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 email@example.com.
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.”