Farmers from eight Southern states toured agricultural production and processing operations in Idaho on June 25-30 as part of the National Cotton Council’s Multi-Commodity Education Program (MCEP).
Launched in 2006, the program is coordinated by NCC’s Member Services and commodity association leadership. It is supported by The Cotton Foundation with a grant from John Deere.
The MCEP is designed to provide its participants a better understanding of production issues/concerns faced by their peers in another geographic region; observation of that region’s agronomic practices, technology utilization, cropping patterns, marketing plans, and operational structure; and tours of the region’s research facilities and its agricultural processing operations and related businesses relevant to the area economy.
Participating in the 2023 tour were The 2023 tour’s participants included: Daniel Baxley, Dillon, SC; Marvin Beyer, Taft, TX; Philip Edwards, Smithfield, VA; Richard Gaona, Roby, TX; Jon Jones, Floydada, TX; Jeff Hill, Gates, TN; Charlie Meyer, Stratford, CA; Brent Murphree, Mason, TN; Reid Nichols, Altus, OK; Nathan Reed, Marianna, AR; Jadee Rohner, Tempe, AZ; Martin Stoerner, Lockney, TX; Jon Whatley, Odem, TX; Brad Williams, Burlison, TN; and Greg Wuertz, Casa Grande, AZ.
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John Gibson, Vice-President of the NCC’s Member Services in Memphis, accompanied the group.
The tour – hosted and arranged by the Idaho Barley Commission (IBC), Idaho Grain Producers Association (IGPA), and Idaho Wheat Commission (IWC) – began on June 26 in Twin Falls with an overview of Idaho agriculture from staffers with IBC and IGPA. At the Riverence Trout Farm, Blue Lakes Facility, the group heard presentations on aquaculture research and commercial trout production. They also toured the Milner Dam for a presentation on Idaho water issues, visited the Oak Valley Dairy Farm, and ended the day with a tour of the McCain Foods French Fry Plant and a personal tour of the surrounding area.
On June 27, the group traveled to Caribou County to tour seed potatoes at Gibbs Farms before visiting Bayer for a phosphate mine tour. They also toured Bar H Bar Ranch to see public and private land grazing and toured Thunder Mountain Elk Ranch.
On June 28, the group was welcomed at the Idaho Farm Bureau offices, then traveled to American Falls where they toured the Driscoll Farms fresh pack potato and hay compaction facilities. The day’s schedule also included a visit to a John Deere dealership, a look at the American Falls dam, sugarbeet production at Clinger Farms, and a tour of dryland grain production at Kress Farms.
On June 29, the group toured Anheuser Busch in Idaho Falls, then traveled to Hamer where they observed no-till barley and mustard fields at Place Farms, visited the Cubeit Hay Company, the Intermountain Bison Ranch. The tour concluded at Hamilton Farms in Ririe.
Information from the National Cotton Council
Cotton Belt Leaders Tour Idaho Agriculture Via MCEP