Dear LIA Alumni:
Karma Metzler Fitzgerald, Class 41, will be stepping in for Rep. Sally Toone, District 26, this week in the Idaho Legislature while a member of Rep. Toone’s family has some surgery.
Congratulations to Jeff Kent, Class 29, who has recently been named Vice President of Sales for Maytag Dairy Farms in Barabaoo, WI. Congratulations is also extended to Kolby Carpenter, Class 41, who was recently promoted to Vice President of Credit, at Northwest Farm Credit. Kolby lives in Burley and will now oversee Credit Officer staff and approving of loans in the Magic and Treasure Valleys of Idaho.
The Idaho Farm Bureau recently reported that Melissa Durrant, wife of LIA Trustee Neil Durrant, Class 34, will be the newest member of the IFBF board of directors. Melissa who has actively helped with the LIA auction through the years will be filling the position as Chairwoman of the Young Farmers and Ranchers Program. Galen Lee, Class 10, has been re-elected to the state board of Idaho’s largest farm organization. Galen has a dairy operation in the New Plymouth area and farms with his father.
Nezperce Prairie Grass Growers Association President, Greg Branson, Class 23, announced at their recent annual meeting that Nathan Riggers, Class 12, was the 2021 recipient of the Dave Mosman, Class 12, NPGGA Hall of Fame Award. Nate served as president of NPGGA for 10 years and is a current member of the board for Northwest Farm Credit Services. The award was established in 2020 honoring the life of Dave Mosman, also a former president, who passed away in 2019 after a long battle with cancer.
Congratulations to Dave Wenk, Class 40 who was recently elected President of the Idaho Association of Noxious Weed Control Superintendents (IANWCS). Dave serves as the Boundary County Weed Superintendent. Elected as Vice-President of IANWCS is Adam Schroeder, Class 41 who is the Ada County Weed Superintendent.
Idaho Farm Bureau has rolled out a new program dealing with mental health issues in agriculture. Rick Brune, Class 41, a member of the IFBF board of directors, has been helping to spearhead this effort. The effort is called the Idaho Coalition for Rural Resilience. Also participating in helping to lay some foundational groundwork has been Jessica Anderson, Class 41, Amalgamated Sugar, Justin Patten, Class 21, IFBF Staff and Karma Metzler Fitzgerald, Class 41, production agriculture.
Congratulations to Chelicy Wanders, Class 40 and her husband Derek who announced this weekend the early arrival of Miss Juliet Wanders, born January 18, at 5:46pm. Juliet was 7 weeks early so she's spending some time in the NICU, but overall doing well. She weighed 4lbs 7oz and 17inches. Chelicy concluded her introduction by saying “We are praying she starts gaining more weight – soon!” Chelicy and Derek live in Payette.
Sympathy is extended to Cortney Beck, Class 34, and his family in the recent passing of his Grandmother. Cortney is employed with Valley Wide Cooperative.
Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery for Brent Reinke, Class 40, who had knee replacement surgery on January 20, Joe Moore, Class 40, who had shoulder surgery earlier this month and Georgia Dixon, wife of Don Dixon, Class 15, and mother of Tobin Dixon, Class 39, who had cancer surgery in Boise on January 20.
LIA Development Director Kendra Dustin, Class 32, is relocating to Idaho later this spring and plans to live in the Treasure Valley. Her husband Glenn is looking for a job in the trucking industry. He has experience as a driver and he is completing his training to be a logistic foreman for the transportation industry. If you have any leads on housing or job opportunities contact Kendra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daren Coon, Class 30, is retiring from Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District as of 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 27, 2021. Daren had served Water Users of Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District for more than 44 years.
On Friday, January 29, 2021, Aaron W Johnson, Class 25, will be retiring from USDA Farm Service Agency. Aaron has worked for FSA for 31 years and has been through seven transitions of State Directors. Aaron was asked in several of the transitions to be the interim leader for the agency.
LIA Alumni and families are always looking for ways to give back to their community. Recently, Robin Lindquist, Class 21, donated quilts, she had made to Project Linus Quilts. The quilts are given to very sick children and kids in distress of all ages. Over the years Robin has probably made nearly 60 quilts. With kids learning from home, elementary school teacher, Kathy Neufeld, the wife of Jerry Neufeld, Class 19, coordinated a project where 300 desks and chairs were built by volunteers in the Nampa/Caldwell area for parents to pick up for homebound students. The project and supplies were funded by local businesses. For several years, LIA Alumni have been used as a “delivery system” for knitted stocking caps and blankets that are created by a group in Boise – Stitches from the Heart. Periodically we are contacted for deliveries to hospitals in Jerome, Grangeville, Cottonwood, Moscow, and all the way to Sandpoint. With the network of LIA alumni who come to events and activities, many of them have packed home a bag or box of knitted items to be delivered to these hospitals. It’s all about “giving back to our communities.”
