Encroachments on Easements

Eastern Idaho’s climate is arid, with cold winters and hot dry summers. Most snowfall occurs in the surrounding mountains, and then melts in the spring and summer. Pioneers in Eastern Idaho harnessed those waters with canals and ditches that even today carry water to farms and ranches across the Snake River plain. Without irrigation water, farming and ranching in Eastern … Read More

Ag-Gag Law

On February 28, 2014 a new law protecting Idaho farmers and ranchers was signed into law. Idaho Code § 18-7402 now makes it illegal to interfere with agricultural production. Often referred to as the “ag-gag” bill, the law protects Idaho farmers and ranchers and makes it a crime for a person to: • Enter upon a farm or ranch by … Read More

The Nuts and Bolts of the Farm Bill

The first farm bill was passed during the Great Depression in order to give financial assistance to farmers who were struggling due to an excess crop supply, which in turn created low prices. Subsequent versions of the farm bill have stabilized prices for farm products and secured the food supply for Americans. On February 7, 2014 the President signed into … Read More

Immigration and Temporary Workers

Hispanics are vital to the success of Idaho farms and ranches. Hispanics fill many hard-working jobs that other people are unwilling to do. According to government data as many as 1/3 of all Idaho farm workers are Hispanic. Many are U.S. citizens. Others have immigrated to the United States legally, and some have immigrated illegally. The United States has an … Read More

Brand Inspection is Vital

Some cows have them. Some cows don’t. Regardless of whether or not your cows are branded, the law requires brand inspections when cattle are transfered, sold, or slaughtered. The Idaho State Brand Inspector is entrusted with inforcing laws relative to the identificaton and inspection of livestock with an emphasis on reducing the loss of livestock by theft. Idaho Code § … Read More

Be on the Lookout for Fugitive Dust

The Idaho Right to Farm Act protects Idaho farmers and ranchers in their farming activities. However, that protection only applies to the extent that the farming operation does not break the law. There is no protection under the right to farm law for the “improper or negligent operation of an agricultual operation.” Idaho Code § 22-4505. This is defined to … Read More

Bee Aware of the Law

There are an estimated 115,000 – 125,000 beekeepers in the United States. Most of those beekeepers are hobbyists with less than 25 hives. Commercial beekeepers are typically those with more than 300 hives. Commercial beekeeping operations are often family businesses that are handed down from generation to generation. In 2012 over 147 million pounds of honey was produced in the … Read More

Know the Law on Waterway Rights

Water in Idaho and many of the western states is managed under the Prior Appropriation Doctrine. This doctrine follows the principle of “first in time is first in right.” That is, a priority is established for water rights where water was first diverted and put to beneficial use. “Diverting” water and delivering it to landowners is the business of irrigation … Read More


Many Idaho farms and ranches are surrouded by public lands, or by private land. Many times the only way to access a farm or ranch is by crossing public land, or your neighbor’s land. What happens when your neighbors put up no trespassing signs or block access across their land? What are your options? Easements are usually the answer. Disputes … Read More

Herbicide Drift

It is not at all uncommon to see a crop-dusting aircraft flying low spraying herbicides on farm fields. Even more common is a tractor with a tank and long booms that extend over 100′ and spray herbicides or even fertilizer. But what happens when that spraying occurs and the wind is blowing and your crops or garden or trees are … Read More