||Senate: Chairman Williams, Vice Chairman Noble, Senators Noh, Burtenshaw, Schroeder, Gannon, Stennett, Kennedy
House: Chairman Jones, Vice Chairman Trail, Representatives Stevenson, Rydalch, Field, Lake, Bolz, Langford, Shirley, Jaquet, Andersen, Naccarato
||Chairman Jones welcomed the Senators and Representatives to the Joint Meeting along with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. Pat Takasugi, Director, Idaho State Department of Agriculture, was given the floor for introductions of his staff giving the presentations. The Department of Agriculture presented a PowerPoint presentation, and provided a packet of information for each Committee member. A copy of both are on file in the office of the Agricultural Affairs Committee Secretary’s office.
Dr. Clarence Siroky, State Veterinarian, Administrator of Animal Industries Division, ISDA, was given the floor to present information regarding Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease. Dr. Siroky stated:
- BSE is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system in cattle, it is always fatal.
- BSE is not contagious – it cannot spread from cow to cow
- BSE is spread when cattle ingest feed that contains infected central nervous system tissue. Example: brain, spinal cord, etc.
- BSE is not found in muscle cuts of meat. Not found in milk or blood either.
Dr. Siroky explained the current situation regarding BSE. One cow was diagnosed with BSE in Washington state. This cow was imported from Canada in a herd of 81 head. USDA has located 19 animals of the 81, and is continuing to trace others. USDA/Washington State’s Task Force has identified “Cattle of Interest” (COI) and the tracing of these cattle is being conducted in several states. The Task Force has identified one of the 81 animals as having moved into an Idaho dairy in the Magic Valley. This COI died in March 2003 from a short illness. The herd associated with this COI has been quarantined. Dr. Siroky commented on the enormous amount of time and legwork it takes when tracing these animals emphasizing the importance of a national animal identification system. The USDA has depopulated and tested 129 animals in Washington state. The USDA has published interim final regulations on slaughter establishments which include a ban on non-ambulatory/disabled animals entering the human food chain.
Dr. Siroky has been working on an identification program for ten to twelve years. He referenced a handout entitled “The United States Animal Identification Plan – January 2, 2004” which states, “the identification of premises (production points) is the foundation of the system and must be achieved before animals can be tracked.” (See attached)
The National Animal Identification Program will be a mandatory national program, requiring the registration of all premises where food animals are held or kept. It will require individual animal or lot identification with species specific identification requirements. The USDA will maintain national premises information. And the goal is to have 48 hour trace-back capability for disease control purposes.
Dr. Siroky stated that species specific groups will have the ability to develop what works well for their industry, with the ability to determine finite rules for themselves. A booklet is being put together of frequently asked questions. Dr. Siroky stated the USDA has accelerated the implementation of the national program, and has asked the states to submit pilot project proposals to implement this program. He is currently working with the Brand Department on a proposal for a pilot project.
Mike Cooper, Administrator, Plant Industries Division, ISDA addressed the Animal Feed program. The USDA banned the feeding of ruminant protein to ruminants in 1997. The ISDA reviews all animal feed labels submitted for registration for compliance. In 2001, ISDA began inspecting all feed mills in Idaho under contract with FDA for compliance with the ban. The ISDA makes about 50 inspections a year. ISDA is exploring on-farm feed inspections under an expanded contract with FDA. The FDA has stated blood is exempt from ruminant and can be used.
Laura Johnson, Bureau Chief, International Trade and Domestic Market Development, ISDA presented the marketing strategy for both interstate and international. Ms. Johnson stated that U.S. Agriculture is a net exporter with a trade surplus of over $12 billion. She reported that 60% of Idaho peas and lentils and 55% of Idaho wheat are exported. ISDA has trade offices in Mexico, Taiwan, Korea and China. Governor’s Trade Missions have been in Mexico, Canada and Asia. ISDA works in conjunction with Commerce to run the trade offices and trade missions. Marketing agricultural products involves animal health issues, licensing, grading and inspection, and phytosanitary certificates.
