Economy

How Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Threatens The Dairy Boom In Idaho

Sep 20, 2017
Joy Pruitt / The Center for Public Integrity

There’s a cultural and economic collision occurring in southern Idaho. On one side, the anti-immigrant sentiment has expanded, fueled by conservative talk radio and the rhetoric of the Trump administration. On the other side, the dairy industry – long quiet – is speaking out about their reliance on a foreign-born labor force. And the prospect of a new contract for the county jail has both sides agitated.

drought, field, agriculture
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho may be known as the potato state – and there’s good reason for it. On a per capita basis, the state generates the most money from agriculture out of any western state.


Yellowstone National Park / Flickr

Although Craters Of The Moon National Monument in the eastern part of the state wasn’t directly in the path of totality, the otherworldly landscape proved a popular destination with eclipse-watchers. The monument near Arco saw a record amount of visitors and made a big announcement.


Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's unemployment rate fell to 3 percent in July.

The Idaho Department of Labor in a news release Friday says that's the lowest level for the state since mid-2008.

The agency says nonfarm jobs grew by 4,300 with the trade, transportation and utilities sectors accounting for about 1,700 of those jobs.

Total employment in the state climbed to nearly 794,000 during the month.

Tim / Flickr

If you’re renting out a room in your house or a camping spot in your backyard, you have to pay taxes on that.


Kiichiro Sato / AP Images

Sun Valley has added another nonstop flight to its roster, this time to Chicago. But so far, planes will only connect to O’Hare International airport during the winter months.


Santiago Times / Flickr

The American Civil Liberties Union has sent record requests to Republican attorneys general in 10 states and Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter looking for any communication with the federal government about a program that benefits young immigrants living in the country illegally.

wikimedia commons

We'll soon know if Meridian has crossed the threshold to become a city of 100,000 people. The Census Bureau conducted a population estimate July 1 and when the official numbers come in, it will likely find Meridian to be the second Idaho city with a six-figure population.

Sally Spaulding

Hospitality has been doing well in Boise. With the completed construction of two hotels and a third on the way, Boise’s hotel service is on the rise.

The owner of the Inn at 500 in Boise, Brian Obie, celebrated the launch of Obie Hospitality with a ceremonial flag raising that revealed the new company logo. Obie Hospitality only operates two hotels right now: the Inn at 500 and the Inn at the 5th in Eugene, Oregon, but he says more are in the works.

Williamnyk / Flickr

Figures from the Idaho State Liquor Division show the state sold the most alcohol ever in the fiscal year that just wrapped up June 30. One takeaway from the data is it's always 5 o'clock somewhere in Idaho. Sales were up 6.5 percent to over 203 million dollars. Measuring by another standard, the state moved some 12.2 million bottles.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal Aviation Administration documents show that a central Idaho airport being built by actor Bruce Willis will be larger and busier than officials originally expected.

Willis' Soldier Field airport is located about 10 miles east of Fairfield.

The Mountain Express reports Camas County officials claimed Willis' airport would be minimally used and have a small impact on nearby residents.

According to FAA documents, the airport will base about 20 aircrafts, and could have about 500 landings each month.

Boxun Zhang / Flickr

Next week, Blaine County Commissioners will review an application for an eclipse-watching camp in the Wood River Valley that could accommodate up to 3,000 solar spectators.

The organizer has christened what could spring up on a 13-acre vacant lot in Hailey “EclipCity.” The temporary campground would have 832 spaces measuring 20 by 20 feet that would be available for an estimated $350 a spot.

billandkent / Flickr Creative Commons

Boise Weekly reports McCall is facing a shortage of seasonal workers to staff its hotels and restaurants this summer.

Flickr

  Protesters in south-central Idaho say a pending contract that would allow federal authorities to use a local jail as an immigration detention facility will spread fear throughout the region's Hispanic population.

Dave Shea / Flickr Creative Commons

Although neighboring states like Oregon and Washington may be better known for their craft beers, the Idaho beer industry is budding. One important ingredient is grown in the Gem State: hops.

The bitter ingredient is loved among craft-beer enthusiasts, and many popular hoppy beers are made possible by harvests from the Yakima, Washington area.

But DJ Tolmie -- who has been in the Idaho hop business for a while -- says the state has a lot of potential.

Pages