House Ag Chairman Ken Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, said he has nine signup sheets with 17 lines on each, meaning more than 100 people may want to testify on SB 1337, the agriculture security bill, at this afternoon’s hearing. Andrus said he’ll call people in the order they signed up, and limit testimony to three minutes.
First up to testify was Lou Murgoitio, a lifelong dairyman. “I believe every farm family has a right to reasonable privacy when they’re in their homes or in their operations,” he told lawmakers. “We’ve invested our lives in these operations. … Our industry needs this legislation. And probably most importantly, Idaho farm families have been and still are the single most asset to Idaho’s economy, keep that in mind, just keep that in mind. For all the Microns and the Hewlett-Packards, agriculture has always been at the top. Dairy is the No. 1 commodity now.”
Murgoitio said, “A happy cow produces more milk. … It’s in the best interest of the producers of any animal to take care of ‘em. They’re the economic drivers to make your operation successful.”