Field burning in Idaho

One of the first signs of spring in Eastern Idaho is the smoke. Farmers and ranchers burn ditches, slash piles, and weeds. While effective at cleaning ditches and getting rid of weeds, burning fields requires prior approval. In 2007, after a northern Idaho group called Safe Air For Everyone challenged Idaho’s field burning laws, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of … Read More


The grass was greener on the other side. Or at least my cows thought so. They jumped the fence, or went under the fence, or perhaps through the fence, and joined my neighbor’s herd. I called my neighbor and told her that it would not hurt my feelings if she fed my cows all winter long. My neighbor laughed, but … Read More

Droughts and rain dances

This year has been a record year for lack of rainfall. Eastern Idaho has been affected by drought conditions with rainfall falling behind the yearly average. Even the recent rain and snow has not relieved the drought. Fortunately Eastern Idaho is blessed with mountains where snow tends to fall with abundance in the winter. When that snow melts in the … Read More

Disposal of dead animals

For any number of reasons, animals up and die. Cows get sick, horses get old, and Idaho winters are hard on any kind of livestock. Inevitably, Idaho farmers and ranchers are faced with the problem of disposing of dead animals. Idaho law requires that dead animals be disposed of within 72 hours. IDAPA This can be accomplished in a … Read More

Child labor laws

Much is required of my children. Especially in the summer when there is so much work to be done. My wife and I expect our children to help mow the lawn, do dishes, weed the garden, and clean the house. In addition, we expect them to work on the farm irrigating, feeding, fixing fence, and taking care of animals. Neighboring … Read More

Agricultural commodity dealer liens

You can’t drive down the freeway this time of year without passing a tractor-trailer hauling hay or straw. Eastern Idaho is a large producer of hay and straw, which is often trucked to dairies in western Idaho and elsewhere. When hay or straw is shipped, the buyer and the seller typically have entered into a contract for the purchase and … Read More

Agister’s liens

I didn’t panic when my small herd of Black Angus cows mutinied and jumped the fence to join my neighbor’s much larger herd of cows. Instead, I called my neighbor and explained that because of my work schedule I couldn’t get my cows until Saturday. I asked if she would feed and care for my wayward animals, to which she … Read More

Is a crooked fence line the legal boundary line?

It was obvious as I looked down the fenceline that the fence was off. The surveyor had been out the day before and had used his instruments, accurate to within thousands of an inch, to survey the boundary between the two properties. The surveyor had placed his pin flags on the boundary described in the deeds to the adjoining properties. … Read More

Gambling on March Madness

Henry Weinhard’s Root Beer. That beverage is about as good as it gets to a 17 year-old on a warm summer day. “Loser buys winner a six pack of Henry’s,” my friend had said in challenging my other friend and me to a game of basketball. While he was a good player, he was not that good. In hindsight I … Read More

Indivisible Division

G.I. Joes are awesome. I spent countless hours growing up reveling in their awesomeness. Sure one can line them up and fight, but there are so many other possibilities for diversion with the small army action figures. My favorite was creating opposing football teams with them and then simulating the games complete with play-by-play by me (a fact that was … Read More