Congratulations to Don Dixon, Class 15, and his wife Georgia who celebrated 65 years of marriage, on December 27 with a Zoom call with friends and family from around the US calling to pass along greetings. Don has held several positions of leadership through the years including: State Agriculture Director for Senator Mike Crapo while at the same time Georgia was working for Senator Larry Craig out of his eastern Idaho office. The Dixon’s have now retired in New Sweden, Idaho outside of Idaho Falls on the family farm that is being operated by family members. Their son, Tobin Dixon, Class 39, helped to plan and coordinate the special event.
Congratulations to Wayne Hoffman, Class 26, who recently became a Grandfather to a little girl, Georgia. She was born in mid-December. Wayne serves as Executive Director of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.
On December 29 a new arrival occurred for Annie Inks, Class 35 and husband Daniel. Halle Elizabeth was born at 7:15 PM weighing 8 lbs and 3 oz and was 20” long. Annie has been employed at AgriBeef Co. as Director of Wagyu Procurement and Producer Relations.
Best wishes for a quick recovery to Paul Schlader, Class 19 who is recovering at home from a knee replacement. Paul is semi-retired but anxious to be active again.
Lisa Shively, Class 15, is recovering from a series of surgeries. Her husband Rob feels like he is married to the Bionic Woman. Lisa and Rob farm with their son in Eastern Idaho.
April Bryngelson, Class 30, is also recovering from surgery. April works for the USDA Farm Service Agency as a Farm Loan Manager.
Sympathy is extended to the family of Charlie Bryan, Class 10 in the loss of his father on December 20. Mr. Bryan was 90 years old and had served in the Air Force.
Congratulations to Larry Hollifield, Class 41 who was recently appointed to fill a term on the Hansen School Board. Larry farms in the Hansen area with his dad, Terry Hollifield, Class 2.
Recently elected to the Idaho Ag in the Classroom Board of Directors at their 2020 annual meeting was Launa Fowler, Class 32 who works with the family dairy operation in Mt. Home – TLK Dairy and Farms where she serves as Administrative Assistant. Also elected was Hillary Lowe, wife of Jim Lowe, Class 31. The Lowes own and operate Lowe Family Farmstead.
The Idaho State Department of Agriculture has recently appointed a State Noxious Weed Advisory Board to oversee activities related to terrestrial and aquatic weeds in Idaho. Appointed by Director Gould include the following LIA Alumni: Dustin Miller, Class 28, Director, Idaho Department of Lands; Cathy Ford, Class 26, Idaho Transportation Department; Alan Martinson, Class 27, representing North Region Weed Superintendents; Bonnie Davis, Class 23, representing West Region Weed Superintendents; Mitch Whitmill, Class 31, representing East Region Weed Superintendents; Kali Sherrill, Class 27, representing Central Region Weed Superintendents; Dr. Tim Prather, Class 25, University of Idaho Invasive Plants, Daniel Bertram, Class 30, Office of Species Conservation and Patxi Larrocea-Phillips, Class 41 representing Idaho Noxious Weed Control Assn. Leading the committee of 15 is Jeremey Varley, Class 35, who serves as State Noxious Weed Coordinator for ISDA. The committee held their initial virtual meeting on December 16.
Thanks to those who have been selling and returning Grand Prize tickets for the LIA Auction. It appears the auction will be a virtual auction, still to be held on Thursday, February 25. Details are being worked out to host regional “watch parties” the night of the auction, how bidding will be handled and where you can see items for the live auction. More details will be passed along as they become available. We are starting to receive items for the auction in the office at this time. We welcome your contributions of items to be sold at the auction.
We have dropped some hints about the development of the first ever – LIA Cookbook. This is a project of the Development/Marketing Committee. Chairman of the Cookbook Steering Committee is Malia Miller, Class 36. Serving on the committee with Malia are the following: Elli Brown, Class 32; Kyra Gibson, Class 35; Leah Clark, Class 26; Heidi Martin, Class 28; Nic Gibson, Class 37; Aria Spear, Class 39; Treg Owings, Class 35; Laura Wilder, Class 38; Carmen Willmore, Class 38; Grace Wittman, wife of Nic Wittman, Class 39; Susi Larrocea, Class 4; Ann Jacops, Class 31 and LIA Development Director Kendra Dustin, Class 32. More details will be mailed to all LIA alumni in January related to the cookbook project.
This has been a challenging year for Class 41 as we have worked to navigate the ability to meet based upon group gathering size in Idaho. Currently the Idaho Falls and the Twin Falls sessions have been postponed until Idaho returns to Stage 3 – gatherings of at least 50 people. We do want to say thank you to our Session Sponsors who have helped to support the class operation during this challenging time.