Coeur D'Alene--It's the busy season for Idaho farmers and ranchers. The first harvests started in August and will continue till November. But a pet project of Farm Bureau members has many members making time for Ag tours.
The tours educate fellow Idahoans about what farmers do and how important agriculture is to the state economy. "These tours reach out to people who may not be fully informed about agriculture," said rancher Linda Rider. She hosted this years, highly successful Ag Tour on September 11th. "We get to share our lifestyle, as well as the products we produce like cattle, produce, and timber," she added.
More than 30 people packed the horse-drawn wagons that rolled through Rider Ranch. Rider pointed out not only the finer aspects of their diverse operation but also discussed the different varieties of timber, wheat, and other iconic North Idaho commodities.
Kootenai/Shoshone Farm Bureau President Joe Dobson says the tour is vital because the county's demographics are changing fast and leaning toward an urban population that knows very little about agriculture. "Today's tour was very well received," said Dobson. "Riders did an excellent job explaining smaller ranch operations. Some of the diverse things they do here with hay and cattle and forestry. They also have a wedding venue and different items that they do for generating income on their property. Again, it was very well received. This was done in conjunction with the CDA Farm Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, and others," said President Dobson.
“Most of these farmers are a part of family farms passed down through generations of hardworking people who work long hard hours to get things done,” Rider said. “It’s just a story that needs to be told and needs to have a face put to it so that when people think about where their food comes from, it’s not a grocery store.”
During the tour, Rider pointed out that the ranch has been in the family for more than 68 years. Tour-go-ers got to see an inside look at the ranch lifestyle. They got to experience how it feels raising cattle on richly forested land and spend the day looking at the world through rancher-eyes.