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Idaho dairy farmers produce more milk and cheese than almost any state in the nation. Idaho is ranked third behind California and Wisconsin.

Saving Idaho's Farmland

J. Stephen Conn
Farmland in Franklin County.

The Treasure Valley Food Coalition this week is asking the question, “why should we save farmland in Idaho?” As growth and development spread across the Treasure Valley, the coalition is starting a conversation about preserving farmland in places like Canyon County.

The group has brought in an outside expert. Mike McGrath grew up on a small vegetable farm in Delaware and eventually took over the farm with his wife. He got into government service, first at the county level as a planner, and then served 28 years with the Delaware Department of Agriculture. He spent a lot of that time working on farmland planning and preservation.

McGrath will offer two public talks - tonight and tomorrow - about how he worked to save thousands of acres of farmland in his home state.

McGrath will talk more about farmland preservation Monday at 6 p.m. at Boise State University. He'll speak Tuesday evening at the College of Idaho. Both talks are presented by the Treasure Valley Food Coalition and are free and open to the public.

He says polling is a good way to find out if residents are on board with saving farmland, and it's a good way to show lawmakers people care about the subject. On the topic of polling, McGrath's comments come just as the Idaho Statesman reports Boise State has released a new survey that shows 24 percent of respondents think agriculture is the most important economic sector in the Treasure Valley. 

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio

As Senior Producer of our live daily talk show Idaho Matters, I’m able to indulge my love of storytelling and share all kinds of information (I was probably a Town Crier in a past life!). My career has allowed me to learn something new everyday and to share that knowledge with all my friends on the radio.