Island Park—Idaho’s largest farm organization held a summer leadership conference earlier this month in Island Park. We asked the leaders what they liked about Farm Bureau and also what they liked about attending meetings.
Sheila Hasselstrom took time off from her sheep operation to attend the Leadership meeting from her ranch in Winchester.
“I’m Sheila Hasselstrom of Lewis-Clearwater County is my board and county. What I like about Farm Bureau is the family influence. I love that we come here as a husband and wife. I love that members come with the kids and I love that we get together and join family and farming all in one, and accomplish things!”
Long-time State Board Director Travis McAffee says the meetings offer a chance to see old friends from across the State.
“I’m Travis McAffee, I’m on the State Board, I farm out of Howe, I do a cow-calf operation we raise barley and hay also.” “Tell us about Farm Bureau and these meetings?’ “The meetings! You get to see all your friends, you get to know what’s going on in the state. Everyone knows it's dry and gets to ask them about what their situation is, It’s just a big family. You’re seeing people you haven’t seen a few months and it’s nice.”
From East of Coeur d’Alene, Linda Rider serves on the P&E Committee and made the long trip south to meet with fellow ranchers.
“My name is Linda Rider, I’m on the Idaho Farm Bureau P&E Committee, District 5. ‘Tell us what you like about Farm Bureau and these meetings?’ Gathering for these meetings with people from all over the State. You get the opportunity to do really positive things everything from policy to education, things that are very practical for our Ag industry here in Idaho. It's fun to see everyone and compare notes. I've already chatted with people today about how the hay crop is doing, what’s your water levels and things like that. It might not make us operate any better at home but it sometimes makes you feel better to know that everybody’s in the same boat,” said Rider.
Joe Dobson also made the long drive to the meeting from Kootenai County. And said he gladly made the drive for the chance to visit with fellow farmers.
“Things I like about Farm Bureau is the opportunity to meet people throughout the state. I think Farm Bureau is a very strong Arm in the State Legislature reviewing the issues and policies that we have in Farm Bureau and implementing some of those policies into the Legislature. We are down in Island Park right now. I've never had a chance to be here before but I enjoy the activities and meet other people in the state,” said Dobson.
Dobson says the meetings have a reunion feel to them.
“It’s a reunion of sorts like the annual Presidents Meeting and get together and talk about this year, the drought and wildfires. But anyway just to get together and meet with others from around the state,” added Dobson.