Dairy

Agriculture
5:22 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

New Study Reaffirms The Big Role Dairy Plays In Idaho's Economy

Credit UGA College of Ag / Flickr

Idaho dairy producers are touting a new study that again shows the substantial role the dairy industry plays in the state’s economy. 

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Agriculture
10:18 am
Thu August 28, 2014

USDA Launches New Dairy Insurance Program

Credit CompassioninWorldFarming / Flickr

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says dairy farmers can begin signing up Sept. 2 for a new program that replaces old subsidies.

The program is a kind of insurance that pays farmers when the difference between milk prices and feed prices shrink to a certain level. It replaces a program that paid farmers when milk prices sank too low.

Dairy farmers have struggled in recent years even with good milk prices. Feed costs have risen because of demand for corn from the ethanol industry and recent droughts.

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Agriculture
11:25 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Idaho Ag Group Says It Never Meant To Deny Access To Dairies

Credit MHall209 / Flickr Creative Commons

 This post was updated at 11:20 a.m. Aug. 27, 2014.

The Idaho dairy industry group that sent a letter to its members urging them to deny media tours and on-farm interviews now says it never meant to deny access.

Tuesday, after the Associated Press reported the letter was sent to 500 dairies, a public relations firm followed up with this statement from United Dairymen of Idaho CEO Karianne Fallow:

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Policy
12:04 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Why Idaho May Have Trouble Defending Its 'Ag-Gag' Law

Credit jennie-o / Flickr Creative Commons

On Wednesday a federal judge hears arguments on Idaho’s new “ag gag” law, which creates stiff punishments for people who surreptitiously video or photograph agricultural operations.

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Policy
2:24 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Dairymen Denied Joining Idaho's Ag-Gag Lawsuit

Credit MHall209 / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge has denied a request by the Idaho Dairymen's Association to join Idaho in defending the recently passed law criminalizing surreptitious recording at agriculture facilities.

The Times-News reports that U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill shot down the request Monday. Winmill said in his ruling that the state can represent the dairymen's interests without the group getting involved.

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Agriculture
11:42 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Idaho Milk Processing Company To Pay $170,000 Fine

Credit Michael_McCullough / Flickr Creative Commons

A south-central Idaho milk processing company has agreed to pay a $170,000 fine for dumping wastewater with acidity levels high enough to damage Jerome's wastewater treatment plant.

The Times-News reports that the Environmental Protection Agency announced the agreement with Idaho Milk Products in a statement on Monday.

The agency says the company between March 2009 and July 2012 exceeded its acidity limit 138 times.

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Agriculture
4:11 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

High Milk, Beef Prices Spur A Northwest Cattle Rush

Dean Hibbs, with All West Select Sires, could be called the date doctor for dairy and beef cows. He’s tallying their traits and seeing which bull might be the best match to produce the highest-quality dairy calf.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 11:24 am

We’ve all heard of the Western Gold Rush. But how about the Northwest cattle rush?

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Agriculture
10:20 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Idaho Dairymen's Group Asks To Join In 'Ag-Gag' Lawsuit

Credit Will Merydith / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Dairymen's Association is asking a federal judge to intervene in a lawsuit challenging a new law that makes it illegal to secretly film animal abuse at agricultural facilities.

The industry group filed a motion to become a defendant in the lawsuit late last week.

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Idaho Legislature
12:17 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Idaho Agriculture Industry Happy With 2014 Legislature

Credit UGA College of Ag / Flickr

Idaho's farmers, ranchers and producers say they're happy with the outcome of the 2014 Legislature.

The Capitol Press reports a lot of things went right for the agricultural industry during the 74-day session, where numerous industry-boosting bills found a foothold.

That included the Agriculture Security Act, a dairy-backed bill that punishes those who film agricultural operations, and is designed to protect farmers from spying activists.

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Lawsuit
5:47 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Lawsuits Charge 'Ag-Gag' Laws Violate Free Speech

The group Mercy for Animals released video in 2012 of workers at Bettencourt Dairy in Idaho abusing cows. The incident led Idaho lawmakers to outlaw surreptitious video at farms.
Mercy for Animals

A lawsuit led by the ACLU is challenging Idaho's brand new, so-called “ag-gag” law aimed at stopping undercover animal rights activists from making videos of abuse at farms and slaughter houses.

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Agriculture
10:12 am
Mon March 17, 2014

ACLU, PETA Sue Idaho Over New Law To Punish Animal Rights Activists

Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

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.

