BOISE—Not many Idahoans can say they had dinner with the governor, but those attending the Idaho Farm Bureau’s 2020 Legislative Conference can make that boast.
Idaho Governor Brad Little, Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill, Speaker of the House Scott Bedke and other members of the Idaho House and Senate attended the Farm Bureau’s annual buffet at the Riverside Hotel.
The dinner is unique because there are no speeches no organized program, just a dinner in which Farm Bureau members sit down and eat with lawmakers from their legislative districts.
This year more than 220 attended the event, including Idaho Farm Bureau President Bryan Searle.
“This is a great way for our farmers and ranchers to get to know their lawmakers and even raise concerns they may have back home,” Searle adds that a personal visit with a legislator is grass-root politics at its best.
The Legislative Dinner has become a yearly Legislative institution and is prized by members and lawmakers alike because of the low-key relaxed nature of the event.
Each table was marked by Legislative Districts. Farm Bureau members visit the buffet table and then sit at their 'district' table with their Senators and Representatives.
“This a great event,” said District 25 Senator Jim Patrick of Twin Falls. “We get to bounce ideas off people from back home and they can ask us anything they want, I love visiting with people from back home."
Dinner conversations were a healthy mix of Ag issues, taxes and even the proposed Hemp legislation in the Statehouse.