Idaho’s better barley makes better beer

Becky Cook / for Farm & Ranch
John Drake, Anheuser-Busch director of western malting operations, speaks with media representatives atop the 345-foot-tall malt tower overlooking Idaho Falls. Drake said that eastern Idaho has the perfect growing conditions to produce the best barley in the United States.

It’s not every day that the world comes to Idaho Falls to view something as humble as the common barley plant, but that is what brought the world to the area last week — barley, and the beer it is made into.

Wildflowers help revegetate burned areas

Becky Cook / for Farm & Ranch
Delbert Winterfeld and Kim Ragotzkie, program manager for the High Country Resource Conservation and Development Council, examine a hawk moth caterpillar found on Winterfeld's fields. Hawk Moths eat leafy spurge and are part of the biocontrols Winterfeld has in place on his farm.

SWAN VALLEY — The fields are all in bloom up at Delbert Winterfeld’s place in Swan Valley and the bees love it.

Basque sheepman strives to meet demand for lamb

Henry Etcheverry keeps the sheep moving to a new grazing site along Pebble Creek Road in Caribou County. Etcheverry is one of the last in a long line of Idaho’s Basque sheepmen catering to a growing demand for mutton.

LAVA HOT SPRINGS — Henry Etcheverry can still pinpoint an aspen tree where his father, Jean Pierre, carved his name while tending a flock of sheep decades ago north of Lava Hot Springs.

N. Idaho farm now producing huckleberries


Joe Culbreth examines his six-year-old huckleberry bushes for signs of berries on Thursday. The bushes bloomed for the first time this season.

RATHDRUM — Joe Culbreth’s 15-acre swath of land is beautifully organized into arcing rows of flowers, berries, grapes and a wide variety of fruit trees. He always wanted to plant and grow things when he retired, so he did.


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