We all know how important the Endangered Species Act is to cattle and chickens. Thanks to our reader, Icyspots, for bringing this article to our attention. – Debbie
Farmers, ranchers have ‘unprecedented’ meeting with Ag, Interior secretaries
BOISE — Farmers and ranchers described a private meeting with two of President Donald Trump’s cabinet members June 2 as unprecedented and historic.
Instead of addressing the group, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke listened and took notes, according to those who were there.
“They just didn’t have an agenda. They truly wanted to listen to us,” said Aberdeen potato farmer Ritchey Toevs. “It was a pro-producer meeting. It was a completely different experience than I’ve ever had.”
“They didn’t really say much. They let us do the talking,” said Jerome dairyman Mike Roth. “I feel like I witnessed a little bit of history today.”
Idaho Farm Bureau Federation President Bryan Searle, a farmer from Shelley, said he was floored by the nature of the meeting.
“I’m still in shock that they didn’t talk. They just flat-out sat there and listened,” he said.
During the hour-long meeting, the producers were given 5 minutes each to present.
They covered a wide range of topics, from immigration and the importance of labor to aquifer recharge, Food Safety Modernization Act requirements, NAFTA, the U.S. Sheep Experiment station in Dubois, invasive water species, farm bill funding, the Endangered Species Act, Equal Access to Justice Act and grazing and other federal land-management issues.
A lot more could have been covered “but those that spoke hit on many of the issues important to most of the commodities in our state…,” said meeting participant Rick Waitley, executive director of Food Producers of Idaho.
He said ”Perdue was writing like crazy as people talked about their various concerns” and Zinke asked for specific names when it came to certain public lands issues, a development that impressed other meeting participants as well.
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