Ms. Johnson commented on the launch of ISDA’s marketing program “Idaho Preferred.” This campaign began in November and will be more visible this Spring. She showed a 30 second commercial that will be shown locally. Wal-Mart and Paul’s Markets have been featured for marketing Idaho products exclusively.
Sherm Takatori, Program Manager of Crop Residue Disposal Program, ISDA updated the Committees on crop residue disposal and agricultural smoke management. Mr. Takatori reiterated that air quality standards were established by Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He stated that ISDA manages Ag smoke management within these standards. He stated that Title 22, Chapter 48, Idaho Code, Smoke Management and Crop Residue Disposal maintains a current penalty provision for the northern ten counties only (Tier II). The current status of the statewide smoke management plan has 106,691 acres registered with 81,642 acres burned. Representative Trail reported he had only one smoke complaint this year compared with 25 last year. For the 2003 season in the Grangeville, Rathdrum Prairie, and Boundary County there was new equipment and more personnel as a result complaints were reduced by over 50%. Mr. Takatori informed the Committee that additional weather monitoring equipment will enhance smoke management. He advised the committee of the various types of information accessible by website: www.agri.idaho.gov.
John Chatburn, Deputy Administrator Animal Industries Division, ISDA was given the floor to present information regarding Agriculture Odor Management Act. Mr. Chatburn stated the history of the act which became law on July 1, 2001 which required all livestock, dairy and plant investigators, engineers and technical staff to respond to odor complaints and conduct investigations. The toll free complaint line is 1-866-435-0490. ISDA has issued notices of violations to four operations, all four facilities have submitted Odor Management Plans. One facility was penalized for violation of plan. Mr. Chatburn stated that plans are modified to reflect changes/improvements to operation.
ISDA received 569 complaints from July 2003-December 2003, of which 96%, or 544, were dairy complaints. Mr. Chatburn stated six dairy facilities have invested $6.5 million to improve odor conditions. They are planning an additional $900,000 to $3.4 million this year to further improve systems. Urbanization will continue to play a significant role in relation to odor. Mr. Chatburn closed his presentation by informing the Committee that ISDA anticipates establishing odor standards through a negotiated rule process this summer. These standards will be scientifically based, enforceable and economically viable.
Dave Ferguson, Soil Conservation Commission, gave an update of the SCC. The SCC is a non-regulatory agency that supports landowners through conservation districts in the wise use and enhancement of soil, water, and related resources. The SCC administers administrative support, and provides long range resource planning and accountability. Landowners are provided with technical assistance, Best Management Practice funding, and conservation education. Mr. Ferguson stated that every $1.00 the state spends is matched by money from the industry. He reported that through local conservation districts about $1.1 million/ year of SCC funding goes towards BMP installation, which accounts for about one-third of costs. Over 50 watershed projects across Idaho are treating nearly 400 thousand acres of private land. He stated that SCC is on track with TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Loads) planning and is implementing them as well. Other SCC programs/projects include:
- Nearly $1 million in federal money for Endangered Species, from BPA
- Landowners receive over $600,000 in tax credit for five years
- New 2003 Agriculture Pollution Abatement Plan
- New 2003 Carbon Sequestration Report
- One-Plan Nutrient Management planner to be used nationally
- Pollution trading – innovative way for water quality.
Mike Everett, Deputy Director Administration, Deputy Director Agricultural Resources Division, ISDA had the floor for the final presentation on the Budget by ISDA. Mr. Everett reported that the following presentation was a brief summary, and that a full report would be presented to JFAC (Joint Finance Appropriations Committee) the following morning. The Agency’s request was for $27,280,900 and the Governor’s Recommendation was for $26,715,600. This signifies a 4.50% increase in the Agency’s request and a 2.28% increase from the Governor’s recommendation. ISDA has secured approximately 38 grants for a total of $3.5 million dollars in a five year trend (1999 through 2003) on actual spending.
Pat Takasugi, Director, ISDA closed the presentation with a copy of a BSE press release regarding the COI in the Magic Valley. See attached.