BOISE, Idaho—The Idaho Legislature will have a lot of new faces next year but farm groups believe the 105-member body will remain favorable to agriculture.
"People are fairly pleased with the statewide elections for the Legislature," said Rick Waitley, executive director of Food Producers of Idaho, which includes most of the state's main farm and ranch groups.
"I don't see anything jumping out at me that is alarming," he added. "I think we're in pretty good shape."
Heading into the election, there was concern among many ag groups that the state's redistricting process could impact agriculture's clout in the Legislature. A few dozen members opted not to run again because of redistricting and Idaho's ongoing population shift means there are more legislative seats in urban areas.
But no major agricultural advocates who chose to run again lost their races and the Legislature even picked up some new ones, such as Steve Miller, a Republican farmer who pulled out a very narrow victory in heavily liberal Blaine County.
"That will be a good pick-up," said Sen. Bert Brackett, a Republican rancher from Rogerson who won his re-election bid with 68 percent of the vote. "Generally, I think agriculture fared pretty well."
SOURCE: Sean Ellis, Capital Press