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Idaho Enterprise

Legislative Update, Sen. Kelly Anthon, D27

Dear Oneida County Friends and Neighbors,

 Agriculture is the lifeblood of the Idaho economy.  Idaho produces over 185 crops, commodities, and processed foods on over 24,000 farms and ranches – way more food than Idahoans could ever eat ourselves.  Almost 6 million acres of Idaho land are used for crop production, which is just over 11% of the state’s total land area.   Agriculture and food product manufacturing comprise over 9% of Idaho’s gross domestic product.  Our food industry workforce is one of the largest in the country with over three times the national concentration.  In places like Malad, we understand that farming and ranching is not only our heritage, but it is our future.

As a 7th generation Idahoan raised on a family farm in Declo, I feel blessed to have experienced our Idaho agriculture heritage as a young person, raising 4-H lambs, moving irrigation lines, and weeding sugar beets in the summers.   I also feel some concern that as Idaho’s urban areas grow with new residents, often coming from out of state, there is a growing disconnect between our people and a necessary understanding of agriculture’s

 The State of California is an example of incredible agricultural capacity pitted against liberal policies that hamper that potential.  In recent years, liberal politicians have created so much red tape for California farmers and ranchers that many California dairymen have fled to Idaho.  California now prohibits the selling of an egg unless produced by a ‘free range’ chicken.  Veal and pork production is also strictly regulated.  Farmers are increasingly sued for using fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides necessary to safely maximize yields.  In short, Government in California is not friendly to agriculture.

 With fewer and fewer legislators in Idaho than ever coming from rural areas or from backgrounds in agriculture, we need to have our eyes wide open.  I have witnessed more and more Idaho legislators attacking Idaho agriculture and voting against measures to protect our food production.  I want all of you to know that I am committed to standing strong for our farmers and ranchers.  This week I voted to support more flexibility in Idaho law to set long term cattle grazing leases.  I also voted to protect farmers who legally use herbicides and pesticides from frivolous lawsuits.  Finally, I continue efforts to control wolves, forced on Idaho by the federal government, in order to protect Idaho’s sheep and
cattle ranchers.  

 As you see issues that could negatively impact our agriculture, please let me know.  I want to do a good job serving you all in Oneida County.




Kelly Anthon

Senate Majority Leader

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