U of I Ag Celebration Features Sustainability Expert

MOSCOW — An expert on agricultural sustainability is the keynote speaker for the University of Idaho Ag Days and Celebrating Idaho Agriculture events Oct. 4-5 on the Moscow campus.

Agricultural economist Tom Tomich will talk about “Global Food Security and Sustainability: Food system disruptors and opportunities” from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in the Vandal Ballroom, Bruce M. Pitman Center.

Tomich is director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at the University of California, Davis and W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems. His program is sponsored by the UI College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and is free to the public.

Tomich said a billion or more people don’t have enough to eat because they cannot produce enough food or they are too poor to buy enough food. Sustainably distributing food is another challenge, he said.

Other U of I ag-related events planned during the weekend include an open house for a newly renovated teaching laboratory in the E.J. Iddings Agricultural Sciences Building at Sixth and Rayburn streets from 10-11 a.m. Friday. The CALS Awards Luncheon will follow from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Vandal Ballroom of the Pitman Center.

The Celebrating Idaho Agriculture Tailgate is from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m Saturday, before the 2 p.m. kickoff of the Idaho Vandals versus the Weber State University Wildcats in the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center.

Date: Saturday, October 5, 2019

Beef Council to host Race for the Steaks

The Sixth Annual Idaho Beef Council Race for the Steaks benefiting the Treasure Valley Family YMCA and The Idaho Foodbank is scheduled for Oct. 5 in Boise.

Sign up for one of three races, meet a local Idaho rancher and try your hand at roping a cow dummy at Ann Morrison Park. Then, finish the evening off with a steak dinner. The steak dinner is free to all race participants. Additional dinner tickets may be purchased for $15 in advance while supplies last.

For each race registration, $10 will be donated to the Beef Counts program. Beef Counts is a community-based partnership between Idaho’s beef industry and The Idaho Foodbank that provides high-quality beef protein to food-insecure Idahoans. The remainder of race registration fees will benefit the Treasure Valley Family YMCA to support its child and youth development and healthy living programs.

The half-kilometer race starts at 4:15 p.m., and participants are invited to dress up, according to the “steak your claim” theme. The 10K run starts at 4:30 p.m., and the 5K race starts at 4:45 p.m.

Participants will have the opportunity to challenge America Ninja Warrior and Idaho beef rancher, the Cowboy Ninja, Lance Pekus, in the 5K.

Caldwell event to bring the farm to the public

CALDWELL — Treasure Our Valley, an event that celebrates and promotes protecting farm and ranch land, will take place at Indian Creek Plaza in downtown Caldwell on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 4 to 8 p.m. An adult siphon tube setting contest, for all ages, will begin at 6:15 p.m.

The event will also bring farm experiences, such as making ice cream, pressing apples to create cider, learning to rope, setting siphon tubes, and grinding flour with a bicycle to attendees. Local honey, onion rings, craft cheese, popcorn, beer, wine, and hard cider samples will be available, while supplies last. Additional food will be available for purchase from two ‘farm to fork’ food trucks.

Live entertainment during the event will include stilt walkers, The Real Doug Lane band, produced by the veterans organization Operation Encore, and Idaho musicians the Jake Leg Band, and Sove.

The event was organized in a partnership between Treasure Valley Food Coalition, the Idaho Rangeland Conservation Partnership, the Coalition for Agriculture’s Future, the American Farmland Trust and Destination Caldwell.

“Farmers and ranchers love what they do, and they want to keep doing it, and this event is an important way for farmers and the public to let everyone know that honoring the land is important,” said Clay Erskine, a farmer in Caldwell.

A study from Boise State University on urban development estimates that the Treasure Valley region could grow between 1.25 million and 1.75 million people and between 59 percent and 64 percent of the region’s farmland will disappear by 2100. That loss equates to between 190,000 and 220,000 acres lost to low-density development, about four times the size of Boise. Boise State representatives will be present at the event to discuss the study and answer questions for the public.

“Farmland loss is concerning because of how unique the Treasure Valley is, not just to the Pacific Northwest, or to the U.S., but to the world. The quality of the soil and climate makes our area one of the most important production areas in the world,” said George Crookham, a seed producer in Caldwell, Idaho. “Any land loss in the Treasure Valley impacts the world’s food supply.”