Congratulations to all the high school and college graduates of LIA Alumni families. There have been way too many to keep track of to make a list and we know we would forget some. Exciting times in these chapters in life for your children and grandchildren. Best wishes for their next step.
Congratulations to Nic Usabel, Class 42, for being named by the Idaho Business Review for Accomplished Under 40. Nic works for the U of I Extension System in Caldwell.
Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy, R-Genesee, Class 15, is retiring from the Legislature at the end of her current term and has been named the new special assistant to the president of the University of Idaho for state and governmental relations. Caroline will start the post July 1.
The May 17th primary elections produced several mixed results in the LIA ranks.
Congratulations to Laurie Lickley, Affiliate Member who won her election for a seat in the Senate, to Steve Miller, Class 29, former State Representative will be running for the Idaho House in November and to Karma Metzler Fitzgerald, Class 41, who was unopposed in the primary for her race for the Idaho House and will be on the ballot in November. Several LIA alumni were elected as local precinct chairman. Nic Wittman, Class 39, ran in the primary as a precinct committeeman for the Republican party and was elected. During the party reorganization process, Nic was then elected by the precinct committeemen of the county, as the Jerome County Republican Central Committee chairman.
Congratulations to Brad Griff, Class 36, who recently accepted a government affairs position with an energy company in Houston, Texas. Brad’s last day as Executive Director of the Snake River Sugarbeet Growers Association will be June 10th. The family plans to relocate to Texas by the end of June.
Congratulations to Travis Jones, Class 28, and Kendra Dustin, Class 32, who were recently named to the Caldwell Night Rodeo Associate Board. Travis works for Strategies 360 in governmental affairs and Kendra owns a consulting business, plus serves as the LIA Development Director.
Our hearts are with the Tyler Hepworth, Class 35, family as they suffered the loss of Tyler this past week. We had posted that Tyler had gone missing and they believed he was in the Cassia – Minidoka area. Tyler was discovered in the mountains near Rupert a few days after the posting. Our thoughts and prayers are with Rachelle and his children.
Reminder of some important dates:
Idaho recently hosted the State Agriculture and Rural Leaders (SARL) event in Boise. Part of the event was a tour on Friday, May 20. LIA Alumni engaged in hosting and presenting the tours included: Drew Eggers, Class 12; Michelle Gooding, Class 38; Jarom Jemmett, Class 39; and Jessica Anderson, Class 41. The alumni did a great job of telling the Idaho agriculture story.
Congratulations to Jana Jones Neiers, Class 23 who recently received the Bob Potter Lifetime Achievement award from the Idaho Economic Development Association. Jana currently is employed at Northwest Lineman’s College south of Meridian.
Sympathy is extended to Sid Freeman, Class 19, his wife Pam, and their family for the recent passing of Sid’s father. Sid owns and operates Sunny View Farms, LLC in Caldwell.
Sympathy is extended to Tina Brandt, Class 21, in the passing of her mother Mary at age 85. Tina works for the JR Simplot Company in potato research.
Good reports are being received for the recovery from surgery in late April for Andrea Mouw, Class 42. Andrea owns and operates Dairy Wise, a milk testing laboratory in Twin Falls.
Congratulations to Leah Clark, Class 26, who has been selected to be the General Manager of the NILE (Northern International Livestock Exposition) in Billings, MT. Leah has been an active graduate from LIA as session presenter and former Trustee member. Most recently Leah has been a member of the LIA Ag Summit Planning Committee (former co-chairman), Idaho Ag in the Classroom Board of Directors, and the Ada County Farm Bureau Board. She owns her own consulting business, Clark Marketing Solutions. Leah will be relocating to Billings around the first of June.
Tom Chamberlin, Class 32, has recently taken a new position with McGregor Company in Colfax, WA. Tom will be Transportation Division Manager for the company. Most recently, Tom has been working as a farm manager for a local farmer in the Troy area.
Update from Lynn Bachman, Class 31, and his wife Tiffany, who ranch near Bruneau. On April 1, Lynn and their 14-year-old daughter, Elsie, were moving cattle when Elsie’s horse tripped in a badger hole, throwing Elsie from the horse. Elsie was transported to St. Luke’s Boise pediatric ICU unit where she was in a coma. After a series of MRI’s and other tests, the pediatric neurosurgeon determined she has a diffuse axonal traumatic brain injury. In short, it is a lot of tiny injuries throughout her brain and most likely even in her brain stem. The decision was made to move Elsie to Salt Lake City for additional therapy on Easter weekend. There are still responsibilities at the ranch needing attention, so the 6-hour drive continues to present some challenges. Lynn is usually at the ranch during the week and Tiffany in Salt Lake. They exchange places on the weekends to try and cover all the responsibilities with the family, ranch and Elsie.
We continue to receive reports from Lynn and Tiffany from Salt Lake. Recently, they were presented a condo to live in freeing up space at Ronald McDonald House. Elsie is showing great improvement with therapy treatments. It is totally a miracle, but Elsie is a strong, determined teenager with a spirit to overcome these obstacles. Thanks to many of you who have contacted us asking for more updates. Elsie’s updates and periodic progress reports are posted to Caring Bridge if you are familiar with that app. The miracle continues to happen in the lives of this family.
We are establishing a fund to assist the Bachman family with food, gas money, and supplies as they continue to encourage and give hope to Elsie. It is a slow journey but those who have known Elsie, say she is a fighter. The doctor told Tiffany that self-motivation by the patient and a good support group are key. We believe Elsie has both. Please keep the Bachman family in your prayers.
If you would like to donate, you may call Patty at 208-888-0988 and handle it by phone with a credit card or you can send a check made out to LIA and mark it as “Elsie Fund.” We will pass the funds onto Lynn and Tiffany for their expenses. The Bachman’s are the type of neighbors who would give you the shirt off their back. Now it is their turn to receive support and encouragement from all of us.