hard-working jobs that other people are unwilling to do. According to government data as many as 1/3 of all Idaho farm workers are Hispanic. Many are U.S. citizens. Others have immigrated to the United States legally, and some have immigrated illegally. The United States has an … Read More

Brand Inspection is Vital

Some cows have them. Some cows don’t. Regardless of whether or not your cows are branded, the law requires brand inspections when cattle are transfered, sold, or slaughtered. The Idaho State Brand Inspector is entrusted with inforcing laws relative to the identificaton and inspection of livestock with an emphasis on reducing the loss of livestock by theft. Idaho Code § … Read More