Food Producers of Idaho named six Featured Farm Families for this year's Twin Falls County Fair.
The Meridian-based organization that represents more than 40 commodity and farm groups has recognized 26 families in the state’s south-central region since starting the program in 2015.
This year's honorees are:
• Brackett Livestock, Rogerson, Bert and Paula Brackett
• Wayne Hurst Farms, Burley, Wayne Hurst
• Ramseyer Farms Inc., Filer, Dave Ramseyer
• Stoltzfus Dairy and Cloverleaf Creamery, Buhl, Stoltzfus family
• Tubbs Berry Farm, Twin Falls, Kirk and Heidi Tubbs
• Winecup L Cattle Co. LLC, Jerome, Bill and Laura Lickley
Posters about each family were displayed at the ag pavilion sponsored by Twin Falls County Farm Bureau.
“Magic Valley is the very heart of Idaho’s agriculture, with many great farming, ranching and dairy operations," Food Producers Executive Director Rick Waitley said in a release. “It is indeed an honor to recognize these individuals and families who help make Idaho a great agriculture state.”
Brackett Livestock, Rogerson. Bert and Paula Brackett’s 133-year-old ranch produces cattle, horses and alfalfa hay.
Its grazing management techniques promote sage grouse habitat and Slickspot peppergrass in the area, an FPI profile said.
The desert ranch maintains more than 100 miles of gravity-irrigation pipeline. Bert, with sons Ira and Gus, instituted a grazing system and cattle-genetics program suited to the environment. Bert serves in the state Senate.
Wayne Hurst Farms, Burley. Hurst has owned the operation for more than 40 years.
The farm produces wheat, sugar beets, dry beans and alfalfa.
The family has worked to conserve land and water resources in the area, and to increase the percentage of organic matter in soil through soil monitoring and irrigation scheduling.
Hurst, a former Idaho Grain Producers Association board president, has worked to increase the profitability of grain crops around the state.
Winecup L Cattle LLC, Jerome. Bill and Laura Lickley, owners of the state-recognized Century Ranch, have used precise genetics to transition from a purebred Hereford cow/calf ranch to a diversified cow/calf and yearling operation in Idaho and Nevada.
They use cover crops and rotational grazing to suit the vast, arid environment while enhancing soil health. They emphasize long-term business planning, and developing future agriculture leaders.
Ramseyer Farms Inc., Filer. Dave Ramseyer operates the state-recognized Century Farm.
His son, Matt, is the fourth generation to be involved in the farm.
The Ramsmeyers grow alfalfa hay, wheat, barley, oats, ear corn, contract garden beans, potatoes and sugar beets. They have reduced the potential for irrigation-induced erosion of cropland by using sediment ponds, irrigation water management techniques and cover crops. The family has been involved industry leadership and 4-H mentorship.
Stoltzfus Dairy and Cloverleaf Creamery, Buhl. The 30-year-old operation is managed by Bill and Donna Stoltzfus, Eric and Jessica Stoltzfus, and Eric and Olivia Butterworth.
The dairy raises animals for milk, and many of its own feed commodities grown using various pasture-management techniques. The creamery, which the family created as a market for the dairy’s products, has served as a local-agriculture model.
The family involves multiple generations in the business, including younger members who run the retail operation, and hosts facility tours.
Tubbs Berry Farm, Twin Falls. Kirk and Heidi Tubbs raise berries, pumpkins, gourds, squash, seed garlic, alfalfa hay and various vegetables.
They host picking and other events from spring through fall, and supply in-season fruits and vegetables through a community-supported model. They emphasize the importance of getting and keeping a job, hiring students to the summer weed crew in a process that includes interviewing, training, performance evaluation and goal-setting.
The farm uses drip irrigation and integrated pest management, and works to cultivate pollinators and other beneficial insects.