For the first time in roughly 20 years, the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation will have a new CEO when July starts. Zak Miller, a 5th generation farmer from eastern Idaho will take over the position currently filled by Rick Keller, who retires June 30th. Miller said he’s excited and feels blessed in his new role and looks forward to addressing a variety of issues head on. He said one of the biggest issues facing farmers across Idaho, their ability to farm and use their natural resources appropriately.
“They need to have the ability to not have over encumbrance on their own land and their own operations to be able to do what they know to be right. So, private property rights. Along with that, of course water. We need to be able to have and be able to use water not just for irrigation, but for transport we’ve got a very efficient and very effective system of dams and irrigation.”
Added in other portions of the state drainage is a huge issue facing Idaho producers.
When it comes to the next generation of Idaho farmers, Miller says he’s very bullish. He said programs through the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation have encouraged young people to take leadership roles, even if that means so time away from the family farm. And he noted many young people across the state, across commodities have answered that call.
“As our young farmers and ranchers leave the farm, and that’s always a challenge for them to take time away from the farm to go and develop, but it’s so exciting to see them lead out and become the leaders that we all knew they could be, they just had to accept what that is.”
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