Attorneys for Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a new law that makes it illegal to secretly film animal abuse at agricultural facilities.
A coalition of animal activists, civil rights groups and others sued last month, asking U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill to strike down what they call an "ag gag" law. The coalition contends the law curtails freedom of speech and makes gathering proof of animal abuse a crime with a harsher punishment than the penalty for animal cruelty itself.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, PETA and other groups are suing the state over a new measure that would prosecute people who secretly film agricultural operations. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed the so-called 'ag-gag' bill into law at the end of February.
The rising popularity of hummus across the nation has been good for farmers like Aaron Flansburg.
Flansburg, who farms 1,900 acres amid the rolling hills of southeastern Washington, has been increasing the amount of the chickpeas used to make hummus by about one-third each year to take advantage of good prices and demand.
"I hope that consumption keeps increasing," he said.
Food processing heavyweight Chobani is urging Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to veto a bill that would make penalties stricter for animal rights activists caught secretly filming Idaho agriculture facilities.
Chobani, which operates a huge Greek yogurt facility in Twin Falls, buys its milk from Idaho dairymen. In a press release, Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya says if passed, the measure would limit transparency.
The value of Idaho’s agriculture products grew from $5.7 billion to $7.8 billion between 2007 and 2012. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA.) It released preliminary results from its Census of Agriculture Thursday. The USDA provides the update every five years and the latest covers 2012.
Home gardeners are often frustrated by Idaho’s dry climate. Finding the plants best suited for your garden is not always easy. Toby Hemenway is an author who teaches and writes about permaculture and sustainable gardens and he’s coming to Boise.
“Rather than try to learn permaculture from a theoretical point of view, or try to understand it all, it’s a lot easier to just get involved in one aspect of it,” Hemenway says.
He says water conservation is an easy, gateway into learning permaculture.