Opinion: The Idaho Potato Industry May Never Recover
Idaho’s potato industry is in tatters. Periodically, I come across a really good piece of journalism (it still is possible) and it lays bare the truth. This is the case when it comes to a video produced by Business Insider. You can read more and listen by clicking here. The story focuses on growers in both Idaho and Montana.
COVID-19 is the villain. Or the economic fallout from the virus, brought about by the decisions of state Governors. One a Republican in Idaho and the other a Democrat in Montana.
What’s quite fascinating is the potato farmers believed the hiccup in their market would be brief.
What’s quite fascinating is the potato farmers believed the hiccup in their market would be brief. Then the bottom simply dropped out. Schools and restaurants closed and a big portion of potato consumption vanished. Supply chains were also interrupted.
All of this leads me to believe the decrees issued by the politicians should’ve included a few more stakeholders. As we learned in Idaho, Governor Brad Little only relied on a handful of medical opinions. It’s not clear he consulted anyone in agriculture, manufacturing and retail. But he did get a big sack of Monopoly money from the federal government to pass around.
We do know he didn’t include any legislators or local governments in the conversation and still has no interest in any such outside input.
Late yesterday I saw a story from National Palestinian Radio, known as NPR. It featured an Idaho potato farmer giving his crop away because he had no customers. First, the story is old. Second, it’s a very noble decision on the part of the grower but I don’t believe the liberals at NPR, all working as wards of the state, have any conception of the damage done to that man’s own livelihood and life. Nor does our Governor.