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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Demand for organic food a boon for state

Associated Press

PAUL, Idaho – National studies indicate demand for organically grown products such as beef and cheese is on the upswing, providing a boon to Idaho farmers and ranchers.

The number of organic food producers and food-processing facilities in the state has grown by about 20 percent in the past year, said Margaret Misner, organic program manager for the Idaho state Department of Agriculture.

Specialty Cheese Company Inc., of Wisconsin, is gearing up to produce a new line of baked organic potato chips. Bob Green, director of sales and marketing, said he chose Idaho potatoes because of their quality.

The Potato Growers of Idaho began forming a co-op last May to grow organic Idaho potatoes. Seth Pemsler of the commission said in May that the organic food market is growing and it would be wise for growers to jump on board.

The market for organic dry beans and wheat also has grown, said Mike Heath, of the Idaho Organic Alliance. Bon Appetit Food Services, a Pacific Northwest catering company, uses organically grown wheat from farms in Colfax, Wash., and Genesee, Idaho.

Diane and Marvin Hollen own an organic meat company based in Nyssa, Ore., on the state line just southwest of Payette, Idaho. The Hollens, who distribute meat throughout Southern Idaho, are having difficulties keeping up with demand for their product, they said.

The couple has applied for a loan to expand the company, Daily Blessing Roads, which gets beef from organic meat producers in Carey and Soda Springs, Idaho. The loan would pay producers for their calves.

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