Jason Boose of brewer MillerCoors has begun a three-year term as the industry representative on the Idaho Barley Commission.
He succeeds Anheuser Busch's Tim Pella, whose second three-year term ended June 30.
The board’s three grower commissioners, who are appointed by the governor, selected Boose. He lives in Twin Falls and works in Burley, where he is regional manager of MillerCoors’ Idaho and Wyoming barley program.
Boose said the position presents “a good opportunity to learn more about the industry in Idaho as a whole."
“Obviously, my role with MillerCoors is malting-based, but there are also opportunities in Idaho with food barley,” he said. “I’m excited to see what those look like, to work with the other commissioners and learn more about the research programs taking place with the University of Idaho — and the work that can really help growers be sustainable and continue to produce good crops.”
Idaho is a “very consistent barley producer” because of its growers, Boose said. “The industry needs growers to do well in order for the industry to do well. They are the foundation.”
The state’s 4,000-plus barley growers pay the commission a checkoff of 3 cents per hundredweight, collected at the first point of sale, to fund research, marketing and education.
The other commissioners are Bonners Ferry grower Wes Hubbard, who started a second three-year term July 1; Mike Wilkins of Rupert; and Scott Brown of Soda Springs.
Just over three-quarters of the state’s barley is grown for malting. The rest is used for food, feed and seed.
Boose said the board’s industry representative brings a perspective on what the customer needs and wants from growers, as well as “knowledge of the state of the industry, where it is headed and what challenges may be coming down the road for growers.”
The malting industry remains strong, “but it is tied to the beer industry, and larger brewers have faced some challenges in beer sales,” he said. Market saturation is an issue as more wine, spirits and beer brands are available. The craft industry, which continues to need malt, is selling more beer.
“For growers, opportunities may lie in food barley, and the commission has done a great job trying to develop that market,” Boose said.
In Burley, the MillerCoors facility employs eight people full-time, has a storage capacity of 9 million bushels and contracts with 245 growers.
Boose, 34, started with the company in elevator operations 10 years ago in Monte Vista, Colo. He moved to Idaho in 2014, supervising on-site production before getting into regional management.