Press Releases

Simpson Continues to Deliver for Idaho Agriculture

Simpson Continues to Deliver for Idaho Agriculture

By Congressman Simpson

Washington, D.C. – “Agriculture plays a central role in many of Idaho’s communities and accounts for nearly 20 percent of our state's economy.  Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District contributes the 13th largest supply of total agricultural products to market and boasts the second most valuable dairy industry of any congressional district.[1]  Southern and Eastern Idaho’s contributions to feeding our country and our world cannot be overstated.

“I have used my time in Congress to support producers, ranchers, and agricultural communities whenever I can.  In the 117th Congress, I have succeeded in protecting Idaho agriculture from federal overreach and have used my role on the House Appropriations Committee to champion several important Idaho priorities and provisions that look after Western interests.

“During the Obama Administration, I repeatedly used my role as the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, and my membership on the Interior and Environment Subcommittee to block the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from expanding their regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  I heard consistent concerns from farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and many others about the extremely broad definition of the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the CWA. While I support the goal of ensuring a clean water supply for our nation, I remain deeply concerned that the Biden Administration is working to expand the definition of WOTUS once again at the expense of our rural communities. I will continue to work to block any federal overreach on WOTUS, to bring certainty and predictability to all those who depend on it. 

“I have also used my role on the Subcommittee on Interior and Environment to prevent an Endangered Species Act listing of the greater sage grouse. An ESA listing for the sage grouse would undermine the collaborative work being done to manage sage grouse habitats at a local level by the individuals who work, live, and recreate on Idaho’s land, and I fought hard to restore a listing prohibition again in the fiscal year 2022 (FY2022) spending bill that was recently signed into law.  Preventing an ESA listing for the greater sage grouse ultimately gives Idahoans the control they need to manage their land, and I am proud to support measures that achieve that end.

“I also secured direct funding for Idaho in the fiscal year 2022 spending bill through the Community Project Funding (CPF) process.  This funding will go directly to worthy Idaho projects aimed at sustaining Southern and Eastern Idaho’s role as a major agricultural leader. 

“After the Obama Administration threatened to shut down the Dubois sheep center, I worked with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to block this action.  Last year, I secured $4.2 million to improve the decades old infrastructure and ensure the long-term success of the station.  This station is a critical facility providing unique research for the sheep industry in the West.  Because of its location and expertise, researchers at the sheep station in Dubois are conducting research that no other facility can do, including studying the impacts of interactions between domestic animals and wildlife. 

“I also secured funding for the establishment of the Idaho Grain & Ag Center.  The Center will receive $787,000 to develop a hub for research collaboration, a promotional component, sufficient meeting space to bring large groups together, and technology to connect with growers around the state and the nation.  The Center, which will sit adjacent to the Idaho Statehouse, will solidify the importance of agriculture to the state, be a model of innovative public-private partnerships, and serve all of rural Idaho.

“The last project that I was able to secure funding for is the Rinker Rock Creek Ranch field station at the University of Idaho.  Located in Hailey, the field station will provide:

  • Hands on learning for public, postsecondary, and K-12 education groups;
  • Scientific equipment and space for research demonstrations on livestock grazing and sage grouse management, cattle management and wildlife friendly fencing, water quantity and quality conservation, and techniques to combat invasive annual grasses and associated wildfire; and
  • Upgraded telecommunications systems to facilitate classroom connectivity and research training.

“The field station will enhance workforce training in Idaho by providing opportunities for high school and community college students to pursue postsecondary education.  It will also provide demonstration of best practices for integrating working rangelands with conservation interests in the Western United States. 

“Whether it be delisting wolves, making sure Idaho interests were represented in various Farm Bills or the USMCA, I am proud of the work I have done with and for Idaho agriculture.  As the 117th Congress progresses, I will continue to fight for the needs of producers, ranchers, and agricultural communities.”