Teri Murrison, LIA affiliate member, had knee replacement surgery in early March after serving as co-chairman of the 2019 Ag Summit. We are hearing good news on her recovery.
Sympathy is extended to Mike Nichols, Class 13, on the passing of his father, Rex Nichols, who was 95 years old. Mike and his son are involved in the farming operation started by his dad.
Sympathy is extended to Chuck Johnson, Class 9, on the passing of his father, Don Johnson. Don was a lobbyist for the Idaho State Grange and an active and involved citizen in the Kuna community.
Dr. Chris McIntosh, Class 17, has been named the department head for the University of Idaho Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology (AERS) effective March 11, 2019. Chris had served in this role on an interim basis since the fall of 2017. He has represented AERS well to those within the University as well as to our external stakeholders across the state. Chris' research activities on the economics of potato disease management have been highly multidisciplinary. His service roles as editor of two different journals within the ag economics profession has brought great visibility from the profession nationally.
Blake Matthews, Class 36 and secretary/treasurer of the LIA Board of Trustees, recently participated in the Potato Industry Leadership Institute. The trip included time in Portland, Oregon, for public speaking and etiquette training. After a visit to Salem and the state Capitol, the group flew to Washington, D.C., for more in-depth training on public speaking and media training. The group was addressed by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and had the opportunity to meet with Idaho congressmen and senators. Blake was elected to be the "grower leader" by his fellow classmates and will return next year to help with the next class of participants.
Scott Breeding, Class 27, was recently awarded the Ted Diehl Award for Meritorious Service from the Idaho Water Users Association at their annual convention in January 2019. Scott is still a board member for Idaho Water Users. On January 27, he became a grandpa for the second time when his daughter, Danielle Stephens, Class 31, gave birth to a little girl who was named Elise. In early March, Scott was elected to the Committee of Nine for Water District 01 where he will be representing the Twin Falls Canal Co., the Milner Irrigation District, and American Falls Reservoir District #2.
Mark Duffin, Class 27, was recognized at LIA graduation with the Wayne Meyer Statesman Award. Mark has been serving as the executive director for the Idaho Sugarbeet Growers Association since 1991 and will retire later this spring. A past state representative for three terms, Mark has been an active spokesman for Idaho's sugarbeet industry in Idaho and nationally.
Congratulations: The annual LIA Alumni Gala and Auction generated over $115,000. Thanks to the members of the auction committee and to everyone who donated, attended and supported the auction. Congratulations to LIA Class 39 on a wonderful event.
Congratulations to the following LIA alumni who were presented LIA Lifetime Membership Awards at graduation:
Steve Bateman, Class 11
Travis Lammers, Class 34
Roger Clark, Class 13
Susi Larrocea, Class 4
Tyler Cranney, Class 36
Mike Nichols, Class 13
Leland Earnest, Class 12
Shane Robins, Class 35
Jason Keller, Class 37
Three individuals received the Friend of LIA Award at the graduation of Class 39: Edie Nunes, Class 32 and chairman of the LIA Golf Committee; Kyle Wangemann, Class 36, a trustee and co-chairman of the auction committee; and Bill Newbry, general manager of PNW Farmers' Cooperative located in Genesee.
Congratulations to the following LIA alumni who received Ten-year Membership Awards with the LIA Foundation:
Russ De Kruyf, Class 28
Brett Lolley, Class 28
Glen Edwards, Class 28
Dan Mattson, Class 28
Candi Fitch, Class 28
John Romero, Class 28
Terry Jones, Class 21
Kim Royer, Class 24
Travis Jones, Class 28
Michael Stowell, Class 20
At the annual LIA Gala and Auction, former Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter was presented with the Founders' Club Award. Governor Otter played a substantial role in the formation of the LIA program during his days with Simplot as vice president of international affairs and when he started in politics as lieutenant governor under Governor John Evans.
Be sure you have marked your calendar for Friday, June 7, for the annual LIA Golf Tournament in Twin Falls. Now is the time to be forming your teams. If you need further information email Chairman Edie Nunes at email@example.com or Kendra Dustin at Kendra@amgidaho.com.
LIA Class 39 marked a total of 988 who have graduated from the program since it started in 1985-86. Applications for Class 40 are being accepted now and are available online here. Applications are due by August 1.