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Tom Trail ttrail at moscow.com
Sat Sep 23 15:10:32 PDT 2006

>Visionaires--this article may be of interest.

Tom Trail

>Ag News 
>Dairy industry, others, pursue new MV research center
>By Julie Pence, Ag Weekly correspondent
>  Mike Quesnell, president of the Idaho Dairy Association, confirmed 
>this week that several entities, including his group, the University 
>of Idaho and the Idaho National Laboratory are pursuing a new 
>livestock research cener to be located somewhere in Magic Valley.
>By Julie Pence Ag Weekly correspondent  
>TWIN FALLS, Idaho n Magic Valley, known as the heart of Idaho dairy 
>country, could soon be the site for a state-of-the-art livestock 
>research center.
>Leaders in the dairy industry have confirmed that the University of 
>Idaho, along with the Idaho Dairymen's Association, the Idaho 
>National Laboratory and other entities are pursuing a dairy facility 
>to replace the classic old-fashioned barn on the Moscow campus.
>The new dairy center would accommodate about 1,500 milk cows and 
>cost about $30 million to develop over several years, said Rich 
>Garber, who represents the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences 
>for the University of Idaho. The facility in Moscow, which 
>accommodates only about 200 cows, no longer serves the current 
>livestock industry, said Mike Quesnell, president of the dairy 
>These days, Idaho dairies have thousands of milk cows on each site, 
>and most dairies are located some 450 miles south of Moscow in a 
>more arid climate. This new paradigm in the livestock industry 
>has presented new challenges, and so university and dairy officials 
>began discussions a few years ago for a new research center, said 
>Sen. Tom Gannon, R-Buhl, who is vice-chairman of the Idaho Senate 
>Agricultural Affairs Committee.
>"This will be the first research center of its kind," Quesnell said. 
>"Its mission is to study western style CAFOs."
>The facility would employee about 30 workers and have six or seven 
>scientists, he said.
>Idaho's dairy industry, which is estimated to have generated $1.4 
>billion last year, is fourth in the nation for the number of dairy 
>cows, with about 455,000 milkers. The Magic and Treasure valleys are 
>hubs for the new style of dairies. Magic Valley has more than 
>315,000 dairy cows, and the Treasure Valley has about 98,000.
>California has by far the most dairy cows with 1.76 million dairy 
>cows. According to Garber, Idaho is poised for another major 
>expansion n up to 25 percent, and within the next few years will 
>move into third place in the nation.
>While cows numbers nationwide have declined by almost 1.1 million 
>head n that's 11 percent - during the past 15 years, the number of 
>cows in the West has increased by 37 percent. Eastern U.S. cow 
>numbers have been declining, most likely as a result of specialized, 
>high-producing dairy farms replacing the smaller farms more 
>traditional to the Eastern dairying region, while in 11 Western 
>states numbers have progressively risen, industry leaders say.
>Garber said having a center with a herd more than seven times larger 
>than that currently at the University of Idaho will allow 
>researchers to establish "real world comparisons."
>Quesnell explained: "We want to study the relationship and impact 
>these CAFOs have on irrigated cropland, and we also want to learn 
>more about their relationship to the soil, water and air, and most 
>importantly, the impact they have on the human populations around 
>"Obviously we are going to be studying the back end of a cow."
>In addition, Quesnell said, the center will offer researchers 
>opportunities to study energy production. That explains why INL, 
>which specializes in energy projects, is interested in 
>participating, he said.
>Those promoting the center are looking for funding sources from the 
>university, the Idaho dairy industry and the state and federal 
>governments Proponents plan to approach lawmakers during the 2007 
>legislative session to discuss funding, Garber said.
>At the same time, dairy leaders are discussing ideas with College of 
>Southern Idaho for more classes to train dairy workers. For example, 
>there is a need for more welding, electrical and facility-management 
>training, Quesnell said.

Dr. Tom Trail
International Trails
1375 Mt. View Rd.
Moscow, Id. 83843
Tel:  (208) 882-6077
Fax:  (208) 882-0896
e mail ttrail at moscow.com
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