Idaho Dairymen's Association

Matt Northam / Flickr Creative Commons

A round of NAFTA trade talks wrapped up this week between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. One topic of discussion among the trading partners was dairy commodities. With the President’s harsh words on the decades old trade deal, dairymen in the state are nervously keeping an eye on negotiations.


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.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Thirty-seven-year-old Ruperto Vazquez-Carrera drowned in a manure pond in February 2016. The horrific death at Sunrise Organic Dairy in Jerome – followed by another seven months later near Idaho Falls – prompted federal investigations.


Idaho Statesman

The president's executive action is getting mixed reactions from the business community in Idaho. The spectrum of responses runs from concern for workers' families and the talent pool – to silence.

CompassioninWorldFarming / Flickr

Idaho’s dairy industry will be watching the new Trump administration’s trade policy, as one of the state’s biggest sectors is bracing for a flat year.

The president of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association told an agriculture conference last month that any increase in Idaho’s milk production would be exported abroad.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that by November of this year, dairy exports will be 8.9 billion pounds – that’s slightly higher than last November’s 8.7 billion pounds.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Earlier in this series, we told you about the importance of ground water in Idaho. The state relies on underground aquifers and private wells to quench the thirst of 90-95 percent of the population.

Idaho's so-called "ag-gag" law, which outlawed undercover investigations of farming operations, is no more. A judge in the federal District Court for Idaho decided Monday that it was unconstitutional, citing First Amendment protections for free speech.

But what about the handful of other states with similar laws on the books?

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. 

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.

cow, dairy, calves
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.

Northwest agriculture advocates are more optimistic Congress will take up the issue of immigration after a forum this week in Washington, D.C. The effort is getting support from a surprising mix of organizations.