Idaho’s agricultural production is a major contributor to our state’s economy, accounting for 20% of our total economic output and 16% of GDP. There are more than 25,000 farms and ranches producing more than 185 crops, including our famous potatoes, barley, onions, peas, lentils, wheat, sugar beets, mint, fruit crops like apples, peaches, and cherries, along with beef, lamb, and dairy. Idaho also produces a lot of seed crops, including sweet corn, carrot, onion, lettuce, alfalfa, and more.
Alongside the major economic benefits of our agricultural sector comes environmental and health impacts that threaten our quality of life and other economic contributors such as recreation and tourism. From drought vulnerability and desertification to drinking water contamination and air quality, the impact of industrial agricultural has taken its toll.
Across the globe, there is an accelerating transformation from an industrial and degenerative agricultural system to a regenerative and resilient one without these downsides. What can we do to tap into these opportunities to build a prosperous, healthy future for Idaho?
Join us to explore these issues and more at “The Future of Food” Policy Pub with the University of Idaho’s James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research, 5:00-6:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, at the Sawtooth Brewery Public House and Tap Room in Ketchum.
McClure Center Director Katherine Himes will moderate the discussion with Fred Brossy, farmer and owner, Ernie’s Organics; Mark Davidson, director of conservation initiatives, The Nature Conservancy; Lauren Golden, associate professor and Blaine County Extension educator, University of Idaho Extension and Amy Mattias, co-director, Local Food Alliance, Sun Valley Institute and board member, Blaine County Food Council. Topics will include sustainable food systems, the future of food production and consumption, water and other challenges specific to this part of Idaho. Remarks will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. We hope you can join us!