Agriculture is Idaho's number one resource based industry. My voting record is consistently in support of agriculture. Farming, ranching, and dairying are the stable base of the economy of the Magic Valley and of the state bringing a total of $4.5 billion into Idaho's economy in 2007. In good economic times and in bad, agriculture remains stable. Regardless of what happens, people always have to eat.
A critically important issue to agriculture is solving the problems of maintaining a sustainable water supply. Another issue of concern is high agricultural input costs. Although crop prices are up, the expense of petroleum based products, such as fuel and fertilizer, is keeping the margin of prices down. Other important issues are maintaining a reliable infrastructure to get Idaho's products to market, and the increasing cost of health care.
The agriculture community is making great strides in addressing environmental concerns. There will be even more improvements when the new Livestock Environmental Research Facility that the legislature and the agriculture industries partnered to fund has been completed. We all care about keeping an environment that protects the health and safety of our citizens. Agriculture, businesses, and government need to keep a reasonable balance when the regulatory process is addressed so that our food producers can stay in business.