Northwest Agricultural Cooperative Council Recognizes Legislators

Published online: Feb 24, 2024 Articles
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The Northwest Agriculture Cooperative Council representing local and regional cooperatives in the Pacific Northwest recently joined forces with the FFA organization to host the annual NWACC/FFA Cenarrusa Day on the Hill event in Boise.

Nearly 400 attended the event, named in honor of former Secretary of State, Pete Cenarrusa. Cenarrusa's wife Freda was in the audience for the event. During the luncheon, Rick Waitley, Lobbyist for the Northwest Agricultural Cooperative Council, recognized two legislators with the NWACC Friend of the Industry Award.

Those recognized were: 

Twin Falls: Senator Linda Wright Hartgen

Hartgen is a graduate of Lewis-Clark State College with a B.S. in business management. She is also a Fellow of the Institute of Court Management and was employed with the Idaho Supreme Court for 23 years. Her agriculture background is a co-owner and operator of a farming and livestock business. Hartgen served Twin Falls County as its Clerk, a board member for the College of Southern Idaho Foundation Board, a member of the Kiwanis Club, CARES Board, PEO Sisterhood and multiple statewide court committees.

Senator Hartgen is a 2020 graduate of Legislative Energy Horizon Institute and a 2021 graduate of CSG Legislative Leadership Training. Senator Wright Hartgen is chairman of the Senate Ag Affairs Committee. Prior to moving to the Senate she served in the Idaho House for two terms from 2018-2022. Senator Hartgen also serves on Commerce and Human Resources and Judiciary and Rules Committee. 

Menan: Representative Jerald Raymond was born in Rigby and raised in Menan, Idaho. Rep. Raymond is a graduate of Rigby High School and then enrolled for additional schooling at Ricks College. Rep. Raymond has been involved in all aspects of the livestock industry including artificial insemination (Al), embryo transfer, cow/calf management, and feedlot sectors. Rep. Raymond received the livestock industry service award from Ricks College and was recognized for his achievement in Applied Reproduction Strategies in Beef Cattle. Rep. Raymond is a past president of the Idaho Cattle Association, a former Jefferson County Commissioner and actively engaged in local civic and church activities.

Rep. Raymond represents District 31 which includes Clark, Fremont, Jefferson and Lemhi County. He serves as Vice Chairman of the Agricultural Affairs Committee, and on the Resources and Conservation Committee and the Revenue and Tax Committee. 

Waitley acknowledged the agriculture connection and belief in the cooperative way of business that has been demonstrated by both of these state leaders. Waitley stated that this annual award is given to Idaho legislators who have demonstrated outstanding leadership for Idaho agriculture and have been supportive of rural cooperatives.

Waitley concluded by saying, "Several FFA Chapters from across Idaho were present for the event and enjoyed a luncheon sponsored by the Northwest Agricultural Cooperative Council made of farmer owned cooperatives in ID, OR, WA and MT. FFA members had the chance to host Idaho legislators, providing the opportunity for the students to learn more about how public policy is developed."