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Agriculture
2:11 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Governor Otter Signs Idaho's 'Ag-Gag' Bill

Credit Mouldfish / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed a bill threatening people who secretly film animal abuse at Idaho's agricultural facilities with jail and fines.

Otter inked the new law Friday, two days after it cleared its final hurdle in the House.

Otter, a rancher, said the measure promoted by the dairy industry "is about agriculture producers being secure in their property and their livelihood."

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Policy
10:58 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Chobani CEO Urges Gov. Otter To Veto Idaho's 'Ag-Gag' Bill

Credit Provisions / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Agriculture
1:21 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans

There are about 2,000 dairy cows on Pete Olsen's fifth-generation farm in northern Nevada. A new milk processing plant is now putting pressure on Olsen and other dairy farmers to expand the size of their herds. But with the ongoing drought, farmers are struggling to get enough feed for the cows they already have.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 1:13 pm

When Pete Olsen talks about drought on his fifth-generation dairy farm in Fallon, Nev., he's really talking about the snowpack 60 miles to the west in the Sierra Nevada.

The Sierras, Olsen says, are their lifeblood.

That is, the snowmelt from them feeds the Truckee and Carson rivers and a tangle of reservoirs and canals that make this desert bloom. Some of the highest-grade alfalfa in the world is grown here. And it makes perfect feed for dairy cows, because it's rich in nutrients.

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Idaho Legislature
2:36 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

So-Called 'Ag Gag' Bill Passes Idaho Legislature, Headed To Gov. Otter

A bill to punish people who secretly film animal abuse at Idaho's agricultural facilities is headed to Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter's desk after passing the House 56-14.

It's a response to videos released by activists who filmed workers at Bettencourt Dairy beating, stomping, and sexually abusing cows.

If Otter signs the bill into law, people who try to record such abuse face up to a year in jail, double the maximum punishment for animal cruelty.

Utah has a similar "ag gag law," currently being challenged in U.S. District Court.

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Idaho Legislature
8:41 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Idaho Bill Banning Secret Video Of Farms Moves Ahead

U.S. Agricultural Research Service

A measure that seeks to bar animal rights activists from making undercover video in Idaho dairies is moving ahead in the state House.

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Idaho Legislature
1:03 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Disputed 'Ag Gag Bill' Advances In Idaho Senate

Credit Mingerspice / Flickr Creative Commons

Dairy farmers enraged by spying animal-rights activists got a boost when senators agreed to intensify punishments for those who film their operations without permission.

Idaho's Senate voted 23-10 Friday to put people caught surreptitiously recording agricultural operations in jail and fine them $5,000.

The bill now goes to the House.

This measure stems from a 2012 incident at an Idaho dairy where activists captured images of workers caning, beating and stomping on cows.

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Idaho Legislature
12:16 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Idaho Dairies Want To Stop Activists From Filming

Credit Ambersky235 / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's $2.5 billion dairy industry wants to put people who film their operations surreptitiously in jail for up to a year, a bid to block animal-rights groups from spying on farms in hopes of catching animal cruelty on tape.

Sen. Jim Patrick of Twin Falls Thursday introduced the measure on the heels of videos produced in 2012 by a group at one of Idaho's largest dairies documenting cows being beaten.

If the measure passes, anybody who enters an agricultural production facility without permission and records operations could face a year behind bars and a $5,000 fine.

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Dairy Video
4:08 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Animal Rights Group Releases Video, Calls On Burger King To Drop Idaho Dairy

UGA College of Ag Flickr

An animal rights group wants Burger King to sever its ties with Idaho’s Bettencourt Dairies, and force the rest of its suppliers to implement strict animal welfare guidelines. 

The demands from the group Mercy for Animals came Wednesday as it released a disturbing video of animal abuse shot inside one of the Bettencourt dairies near Hansen, in Twin Falls County. 

The video shows workers stomping, kicking, punching and dragging cows.

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Dairy Video
2:34 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Idaho Dairy Operator Fires Workers After Video of Animal Abuse Surfaces

UGA College of Ag Flickr

The owner of a large Twin Falls County dairy operation says he fired five of his employees in August after seeing an undercover video made at a farm near Hansen.  Luis Bettencourt’s operation at Dry Creek Dairy was the apparent target of an animal rights group. 

The head of the Idaho Dairy Association, Bob Naerebout, says the video shows a cow with a chain around its neck being pulled by a tractor.  He says cows are kicked and jumped on in the recording.  It also shows workers using an electrical prod on the animals. 

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