August 04, 2007


Legislation to enable the Center heads to President's desk

Washington - Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig pushed important legislation to enable the proposed Idaho Center for Livestock and Environmental Studies over a hurdle by securing U.S. Senate passage last night of H.R.3006. This legislation, which passed the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent, would allow the State of Idaho to manage the agricultural college trust under contemporary investment principles and enable plans to move forward on the proposed Center for Livestock and Environmental Studies.

"Getting this legislation through Congress puts us one step closer to making the Livestock Center a reality for Idaho," said Crapo. "This center will provide significant research and educational opportunities while assisting the livestock industry with meeting environmental challenges. The ability of so many partners to come together on this joint project is commendable, and I'm proud to contribute to this worthy project through passage of this legislation."

"This bill will benefit all Idaho livestock producers and our dairy industry-the fourth largest in the nation," Craig said. "This legislation will help the University of Idaho's world-class researchers and the Idaho livestock and dairy community address current and emerging animal health and environmental issues."

In February, Craig and Crapo wrote to the Idaho State Legislature expressing strong support for the establishment of the Idaho Center for Livestock and Environmental Studies and originally introduced an earlier version of this legislation in the Senate in May of this year. When the House version of the bill H.R.3006, introduced by Representatives Mike Simpson and Bill Sali, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week, Crapo and Craig acted to send this bill to the President's desk for his signature prior to the August state work period.

A broad group of State, Federal, and private interests, including the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the State of Idaho, United Dairymen of Idaho and Allied Industry, College of Southern Idaho, the Idaho Cattle Association, Idaho Wool Growers, the Idaho National Laboratory, and Federal agencies have joined together in developing plans for the Idaho Center for Livestock and Environmental Studies to serve as a premier center for research and education in livestock science. The State has appropriated $10 million for the project, and this legislation will enable the University of Idaho to also contribute to the project. Additional funds are expected to be secured from private sources.

"The Idaho dairy industry needs a research facility that can replicate the needs and demands of the industry, particularly in the field of environmental management and research," said Bob Naerebout, Executive Director of the Idaho Dairymen's Association. "I commend the delegation for working to pass this legislation that brings us closer to that goal."

"This facility has the potential to equip livestock operations of all sizes with the information and tools necessary to remain viable," said Gooding, Idaho rancher and ICA President Jeff Faulkner. "It also will help regulators and livestock operators achieve our shared goal of compliance with environmental regulations that are growing increasingly complex. This is a positive step forward for the communities, the environment and livestock producers who will benefit from the livestock research facility. Thanks to the efforts of the congressional delegation, we now are another step closer."

# # #