As a farmer I can say that Idaho agriculture has enjoyed a couple of good price years, but it is under the same economic and over regulation pressures impacting other business and industry. In fact, the burden of over regulation affects all of Idaho agriculture more so than non-ag businesses. I believe the best solution to this is for growers to develop improved relationships with government regulators and work toward finding common sense solutions to bloated regulations by building a broad-based consensus. No one can argue that animosity between farmers and regulatory agencies has ever been beneficial to farmers or their consumers.
The dragging economy resulting from the recession is a major problem facing just about everyone in Idaho. While agriculture has had good prices recently, high operating costs and tightening of bank lending practices have had a significant impact. As farmers, we always need to prepare for the financial gravity of "what goes up must come down". I think that proper tax code reform and relief from over regulation will be a great help to Idaho farmers and the overall economy.
That said, I see Idaho agriculture as having a bright future. There are more young people entering the profession than I have seen in the past 15 years and we need to do all we can to nurture that trend. Technology will influence everything we do in agriculture in the years ahead and I see us becoming more efficient, more productive and more competitive in global markets as we move forward.