BOISE — Eight people received awards honoring their contributions to Idaho’s agricultural industry Feb. 20 during the 24th Annual Larry Branen Idaho Ag Summit.
Five people received Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Agriculture, including Meridian farmer Drew Eggers, who received a lifetime achievement award.
According to his biography, Eggers has served in numerous ag industry leadership roles in Idaho and around the Pacific Northwest. He has also appeared in numerous print, TV and radio stories and commercials to promote agriculture.
“I’m thankful every day that I wake up and have the opportunity to be an Idaho farmer,” he told several hundred people attending the event.
Other governor’s award winners were:
• Rudy DeWit received an award for technical innovation. According to his award biography, DeWit introduced state-of-the-art equipment that cleans wheat better and recently brought online X-ray technology that improves wheat quality.
• Kevin Moss, whose family business specializes in producing cut flowers, orchids and crops for grocery stores, received an award for marketing innovation.
• Leadore cattle rancher Carl Lufkin received an award for environmental stewardship. According to his biography, “Carl has set an example of conservation and stewardship, protecting the Lemhi River, which winds through his ranch.”
• Richard Savage, who operates a 400-pair cow-calf operation in Clark County, was given an award for education and advocacy. He has served on the Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Council, the Upper Snake River Basin Advisory Group and Idaho Cattle Association board of directors and served as ICA president from 2011 to 2012.
He currently serves on the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board and the Idaho Sage Grouse Committee.
• Oakley potato grower Randy Hardy was presented with the Pat Takasugi Leadership Award, which is named after the late director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture and given to people who have shown strong leadership for Idaho agriculture.
Hardy, who farms 3,000 acres of potatoes and other crops near Oakley, is vice chairman of the Idaho Potato Commission and has served on the National Potato Council and U.S. Potato Board.
He is chairman of the Sun Valley Potato Growers Co-op board of directors and vice chairman of IdaGro, a grower-owned cooperative.
• Idaho Barley Commission Administrator Kelly Olson, who will retire this summer, was recognized for her contributions to the state’s farming industry.
Olson, who has served as IBC administrator for 23 years, was the visionary and inspiration for the Ag Summit, said Idaho Grain Producers Association Governmental Affairs Director Rich Garber, who introduced Olson.
She also developed ISDA’s first domestic and international marketing programs and created trade missions and product promotions throughout North America, Europe and Asia, Garber said.
“Idaho agriculture would not be what it is today without Kelly Olson,” Garber said.
“It’s been my greatest privilege to work in Idaho agriculture,” Olson said.
The Idaho Wheat Commission and Idaho Potato Commission also presented University of Idaho President Chuck Staben with a “Friend of Idaho Agriculture” award for his “unyielding support of Idaho’s agriculture industries.”