|Rick Waitley, Chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of
Agricultural and Life Science, introduced Dean John Hammel. Dean
Hammel is the new Dean at the University of Idaho College of
Agricultural and Life Science. He will hold that position for the next 18 to
Dean Hammel introduced his administrative team: Charlotte Eberlien;
Director of Extension, Rich Garber; Director of Advancement and
Development, and Bob Haggerty; Director of International Programs and
several members of the college advisory board.
The University of Idaho, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences,
includes a broad range of programs extending from youth, family and
community to biotechnology and the environment to the traditional
agricultural sciences. Approximately one half of the faculty and staff, and
approximately one half of the annual expenditures in agricultural
research and extension are located at off-campus locations. There are
faculty and staff in extension offices in 42 of the 44 counties in Idaho.
The scientists in the college of Agricultural and Life Sciences were the
first in the world to clone an equine species. Approximately 65 million
people worldwide have heard about this accomplishment. The value of
this publicity to Idaho and the University of Idaho has been estimated to
be in excess of $75 million.
Breeding programs in wheat, potatoes, beans, and oil seeds have been
long standing programs at the college. These genetic improvement
programs add more value to Idaho’s economy, make our producers and
industry more profitable and competitive in the national and global
markets. The biofuel development is critical to create alternatives uses
for Idaho crops and commodities and to provide alternative crop
management options to our producers.
The college is currently evaluating anaerobic digester technologies for
the reduction of odor and the bioconversion of waste to energy and other
beneficial uses. Another program addresses the deleterious impacts of
field residue burning on air quality. A relatively new program is located in
Salmon, Idaho. At this center work on noxious weeds, forage production
and evaluation, and calf pneumonia is being conducted. Work is also
being conducted with private sectors on electronic ID technology for
The state investment of $5.3 million that was invested in the Agricultural
Biotechnology facility, has returned to the state over $10 million in
nationally competitive grant awards. These funds enhance the college’s
ability to provide quality educational programs and to support graduate
and undergraduate students.
In the recent past, the “fund shift” has been funded by the governor and
approved by this committee. If it is not funded this year, it will cause the
college to reduce their budget by a total of $162,000.
The question was asked to Dean Hammel if any of the facilities or
personnel were federally funded. The facilities on the research side, no.
The extension side, yes. The number has been consistent the past two
In answer to the question regarding the University being involved with
international trade, Dean Hammel explained they are involved with the
governor’s program with Mexico and other international dealings.
The enrollment at the University for agriculture has increased. There are
a variety of occupations from the graduates including child development,
clothing textile and design, and pre-med classes. If the graduates are
mobile, they can be very competitive in the job market.
Blaine Jacobson, Executive Director, Idaho Wheat Commission,
presented the Idaho Wheat Commissions’ Budget Report as required in
Section 22-3319(4), Idaho Code.
Activities carried out by the Idaho Wheat Commission on behalf of Idaho
wheat growers are funded by a $.015 per bushel wheat tax. This tax is
remitted quarterly. Revenue from the wheat tax during FY03 is expected
to be $1,350,000 while the approved FY04 spending budget is
$1,916,000. The gap between expected revenue and budgeted
spending will be covered with a draw down of IWC reserves. As of
January 1,2004, the IWC cash reserves are $2,560,244.
Dollars remitted by Idaho wheat growers are invested on their behalf in
foreign and domestic market development, variety development and
other research, and information and education. The amount of the
budget committed to administrative payroll and office operations has
been reduced from 22.1% in 2003 to 20.7% in 2004.
Farmland planted into wheat is not expected to increase significantly in
2005. Approximately two-thirds of Idaho’s production is grown on
irrigated farmland and one-third is grown on dryland. Approximately two-thirds of the cop is winter wheat and the remaining one-third is spring
Soft white wheat makes up the largest amount of Idaho wheat grown. It
is roughly 57% of the annual crop. Hard red is the second most popular
class, at 38%. The remaining 5% is split between hard white and club
Forty percent of Idaho’s crop goes to domestic mills and customers.
This includes the Pendleton mill in Blackfoot, mills in Ogden, and
customers in California. Roughly 60% of the crop is exported.
The top foreign destinations include Japan, the Philippines, South Korea
and Taiwan. The Idaho Wheat Commission, Idaho Farm Bureau, and
other Idaho grain industry leaders have worked to develop customers in
Mexico. In conjunction with the Governor’s 2003 Trade Mission to
Mexico, roughly 150 rail cars of Idaho wheat were put on order.
The Idaho Wheat Commission developed and launched a new website,
www.idahowheat.org in 2003 in an effort to provide better information
wheat growers and the general public.
The Idaho Wheat Commission purchased a 7,600 quare foot building at
821 W. State Street in Boise in July of 2003. This location currently
provides offices for the Idaho Wheat Commission, Idaho Barley
Commission, Idaho Bean Commission, Idaho Alfalfa Commission, and
Idaho Grain Producer’s Association. There is space still available for
other interested agricultural groups.
Because of the Atkins Diet and other low-carb diets, the National Bread
Leadership Council informs 40% of Americans are eating less bread and
other grain-based food than a year ago. The USDA will be creating a
new food nutrition pyramid and bread will occupy the base of it. The
hype of low-carb diets will pass.
A question was asked if Libya is a purchaser of our wheat. Yes, though
the countries around the Black Seas took the market, they were short
this past year, and Idaho wheat was sold. Egypt also purchased wheat.
A question was asked why there is an Idaho Wheat Commission and an
Idaho Barley Commission and an Idaho Grain Producers. The wheat
and barley commissions are part of the State of Idaho. They can’t lobby.
The Idaho Grain Producers is a growers association and pay annual
dues. They are private and can lobby.
A question was asked if they could see relief in the Union Pacific
Railroad situation. The solution is at Federal level. Senate Bill 919 may
get sent to the floor this year.
A question was asked regarding the of number of growers. There are
6,000 to 10,000 grain growers statewide. Many have small acreage.
Eighty percent of them are 100 acres or less. The acreage is declining
and may be because the growers are shifting to higher paying crops.
There has been, however, in the last seven to ten years, a decline in the