Agriculture is the fabric of which Idaho was made. Woven by the sweat and sacrifice of our farmers, ranchers, and dairymen and reinforced by innovation and technology – this industry has cultivated Idaho’s history as our state has grown to feed the world.
Agriculture is Idaho’s original small business and our farmers, ranchers and dairymen are our original entrepreneurs. It defines not only our state’s economy – but our heritage and values of hard work and sacrifice, faith and family and a dedication to something larger than ourselves.
I understand farmers, ranchers and dairymen because like them I’m also an entrepreneur. Over the years I’ve started and built several businesses. I’ve personally signed my name on numerous bank loans, and I’ve signed the front of thousands of paychecks. I’ve dealt with ridiculous government regulations, felt the intense pressure of payroll obligations and awakened in the middle of the night startled with worry about how I’m going to make this work for my family and my employees.
I know hard work. I know business. And I know Idaho agriculture needs someone who will always stand up for them. I’m running for governor so I can listen and work to do everything in my power to improve Idaho’s agricultural economy. And I will always be there for the farmers, ranchers and dairymen who built our state and defined its very values in the process.
Starting day one, I’ll fight to remove burdensome regulations facing all areas of agriculture. I know firsthand that over-regulation harms business, but for agriculture, it’s especially detrimental. Take sage grouse, for example. We can no longer protect sage grouse at the expense of farmers and ranchers. And while I support efforts to strengthen Idaho’s position on this issue and will work with all stakeholders for a solution – that solution must protect the rights and economic interests of Idaho farmers and ranchers. And if the federal government won’t work with us, then I support fighting them through all means necessary, including litigation – until we have an Idaho solution. And you bet I’ll do the same on any other regulation that harms our agricultural community.
I will also fight to protect Idaho’s water for farmers, ranchers and dairymen and make sure Idaho maintains sovereignty over its water. I’ll work closely with the agricultural community to ensure recharge efforts continue, storage options are pursued and water rights are protected. And while I will work with all stakeholders and listen to all ideas and concerns, I do not support bad ideas like breaching dams or proposals that aren’t in Idaho’s best interest.
Rising healthcare costs are another challenge facing Idaho’s agricultural community and all Idahoans. And I promise not to stop until healthcare premiums and costs are lowered for Idaho’s families and businesses. I was an ER doctor for 18 years and can tell you definitively that I can and will lower healthcare premiums and costs – and I’ve released a plan outlining how to do just that. I’m tired of listening to Idaho’s career politicians talk and talk about these skyrocketing costs. It’s time they get out of the way and let those of us who’ve worked in the industry take action.
Another shared priority with Idaho agriculture is keeping our kids – yours and mine -- in Idaho. That starts with education and includes creating a robust economy with high paying jobs. Our public education system must prepare Idaho kids for Idaho jobs and when Governor, I will not stop fighting until it does.
Simply put, I know hard work and I know business. And I know Idaho’s values. I’ll fight to remove known burdensome regulations facing agriculture and fight until healthcare premiums are lowered. I’ll fight to keep our kids at home in Idaho and I’ll fight to protect our water for agriculture. But most importantly – I will always stand up for Idaho agriculture. Because from grain and potatoes to sugar beets, cattle, dairy and more – listening to and fighting for Idaho’s agricultural businessmen and women cements not only Idaho’s core values and past heritage – but cements a cornerstone of Idaho’s economic future.